Police in South Africa are questioning a young woman after she allegedly had an illegal abortion and then buried her baby’s body in her neighbor’s back yard.
The Daily Voice reports police dug up the unborn boy’s body earlier this week after receiving a tip about the incident. Police said they arrested the 23-year-old mother on Tuesday at her home in Kewtown, near Cape Town, and charged her with concealing the baby’s birth.
An autopsy is being done on her unborn son, believed to be 18-months gestation. If the autopsy reveals that the baby was born alive, the mother also could be charged with murder, according to the report.
The mother told police that she had a legal abortion and the paperwork to show it, but police believe she had an illegal abortion at a back-alley facility because she was past the 13-week legal abortion limit.
Here’s more from the report:
She had allegedly first thrown the foetus in a bin, but then apparently changed her mind and buried it in her 18-year-old friend’s backyard about a month ago. …
Their neighbour, Harry Strydom, 50, who is the owner of the house where the foetus was buried, says they were shocked to learn that the foetus had been buried there.
He said police arrived at his house on Tuesday, dug up a hole in his yard and found the tiny body wrapped in a bag.
He said the woman had asked him for sand for her cat’s litter box.
“I was inside the house when she buried the baby and I didn’t know anything,” said Harry.
At 18 weeks gestation, an unborn baby’s organs are functioning. The unborn baby can yawn and hiccough, and the baby already has his/her own unique fingerprints. Researchers also have observed babies at 18 weeks releasing stress hormones in response to being poked with a needle, which many believe is an indication that they can feel pain.