Two backstreet abortions not linked, say gardaí

GARDAÍ believe there is no connection between two suspected backstreet abortions on non-national women, both of which reportedly took place in Dublin last March.

Detectives investigating a suspected abortion on a Romanian woman are having difficulty pursuing the case as the Moldovan national who allegedly carried out the operation has fled the country.

Officers investigating a reported abortion on a Filipino woman yesterday said they were still treating it as an allegation.

Both investigations’ teams were of the opinion the Moldovan woman was not involved in the Filipino woman’s case.

“I would say there is no connection between the two at all. There is no evidence to suggest a connection,” said Superintendent Tom Conway of Pearse Street Station, which is investigating the Filipino woman’s case.

Supt Conway said the case was reported in March, a day or two after the alleged incident.

A Dublin maternity hospital told gardaí they had treated a Filipino woman who had developed complications arising from the procedure.

“This is only an allegation. A number of statements have been taken,” said Supt Conway.

“We are pursuing all aspects of the evidence at our disposal. We have taken details from her and we are examining the medical evidence.”

He said they were making no appeals for assistance, saying: “We know where we are going.”

The case involving the Romanian woman was brought to the attention of gardaí in early June, when the woman’s former partner made a complaint to the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB).

He told officers his former partner had an abortion at an apartment in Blackhall Place, in the north inner city, without his knowledge or consent some three months earlier.

He told gardaí his partner saw an advert on a notice board in a city centre shop advertising “gynaecological services”. When she rang the mobile she was offered an abortion for €500.

Detectives raided the apartment where they found a suction pump and anaesthetic chemicals.

“This was a crude, dreadful setup. It’s horrendous to think these things go on,” said one garda source.

The GNIB took a statement from the Romanian woman, who subsequently returned to Romania. The woman, thought to be in her late 20s, is understood to be a highly-educated professional.

The investigation, which has identified the Moldovan, has been taken over by the Bridewell Garda Station. Supt Malachy Mulligan said they were making “slow progress” as the suspect had left the country.

He said he did not think there was any connection with the other case.

Pregnancy advisory body, the Well Woman Centre, said it was only a matter of time before a woman was “seriously damaged” by a backstreet abortion.

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