UK Woman Imprisoned for Self-Administered Full-Term Abortion

An English woman who aborted her baby in the final phase of her pregnancy using a drug ordered over the Internet has been sent to prison for eight years in a case investigators have called "disturbing and very complicated."

Sarah Louise Catt, 35, apparently took a drug when she was 39 weeks pregnant to induce an early delivery, which a Leeds Crown Court judge ruled as a "deliberate and calculated decision," BBC reported.

"Catt has proved to be cold and calculating and has shown no remorse or given an explanation for what she did," said Chief Inspector Kerrin Smith, who led the investigation. She also said that the North Yorkshire woman was "more than capable of being extremely deceitful in her actions," and said that the case was "unusual, disturbing and very complicated."

Catt, who has two children with her husband, apparently went to a hospital in Leeds when she was 30 weeks pregnant and confirmed her pregnancy, but failed to register the birth weeks later, which raised suspicions.

The Leeds judge, Justice Cooke, had apparently been told that the baby she aborted was not conceived with her husband, but with a work colleague she had been having an affair with for seven years.

"I would like her to tell us what she has done with the baby," Smith insisted. The Leeds court also revealed that the colleague was unaware of the pregnancy and was not consulted about the abortion.

Catt pleaded guilty to the charges back in July after it was revealed that she purchased the labor-inducing drugs from a company in India over the Internet, although she said she had taken them so that she could deliver the baby boy herself at home. When the child came out stillborn, she said she buried his body at an undisclosed location.

Judge Cooke revealed that the woman actually has had a long history of unplanned pregnancies – she gave up a child for adoption in 1999, had an abortion which her husband agreed to, and then tried to abort another baby but passed the legal limit and had to give birth naturally.

"Catt's previous history with regard to her pregnancies, and in her admissions to the police, show that she is more than capable of being extremely deceitful in her actions," Smith noted.

The court convicted Catt of denying the baby life, and said the crime could be classified as either manslaughter or murder.

"I only hope that now she has been sentenced and has time to reflect on her actions, that she will reveal where the body of her baby is, so that we can ensure a compassionate conclusion to this very sad investigation," Smith concluded.

Abortion in the United Kingdom has been legal since 1967, but exceptions like full-term abortions exist.