Police have named a young couple, identified by their initials LP and MAS, as criminal suspects in a suspected illegal abortion case after they allegedly attempted to dump their newborn baby on the side of a street in Denpasar on Sunday.
“We have declared them as suspects and they have been in detention since yesterday,” I Nyoman Wirajaya, who heads the South Denpasar Police told reporters today, as quoted by Kompas.com.
Authorities first arrested the couple on Sunday evening, after receiving a report from local residents who suspected that they were going to dump their newborn baby.
Citing the statement of a witness, who is identified as Mujiyanto, police said he was passing by the scene of the incident when he saw the couple standing by a lump of blanket, wherein a baby was crying. Mujiyanto stopped and approached them, but the two attempted to flee the scene.
They were stopped from doing so by Mujiyanto, who immediately reported the matter to the police. Nineteen-year-old LP was taken in for questioning, while 18-year-old MAS, who was five to six months pregnant when she gave birth, was treated at Sanglah General Hospital along with the newborn baby boy.
According to Kompas.com, however, the baby boy unfortunately died yesterday morning.
Wirajaya said the young couple had intended to end MAS’ pregnancy.
“From the beginning they did not want the baby to be born. When she was late for her period and her pregnancy was later confirmed, they intended to abort the pregnancy,” Wirajaya explained.
While LP claimed that they were a married couple when he was first taken in for questioning, Kumparan cited a police officer today as saying that the two are actually still dating.
Under Article 77A of Indonesia’s Child Protection Law, which was updated in 2014, they individually face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of IDR1billion (US$ 70,689) for performing an illegal abortion, though the police did not disclose what, if any, specific actions the couple took to terminate the pregnancy.
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