Woman forced to give birth after failed abortion

The Local Sweden
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Woman forced to give birth after failed abortion
File photo of medical staff. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

Swedish county authorities have been criticized for not doing thorough follow-up checks on a woman who had an abortion but turned out to still be pregnant months later.


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The woman had an appointment to terminate her pregnancy in Gällivare, northern Sweden, before the 18th week – which is the legal limit for free abortions in Sweden.

She was given abortion pills, but because the hospital forgot to ask her to come back for a follow-up appointment, it was not noticed until months later that they had failed to work.

When she visited the hospital again, she was 21 weeks' pregnant and the doctor had to request permission from the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) to end the pregnancy.

The request was approved, but the patient did not respond to the treatment, regional Swedish newspaper NSD reports. In the end, she had to give birth to the fetus in her 23rd week, with the help of a suction pump.

According the doctor who reported the incident the fetus was alive for at least 20 minutes before it died.

After investigating the incident for a year the Health and Social Care Inspectorate, has now sharply criticized Norrbotten county council for not ensuring that the early abortion had been successful.

“The caregiver should have made some form of effort to organize a follow-up. The handling of the case was not safe for the patient,” Swedish Christian newspaper Dagen quotes the medical watchdog as noting in its report.

The hospital changed its procedures after the incident to make sure it would not be repeated.


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