MADURAI: A woman, who was seven months pregnant, died allegedly during a botched attempt to abort her foetus with the help of a nurse at Thotapanayakanur near Madurai on Tuesday. The deceased was identified as 28-year-old Ramuthayee of Uthapuram in Madurai. The nurse has been arrested. The incident occurred in Usilampatti Taluk once notorious for female infanticide.
According to Usilampatti Taluk police, the woman and her husband, Ramar, were daily wage labourers who had been married for 11 years. They had three daughters. According to an elderly relative of Ramuthayee, the couple had found the sex of the foetus and on learning it was female, wanted an abortion.
“After a private hospital refused to perform an abortion, they were approached by one Lakshmi (32), who introduced herself as a nurse and offered to perform the procedure for money. On Monday, Ramuthayee went to Lakshmi’s house in Thotapanayakanur with the agreed sum of `30,000. Lakshmi administered an injection to Ramuthayee, who became unconscious and later died,” the relative, who did not want to be named, said. Ramuthayee’s relatives believed the couple had determined the sex of the foetus through a scan centre and sought action against it.
Police registered a case against Lakshmi under Section 314 of the IPC and Indian Medical Council Act. Sources said Lakshmi had worked as a nurse at a private hospital for over 10 years.
What the law says on abortion
Medical termination of pregnancy is permitted in India under specific conditions till 12 weeks with the approval of one doctor and up to 20 weeks with the approval of two doctors. However, sex-selective abortion is illegal as is the revealing of the sex of a foetus according to the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act. Usilampatti taluk was once notorious for female infanticide.