A woman accused of murdering her newborn son last year in England told a court this week that she tried to get an abortion but was too far along in her pregnancy.
The Mirror reports Silipa Keresi, 38, of Hythe, New Forest, Hampshire, allegedly wrapped her newborn son in a bath towel and then left him to die on March 5, 2020 in the woods near her home.
A passerby later found the dead baby boy, Maliki, near a tree and called police, according to the report. Postmortem tests show the baby was born healthy, and he died from “omission of care” and hypothermia.
Keresi, who is originally from Figi, told the Winchester Crown Court this month that she wanted an abortion but was told that her pregnancy was past the legal limit. England prohibits most abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy.
Jenni Manley, a midwife who works for the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, an abortion chain, told the court that Keresi looked “very shocked” when they told her that she was nearly 27 weeks pregnant, according to the report.
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“I was talking to her the whole time explaining the findings. When I explained how many weeks she was, she got off the bed and wanted to leave,” Manley said.
Keresi said she was struggling financially at the time and filing immigration papers to stay in the UK. So, when her son was born, she said she “snapped.”
She is pleading not guilty to charges of murder and infanticide, the report states.
Many countries have laws and resources to protect babies from abandonment and infanticide. In America, all 50 states have safe haven laws that allow mothers to safely surrender their infant child at a police station or hospital without repercussions. Some European and Asian countries also have baby boxes where women can safely surrender their infant child if they cannot take care of the baby.
It is not clear how many babies die every year from infanticide across the world.
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