x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Three jailed for running abortion clinic

Three Chinese nationals were sentenced to three years in prison each for running an illegal abortion clinic and aborting a pregnancy.

DUBAI // Three Chinese nationals were sentenced yesterday to three years in prison each for running an illegal abortion clinic and aborting a pregnancy. The Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance also ordered that the defendants be deported from the country after serving their sentences and ordered the confiscation of medical equipment found in the clinic. The defendants were a female medic identified only as ZK, 38, another woman, SW, 51, and a man, WT, 51. Another male defendant, AN, 22, was cleared. The illegal clinic was located in the Nakheel district of Deira.

The defendants were charged with aborting a five-month-old foetus carried by a Muslim woman. She told police that her pregnancy was the result of an illegitimate relationship she had with her sponsor in Abu Dhabi. Once she realised she was pregnant she asked around for an abortion clinic and was directed to the clinic in Nakheel where she was charged Dh2,300 (US$630) for the procedure. The first-floor clinic, comprising two rooms, a waiting area and a fully equipped theatre, was discovered on April 1 when a man, who was visiting the clinic to buy pills for aborting unwanted pregnancies, called police.

The man said after buying a pink pill for Dh100 from the clinic, he heard screams from inside. When police arrived they found the Muslim woman in physical distress, and took her to Baraha Hospital. Blood samples from the woman were matched to a foetus found at the clinic. She told police that clinic staff gave her a cocktail of drugs to force her body to abort the baby she was carrying. Among the pills police confiscated at the clinic were the antibiotics Gentamycine and Dexamethasone, and the tranquiliser Diazepam, all of which are harmful to a foetus.

The clinic was equipped with three recovery beds, two examination tables, an assortment of medical equipment, medical books in Chinese and medical scrubs. The examination of the foetus concluded that the cause of death was due to its removal from the womb at an early stage in development. It is unknown whether the man who initially raised the alarm is being prosecuted by police for buying abortion pills.

hbathish@thenational.ae