Woman in abortion case gets bail

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THE defendant in Brunei’s first self-induced abortion case was released on bail yesterday and will be sentenced on October 1.

Nuramallinie @ Amal Suhailie, 22, is facing up to seven years in prison and a fine after pleading guilty to terminating her pregnancy by consuming pills to induce a miscarriage last month.

During court proceedings yesterday, Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha (RIPAS) Hospital Specialist Pathologist Dr Senarath Colombage, who was brought in by the prosecution to present evidence, said he had conducted a post-mortem examination on Nuramallinie’s baby when it was brought to the hospital.

Dr Senarath said he had determined the baby’s gestation period to be “between 24 to 26 weeks”.

According to the doctor, pregnant mothers would normally feel movements in their uterus at this stage of pregnancy — the second trimester — although he said these sensations are subjective and can vary from person to person.

During court proceedings earlier this week, the defendant said she had believed the foetus was already dead before she induced the miscarriage.

She also admitted to taking five pills to do this – two inserted in her genitals and three ingested.

When questioned by Intermediate Court Judge Pg Hjh Hanani Pg Hj Metusain, the presiding judge for the case, Dr Senarath said the pills the defendant had used were a synthetic medicine “used to cause contractions of the uterus” which was “known to cause abortions”.

Following this, Deputy Public Prosecutor Hjh Rozaimah Hj Abd Rahman read out obtained excerpts of WhatsApp conversations between the defendant and her friend as evidence that the defendant knew that her baby was still alive before taking the abortion pills.

Hjh Rozaimah said the conversations were evidence showing “a possibility of concoction or corroboration” between the defendant and her friend in testifying during the case.

The defendant yesterday said this was her third pregnancy.

She said that on August 31, she had felt excruciating pain in her stomach and visited the toilet, where she began to bleed heavily and felt that she needed to push the foetus out of her body. She delivered the baby boy in a toilet cubicle, handed the baby to her friend to look after and resumed work until the end of her shift.

The defendant said she then contacted her former fiancé — the father of the child — and asked him to take her to RIPAS Hospital, where the baby was pronounced dead upon arrival.

Judge Pg Hjh Hanani set the case for sentencing at 2.30pm on October 1.

The Brunei Times