On Friday, October 2, a premature newborn was found in a terminal bathroom at Hamad International Airport. On the same day, at 8:30am, a Qatar Airways flight was scheduled to leave the airport at Doha, the capital of Qatar, and travel to Sydney.
The flight was delayed, however, because officials were trying to locate the mother of the abandoned infant.
After waiting for several hours, the women on the plane to Sydney, QR908, were asked to disembark. Among them were 13 Australian women. They weren’t told why they were leaving the plane.
They were then asked to step into an ambulance parked on the tarmac, where they were forced to undergo a medical examination.
It’s understood the women were required to remove their underwear for doctors to undertake an invasive inspection, as officials tried to determine if any of them had given birth recently.
The women, at this point, still did not know what was happening, and had not given consent for their genitals to be examined.
On Monday, the airport confirmed the events in a statement to ABC, and said the baby was now safe. The mother has still not been identified.
"At this time, the newborn infant remains unidentified, but is safe under the professional care of medical and social workers," the statement says.
"Medical professionals expressed concern to officials about the health and welfare of a mother who had just given birth and requested she be located prior to departing [the airport]."