A Sydney mother-of-five who took abortion pills to try to terminate her 28-week pregnancy has been convicted and placed on a three-year good behaviour bond.
Blacktown Local Court Magistrate Geoffrey Hiatt said he was satisfied the woman, who was 28 at the time, acted intentionally to illegally try to have a miscarriage by taking the abortion pills.
In a July judgment made public on Monday, Mr Hiatt said the woman – who had pleaded not guilty – had been about 19 weeks pregnant when her partner of three years told her he did not want her to have the child because they were not married.
”The accused did not act upon this and continued to attend medical check-ups,” Mr Hiatt said in his judgment.
”At about 26 weeks into the pregnancy, her boyfriend again urged her to terminate the pregnancy.
”She told her boyfriend that it may be too late to have an abortion.
”She contacted a number of clinics in NSW and interstate and was refused from all of them on the basis that her pregnancy was past 20 weeks.”
Mr Hiatt said the woman, who had five children aged between four to nine, eventually found someone she believed was in Darwin, known as “Patrick”, who was prepared to facilitate an abortion when she was 28 weeks’ pregnant.
Patrick told the woman it was possible to have a termination up to 30 weeks and he would send her abortion pills for $2000.
She received a package from South Africa in early September 2015 containing a pack of 10 pills each containing 200 milligrams of misoprostol, a hormone-type substance.
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She took six pills the next day before becoming unwell and was taken by a friend to Blacktown Hospital.
An emergency caesarean section was performed and the child was born.
”The ongoing debate regarding pro- and anti-abortion is a polarising issue within the community,” Mr Hiatt said.
”In my view, the clear intent of the parliament was to enact provisions which would hold persons criminally responsible for unlawful acts towards a foetus causing either a miscarriage or an abortion to occur.
“In essence, protection for a foetus from the time of conception through all stages of pregnancy to the point of birth.”