University student in S. Sumatra found dead after alleged abortion attempt

Officers evacuating IU’s body from her kost (boarding home). Photo: Istimewa
Officers evacuating IU’s body from her kost (boarding home). Photo: Istimewa

A decomposing female body was recently found in Ilir Barat I sub-district of Palembang, South Sumatra with authorities suspecting that her death may have been caused by an attempt to terminate her pregnancy. 

The victim, identified as 23-year-old IU by local news outlets, was found inside her kost (boarding home) room yesterday. She was discovered after her neighbors became suspicious upon smelling pungent odor from her unit. She was reportedly lying flat on the floor by the time police opened her room, with various types of drugs next to her decomposing body. 

Initial reports suggest that IU might have died three days ago. 

“There were no signs of violence, only a lot of drugs at the scene. For that, we brought her to hospital to follow up [with the investigation],” Ilir Barat Police’s Crime Unit Chief Ginting said, as quoted by Merdeka.

Indra Nasution, a forensic doctor at Bhayangkara Hospital in Palembang, said he conducted an external examination as requested by IU’s family. The result shows that she’d died after losing so much blood in an attempted abortion. The forensic team had found a tissue on her genital area, which was covered by a diaper she had reportedly worn. 

“We were initially puzzled upon finding the tissue, as the victim’s body was already in the decaying stage, but there was still a tissue that came out. It’s an unusual thing. But after further examination, it turned out to be a fetus,” Indra told Tribun.

The fetus was about seven months old. 

Indra explained that the drugs found next to IU’s body are for the treatment of stomach ulcer, but stopped short of confirming that they were directly related to her death.

IU’s body will reportedly be taken to her hometown in Musi Banyuasin regency for burial.

Abortion is illegal in Indonesia except in certain special circumstances, such as in cases where the pregnancy resulted from a rape or threatens the life of the mother. Without safe, legal abortion clinics to turn to, women are often desperate enough carry out their own abortions, often resulting in severe injuries or worse.


Also Read Indonesian teen raped by brother and jailed for abortion freed after court appeal

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