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2 SL students arrested in Japan over illegal abortion

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Two Sri Lankan students in Japan have been arrested in connection with an illegal abortion. 

On May 23, Ibaraki Prefectural Police announced the arrests of Rubasing Liyanage Udeshika Ayomi Jayalath, residing in Toride, Ibaraki Prefecture, and her boyfriend Munasingha Sudesh Dilshan De Soysa, from Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture. 

Udeshika, 30, is accused of using a drug to abort her baby at De Soysa’s home around April 29, with De Soysa, also 30, allegedly aiding the procedure. 

Both suspects have admitted to the allegations.

Udeshika had sought an abortion from an obstetrician in Tochigi Prefecture in late March, but the request was denied as she was beyond the legal period for an abortion under Japan’s Maternal Health Act. 

Udeshika, who had plans to study IT, reportedly used a drug to abort her baby when she was approximately nine months pregnant.

Sources close to the investigation described the case as exceptionally rare and severe, comparing it to the abandonment of dead newborns. 

Udeshika had obtained an IT qualification in Sri Lanka and entered a Japanese language school in Toride in April 2023. 

Despite occasional illness, she attended school until May 20 and had recently paid her tuition fees up to June. 

Rumors about her pregnancy circulated among students, but her former roommate attributed her condition to a stomach problem.

Yoshihiro Yokota, president of the Ibaraki NPO Center Commons, which supports foreign residents’ employment and education in Ibaraki Prefecture, suggested that the unstable resident status of international students might have contributed to the incident. 

Foreign students, whose residency depends on their schooling, face the risk of their status not being renewed if they miss classes or their grades drop due to childbirth or childcare. 

The current immigration system does not adequately accommodate foreign students who give birth, making it difficult for them to seek medical care without fear of deportation.

Similar incidents have occurred involving foreign technical intern trainees who were arrested for corpse abandonment after giving birth at home. Source – The Mainichi

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