A 19-year-old teenager from Queensland, Australia who was arrested after she allegedly self-aborted the baby she was carrying with an abortion pill smuggled in from overseas has gained support from the pro-choice lobby.
Tegan Simone Leach is believed to be the first woman charged in Queensland in nearly 50 years for organizing her own miscarriage and is facing up to 14 years in jail. She was two months pregnant at the time.
Sergie Brennan, 21, Leach's live-in boyfriend and father of the baby has also has been charged with attempting to procure and supply drugs to execute the abortion.
Police allege a family member obtained the abortion pill misoprostol from a doctor in the Ukraine and smuggled it into Australia on a December 25 flight into the country. Misoprostol is approved for use in the U.S. for the prevention of ulcers. In other countries, it’s also used to induce labor and terminate pregnancies.
Pro-choice lobbyists are rallying in Brisbane today against the landmark test case saying it "sets an ugly precedent for the rights of women".
Medical abortions are legal in Queensland but are often expensive with 90 percent or more terminations performed in private clinics for a minimum out-of-pocket cost of about $370. But it remains an offense under the 100-year-old criminal code to access or procure an abortion.