CHANDLODIA, July 23, 2004 ( – A ‘safe, legal’ abortion has left an Indian mother comatose and partially paralyzed. The woman, 27-year-old Nehal Yagnik, who had previously given birth to a boy sought an abortion from Dr. Atul Patel when she found herself pregnant again. During the procedure there were complications either from internal blood clots or from improperly administered anaesthesia; the exact cause is in dispute.

Nehal went to the abortion facility in Ghatlodia, the Jyoti Maternity and Nursing Home and when she did not arrive home, her family went to find her. They were told that she was in serious condition and had been transferred to hospital. A staffer at the abortion facility told Nehal’s father that there had been problems with the anaesthesia, but this was later denied by the doctors who said she was ‘bleeding profusely’ when she came in. When the abortion went wrong, Nehal was sent to Life Line Hospital’s ICU.  Two months later she has been sent home and remains in a coma. The family has filed a police complaint against Dr. Patel and awaits investigation.

Her mother, Chadrikaben Pandya, who cares for Nahal and her son, said, “My friendly daughter doesn’t react to anything – not when we call her, not when her eight-month son Kalp runs fever,” she says. “Nehal used to work as a teacher but quit after she had the baby. She was very particular about the way she looked,” says the mother, “just look at her now.”  ph