As most abortion stories are, the case of a Sydney, Australia woman who tried to abort her late-term unborn baby is complicated.
In July, a New South Wales court convicted the woman for illegally buying abortion drugs online with the “clear intent to procure a miscarriage,” according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Blacktown Local Court Magistrate Geoffrey Hiatt sentenced the woman, who is not named in reports, to a three-year good behavior bond, the report states.
The report indicates the woman’s boyfriend repeatedly pressured her to abort her unborn baby and apparently refused to support the child. Fortunately, her baby survived the abortion attempt. Reports do not indicate how the baby is now or if he or she is still with the biological mother. The abortion attempt occurred in 2015.
According to the report, the woman was the mother of five children all under age 10 when she bought the abortion drugs online illegally. Court testimony indicates the woman’s boyfriend began pressuring her repeatedly to abort their unborn baby when she was about 19-weeks pregnant.
Here’s more from the report:
“At about 26 weeks into the pregnancy her boyfriend again urged her to terminate the pregnancy,” the magistrate said.
“She told her boyfriend that it may be too late to have an abortion. She contacted a number of clinics in [New South Wales] and interstate and was refused from all of them on the basis that her pregnancy was past 20 weeks.”
She bought the abortion drug misoprostol from someone on the internet for $2,000 (Australian dollars), according to 9 News in Australia. Misoprostol is used to induce labor. Most abortion facilities use misoprostol with mifepristone (RU-486) for early-term abortions; the drugs are more effective in aborting unborn babies when taken together in the first trimester.
The woman took them on Sept. 2, 2015 when she was 28 weeks pregnant, according to the report. A friend later took her to the hospital when she began feeling extremely sick. There, doctors performed a cesarean section and her baby was born alive, the report states.
Here’s more from the report:
It is an offence under the NSW Crimes Act for a pregnant woman to unlawfully administer to herself “any drug or noxious thing” or unlawfully use “any instrument or other means” with the intention of procuring a miscarriage.
The offence is punishable by up to 10 years’ jail but the case was dealt with summarily – without a jury – in Blacktown Local Court where the maximum sentence that can be applied is two years.
An attorney for the woman tried to argue that she should not be convicted because her baby survived. According to the Herald, the attorney argued that the law about illegal abortions only applies to cases where the baby does not survive. However, the magistrate rejected this argument.
It is not clear if or how the abortion attempt affected the baby’s health; but babies who are born prematurely often have a higher risk of medical issues.