Relatives of abortion death victim urge higher authorities to intervene

Relatives of an 18-year-old mother of two, who died more than four months ago as a result of injuries she sustained during a botched abortion, are calling on higher authorities to intervene in the investigation of the police and the  Medical Council of Guyana since there has been no progress by either.

Karen Badal of Lot 2 North Vigilance, East Coast Demerara, was four months pregnant when she died as a result of a perforated uterus and acute peritonitis on December 30, 2011.

The family said they have since been persistently following the investigations of both the police and the MCG, but to date, there has been no progress.

Karen Badal

“We are getting no satisfaction. No word from the medical council, no word from the police and no word from the doctor. We are just left at a standstill,” a relative told Stabroek News on Thursday.

The man said they wrote letters to A Partnership for National Unity which responded and said that discussions would be held on the matter, as well as to the Ministry of Legal Affairs and several other agencies. Though they are becoming discouraged, the family is adamant about pursuing the matter and will continue to write letters in the hope of some authority lending assistance.

“We really want someone to step in and see that these people do their work. We are hoping that some day, something comes out of this matter,” he added.

When contacted, the man explained, the police would usually indicate that the matter is a “private” one and must be handled by the Medical Council while the Medical Council on the other hand has posited that it must be dealt with by the police. This back and forth process, he continued, has become frustrating.

The relative stated that since the incident, the doctor implicated in the matter has closed his Mon Repos business where Badal had done the abortion. The man stated that the doctor had been operating for several years there prior to the young mother’s death. Now, the man said, the doctor is only practising at a hospital.

“Everybody know he working there how many years now and after this one incident he shut down. Isn’t that evidence? Plus, there’s many persons who came forward and said after seeing this doctor they had to end up at the Georgetown Hospital and this hospital should have records of that,” the man noted.

In questioning why the investigation into the matter is taking an extensive time to be completed, the man compared this matter to that of former police commissioner, Henry Greene.

“Take for instance Greene matter. That was only a rape case and look how quick that was finished with. This is a [death] and we ain’t getting nothing,” the man added.

He related that while the dead woman’s two children, aged two years and seven months old, are coping well, their father is finding it hard to serve as mother as well as work full time to adequately provide for his family.

“The children are alright but he’s working and he is gotta go a long distance and when he come back is late. It’s hard to be a single parent but he is getting assistance from the family,” the relative stated.

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