Cairns abortion trial set for October
A young couple on criminal charges over a home abortion will face trial in October.
Tegan Simone Leach, 20, and her partner, Sergie Brennan, 22, were last year committed to stand trial for allegedly importing abortion drugs from Ukraine to terminate a pregnancy.
Cairns District Court Judge Brian Harrison yesterday set the matter down for a three to four-day trial starting on October 12.
It is alleged Mr Brennan’s sister smuggled the abortion drugs RU486 and Misoprostol into Cairns in December 2008. Mr Brennan then allegedly provided the drugs to his girlfriend, who used them to induce a miscarriage.
The matter came to the attention of authorities during a police search of the couple’s Cairns property in early 2009, when empty blister packets, alleged to have contained the contraband drugs, were found alongside doctors’ instructions written in Russian.
Ms Leach is facing one count of procuring her own abortion, which carries a maximum penalty of seven years’ jail. Mr Brennan is facing the lesser charge of supplying drugs to procure an abortion.
The case revealed a loophole in Queensland’s criminal code which could have seen the prosecution of doctors who prescribed abortion drugs.
Doctors across the state refused to perform abortions until the Queensland Parliament rushed through a law change which clarified that both medical and surgical abortions could be performed "for the patient’s benefit".
Medical abortions, which use the drugs allegedly used by Ms Leach, are only available at facilities in two Queensland locations – Brisbane and Cairns.
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