The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Abortion miscarries

Calcutta, July 13: Pinky Mishra had gone to a clinic in May to abort the baby she was carrying and get sterilised. A month later, she learnt she was carrying not one, but two babies — twins.

Pinky, 24, and husband Shankar on Friday moved the Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum at Barasat (case 141/2003) against the local Marie Stopes clinic.

The ordeal for the parents of two, who earn Rs 1,500 a month, began on May 4 when they decided to visit the Barasat branch of the chain of clinics for the twin procedures.

The next day, the couple from Barrackpore, on the city’s northern fringe, went to the clinic when Shankar signed the documents allowing doctors to carry out the process.

A routine check-up later, Pinky was asked to return in three days for a surgical procedure. The procedure over on May 8, clinic officials asked her to come back for a routine check later.

On May 22, the clinic examined Pinky and prescribed follow-up medication. It issued a certificate saying “laparoscopic ligation with MTP (medical termination of pregnancy) done on 8/5/2003”. Before she left, the clinic advised Pinky to undergo an ultrasonography (USG) of the lower abdomen to ensure everything was fine.

The evening of May 24 brought bad news for Pinky and Shankar. The USG result showed she was still pregnant: a bulky uterus with “twin live foetus” around 10 weeks old. “It is impossible. I underwent an abortion and sterilisation process a few days ago,” Pinky said.

A local doctor directed the couple to the NRS medical college and hospital for another USG. All doubts were laid to rest on June 12 after the second test, which, too, confirmed twin babies, alive and healthy — due in December.

Pinky and Shankar demanded an explanation from the Barasat branch and the clinic’s office in New Delhi. There was no answer, the couple said.

Clinic officials at Barasat rejected the Mishras’ allegations as baseless. “There was no need to file a case. We had told them that we would take care of their problem. In any case, I don’t think that there was anything wrong in our procedures,” a clinic spokesperson and in-charge, who gave her name as Deepali, said today.

“The abortion and ligation were done on Pinky Mishra after her husband agreed with the rules. We have no idea what they are talking about now,” she said.

The couple, awaiting the twins’ birth in December and scared of the added burden of not one but two children, approached lawyers Arup and Mitali Dasgupta. “After hearing about their ordeal, I decided to fight for their justice. They were so poor I decided to file this case free of cost,” Arup said.

The case has been filed for adequate compensation.

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