Herbalist held over abortion

2011-05-16 00:00

A TRADITIONAL healer has been arrested after a teenager gave birth, having been given pills to abort, and flung her baby from a moving vehicle.

The 19-year-old from Richmond said she was being taken to a clinic when she gave birth and immediately threw the baby out the window of the vehicle.

The girl was arrested on Friday for concealment of birth after the baby’s body, which had been run over, was found on Ndaleni Main Road.

Police said the foetus was about seven months old.

The girl’s story began in April when she met the herbalist, who called himself “Doctor Karrim”.

He told her she had lots of problems and needed his help to be cured. He also told her that she would have complications with her pregnancy and advised her to abort.

The “doctor” first gave her traditional medicine followed by pills. She paid R430 for the abortion.

On Wednesday the “doctor” inserted white pills inside a plastic bag in her vagina and promised that the abortion would be “pain-free” and safe.

That night the teenager got sick and could not sleep.

“I thought I was going to die. I had a headache. I was shivering and my lower back was cold. I had to cover myself with four blankets.”

A little while later she felt as if she was on fire, she added.

She called an ambulance, but it did not arrive.

The next morning a neighbour drove her to the clinic.

“I really didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t know that I was throwing away a baby. The doctor informed me that the baby will only get delivered around 1 pm and not in the morning,” she said, bursting into tears.

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joey Jeevan said the driver of another car saw the baby and reported the incident to the police, who found the teenager at the clinic.

The 51-year-old Ugandan herbalist was arrested on Friday and is facing charges under the Medicines Control Act and Abortion Act, said Jeevan. When the police arrived at his office, he was attending a 16-year-old.

The doctor’s office is in a dingy building next to a shebeen.

“I used to see many women in his office when I visited,” the teenager said.

She told The Witness she regrets her actions and maintained that she only did it because the doctor lied to her.

He insisted she was only about four months pregnant.

The police confiscated a pamphlet advertising “safe abortion” and fake doctor’s letters.

Richmond police said that three months ago they found a baby inside a school bag with four textbooks.

The girl and the herbalist are due to appear in court shortly.

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