Judge denies bail petition of FDH accused of aborting, dumping baby in trash bin
A judge has denied the bail petition of an overstaying Filipino domestic worker accused of aborting her baby and dumping it in a trash bin in North Point.
Eastern Courts Principal Magistrate Bina Chainrai turned down the petition for bail of Maribel D. Hernandez after government lawyers opposed it.
“Defendant, your application is refused,” Chainrai told Hernandez in court this morning (January 18).
Government lawyers opposed the bail petition due to the “seriousness” of the case against Hernandez, who was charged with “administering drugs to procure abortion” along City Garden Road in North Point on January 6.
A woman in Hong Kong who takes a drug to induce abortion can be fined and imprisoned up to seven years.
Hernandez had offered to post a $2,000 bail and to regularly report to the Wan Chai police station. She also said she would be staying with a friend in Causeway Bay.
However, prosecutors said the Filipino had admitted to the crime during police investigation and she had also overstayed since 2014.
“She had admitted and there is her overstaying status,” a government lawyer told the court.
And while her aborted baby has yet to be found, the drugs that she allegedly used for the abortion were found in her bag.
The police allegedly found Pfizer’s Cytotec Misoprostol tablets in her handbag. Cytotec is a drug known to induce abortion.
Chainrai earlier adjourned the case to March 7 for further investigation as the police were set to conduct “a DNA exam” and other tests.
As of January 12, the police have yet to find Hernandez’s baby although they have searched in North Point and in a landfill in Tuen Mun.
“At this stage, the baby has not yet been found,” a police spokeswoman told Hong Kong News on January 12.
Hernandez was found bleeding on the morning of January 6 in a subdivided dormitory for domestic workers inside the State Theater Building along King’s Road in North Point.
She was reportedly living there with a friend after her last employment contract ended in June 2014.
Hernandez was taken to a hospital in Chai Wan where doctors discovered that she had already given birth.
The Filipino admitted that she did and that she had dumped the baby in a trash bin along King’s Road.
The woman, who is reportedly married back in the Philippines, allegedly had sexual relations with a Filipino friend in March.
The police searched the trash bins along the roads around the State Theater Building and the land fill in Tuen Mun but they had yet to find the baby.
According to the Family Planning Association of Hong Kong, a pregnancy may be legally terminated if two registered medical practitioners would attest that continuing the pregnancy would risk the life of the pregnant woman or cause an injury greater than if the pregnancy were terminated.
An abortion is also allowed if two doctors would attest that there is a substantial risk that the child would suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped.
“Termination of pregnancy can only be performed within 24 weeks of pregnancy, unless it is absolutely necessary for saving the life of the pregnant woman,” the group said.
“Any treatment for the termination of pregnancy must be carried out by a registered medical practitioner in a government approved or gazetted hospital, or in the operation theatre of the Family Planning Association of Hong Kong (FPAHK),” it added.
Women with unplanned pregnancies who want to continue with their pregnancy can contact the Birthright Society (2337 5551) and Mother’s Choice (2868 2022) for assistance.