BUKIT MERTAJAM, July 30 — A doctor said he conducted an abortion on Nepali Nirmala Thapa to save her life, a Sessions Court here heard today.

Dr Ng Ek Tiong told the court during cross examination that if Nirmala had continued with her pregnancy, it would have posed a risk to her mental health and lead to possible suicidal attempts.

“Do you agree that whatever procedure you did was justified and in accordance to the law and that you did it in good faith to save the life of the mother?” defence counsel E. Gnasegaran asked, to which Dr Ng agreed.

The doctor also agreed with Gnasegaran’s suggestion that Nirmala did not know her own mental and physical health conditions and that it is up to the doctor to assess and perform the required treatment.

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Dr Ng, during examination-in-chief earlier, revealed that Nirmala was six weeks pregnant.

“She came for a checkup and told me she was feeling sick and unable to work so I did a scan and confirmed that she was six weeks pregnant,” he told the court.

He later detailed the procedure he conducted — the electrical vacuum aspiration — to remove the product of conception.

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Nirmala, 24, is on trial for allegedly conducting an act to prevent a child from being born alive without the intention of saving her own life as the mother.

She was charged under Section 315 of the Penal Code and she faces up to 10 years jail or a fine or both upon conviction.

She allegedly committed the offence at about 3pm on October 9 last year at Poliklinik Ng in Bukit Mertajam.

Abortion is permitted under Section 312 of the Penal Code where there is an exception for a registered medical practitioner to terminate a pregnancy if the medical practitioner is of the opinion that the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk to the life, physical and mental health of the pregnant woman.

The prosecution closes the case today and Sessions Court judge M. Vijayalakshmi fixed August 13 for both the prosecution and the defence to submit their written submissions.

A decision of the case is expected to be delivered within three weeks from the submission.