Police in India are investigating a woman’s death after she allegedly took abortion drugs to kill her viable, late-term unborn baby.
Times Now News reports Kumari Kanjaka, 23, of Odisha, in southern India, died this week at the Kilpauk Medical College and Hospital in Tamil Nadu.
Doctors said Kumari arrived at the hospital Sept. 25 in critical condition, complaining of severe stomach pains. After an examination, the doctors said they discovered that she had perforations in her uterus and an infection, according to the report.
The woman was eight months pregnant, and it appears that both she and her unborn baby died, though the report does not mention her baby’s death.
Her niece, Geetha Kanjaka, who lived with the woman and her husband, told police that her aunt took abortion drugs because she was afraid of suffering pregnancy complications.
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Police said they are investigating the woman’s death. According to their investigation, Kumari also was treated at the hospital Sept. 20 for injuries after she fell in her bathroom.
The hospital is performing an autopsy to determine the exact cause of her death, according to the report.
Abortions, legal or illegal, are not safe for mothers or their unborn babies. In India, abortions are legal up to 20 weeks of pregnancy, but courts sometimes allow women to have late-term abortions in cases of rape or a prenatal diagnosis of a disability.
Authorities did not say what type of abortion drugs she may have taken. In most parts of the world, the abortion drug combination mifepristone and misoprostol are used to abort unborn babies up to nine or 10 weeks of pregnancy. Later in pregnancy, the drugs are not as effective in killing unborn babies; they also may pose greater risks to the mother’s life.
In the United States, two dozen women’s deaths have been linked to the legal use of the abortion drugs, and thousands of others have suffered serious complications, according to a study by the Charlotte Lozier Institute.
Despite these serious risks, abortion activists across the world are pressuring governments to allow abortion drugs to be sold by mail-order – a move that could put even more mothers’ and babies’ lives at risk.