Two women were jailed for 10 to 17 months on Monday for conducting illegal abortions at a Lam Tin public housing unit, Apple Daily reports.
Li Shuk-fan, 75, and Lo Wun-yi, 65, had pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to use an instrument with intent to procure a miscarriage.
The High Court heard that in September 2014, an undercover policewoman pretending to be pregnant went to Lo’s home, a 300 square foot flat at Kwong Tin Estate in Lam Tin, seeking an abortion.
The next day she was taken to another flat in the same estatewhere she was asked to lie down on a table made of wooden boards while the instruments to be used for the procedure were sterilized with hot water in a pressure cooker, hk01.com reported.
Then Lo introduced the police officer to a “Dr. Li”, a registered Chinese medicine practitioner, who told her that the entire operation would only take two minutes.
“Dr. Li” claimed she had been a gynaecologist from the mainland with over 30 years of experience in “induced miscarriage”.
But it turned out that she had actually worked in a Mong Kok clinic as a cashier and cleaner until it closed in 1994, and has been unemployed ever since.
Li admitted to receiving HK$2,500 cash per surgery and admitted that she has been receiving old age living allowance.
The two suspects were arrested after the undercover policewoman alerted fellow officers waiting outside the unit.
Police officers noted that the so-called surgery table was actually two file cabinets joined together with some wooden boards and a plastic mat. There were many tools laid out around the table.
After being arrested, Lo said she “was only after the HK$500 referral fee” from Li, who in turn would be paid HK$5,000.
Lo has worked with Li three or four times, referring potential clients and helping in the abortion procedures.
Li confessed to working with Lo only after moving into her current flat in 2012. She said she had picked up all her tools from the medical clinic where she used to work, and sterilized them with hot water before surgeries.
Li’s lawyer said Li had worked as a midwife in the mainland, and therefore has enough medical knowledge and experience to perform the surgeries.
However, the judge reprimanded her for abusing her medical knowledge, adding that she should have known the risks of performing a surgery in such poor conditions.
According to expert witnesses presented by the prosecution,the poor hygiene at the improvised clinic, along with its crude setup, can be potentially dangerous if the patient has an infection.
The judge said he understands that the two have gone through a lot of hardships in life, especially Li who had fled to Hong Kong after the Cultural Revolution.
But the two have ignored the potential dangers to the patients and pursued their illegal trade for the sake of earning money, the judge said.
Li, being the one who had performed the abortions, has been sentenced to a longer jail time.
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