Woman performs caesarean section on self, faces abortion chargeBy Jeannette I. Andrade
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Medical doctors could neither believe nor explain why a 28-year-old pregnant woman slashed her belly open to remove her baby and stitched herself up afterwards at her home, using ordinary implements and no anesthetic at all.
“They could not even believe it happened,” PO1 Michael Pavon of the Manila Police District station in Sta. Mesa told the Inquirer, referring to what he described as a caesarian section undertaken by the woman on herself, using a kitchen and ordinary needle and thread.
Pavon said the jobless woman, a native of Isabela province and resident of the Sta. Mesa district, survived the do-it-yourself surgery but the eight to nine month old fetus did not. She was taken to the Ospital ng Sampaloc for emergency treatment and was subsequently transferred to another hospital in Manila.
The case investigator said the incident was discovered at around 1 p.m. Wednesday when the woman’s 39-year-old aunt arrived at their home on Nagtahan Street in Sta. Mesa.
“She found her niece sitting on her blood-stained bed with her abdomen slashed open and seemingly half-stitched,” Pavon told the Inquirer, describing the cut to be at least five inches across the lower portion of her belly, where the skin had apparently been roughly sewn together with a common needle and thread. The fetus lay near the woman and the kitchen knife she used.
The woman’s aunt immediately took her to the nearest hospital, where attending doctors had to fix her attempt to sew herself up.
Pavon said that at the hospital, he could not get a statement out of the woman, who seemed to be in a state of shock over what she had done to herself.
Asked what could have driven the woman to conduct a surgical operation on herself, Pavon told the Inquirer, “I could not even believe she did that. Her aunt said that she could not find a reason why she would do that.”
The investigator said that on the basis of the aunt’s statement, the woman’s husband left her late last year and went abroad. “She never knew that her niece was pregnant because she never said she was and never had an ultrasound examination.”
The woman, Pavon said, consistently denied she was pregnant, claiming she was only gaining weight.
“What the aunt remembers is her niece’s last medical checkup in January which was never followed through,” the case investigator said.
Asked if the woman had any degree or experience in the practice of medicine, Pavon told the Inquirer that she used to help out at the health center in her province when there were scheduled surgical operations.
The woman remains confined at the Sta. Ana District Hospital and may be charged with abortion at the city prosecutor’s office, Pavon said.