Authorities are investigating whether a woman whose fetus was found among trash illegally ended her pregnancy by drinking an herbal concoction billed as an abortion-causing tea, a person familiar with the case told The Associated Press on Thursday.
The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity to discuss details not made public. The woman, Yaribely Almonte, 20, was arrested Wednesday on a charge of self-abortion after police said her fetus was discovered in a yellow bucket near her Manhattan apartment building. She was released with an order to appear in court in January.
There was no phone number listed for Almonte, and it was unclear whether she has an attorney. The medical examiner hasn't determined whether the fetus was alive when born or what caused the death.
The self-abortion charge is a misdemeanor and refers to a female who forcibly causes a miscarriage when she is more than six months pregnant. In New York, abortion is illegal after six months, unless it is necessary to save the female's life, according to the state penal code.
A building superintendent found the fetus, wrapped in plastic and inside the bucket, on Tuesday, police said. It's unclear how authorities tracked the fetus back to Almonte.
Herbal teas said to induce miscarriages have long been known and tried by some women seeking to end their pregnancies, and such potions have remained somewhat common in Mexico and other parts of Latin America in recent years.