AP 03/25/94 12:02 EST V0930

The Associated Press

WARSAW, Poland (AP) -- A gynecologist has hanged herself after being charged with performing an illegal abortion, a newspaper reported Friday.

The doctor, a 48-year-old woman identified only as Zofia S., committed suicide Wednesday, five days after prosecutors in the southern city of Czestochowa charged her with terminating a five-month pregnancy, wrote Zycie Warszawy, a respected newspaper.

Poland's year-old anti-abortion law provides for two-year prison terms and loss of license for doctors convicted of doing an abortion unless the pregnancy poses a threat to the mother's life or the fetus is irreparably damaged.

According to the Zycie Warszawy, Zofia S. was charged with performing an abortion March 14 on an unmarried mother of two who said she could not support a third child. The prosecutor in charge of the case could not be reached to confirm the report, but other news media carried similar stories.

The woman reportedly started to bleed during the operation, so the doctor took her to a hospital, which was obliged by law to notify the local prosecutors' office.

The doctor attempted suicide that night by cutting her wrists, but was saved.

The law has been criticized for forcing women to seek abortions abroad, and for creating an underground where abortions are less safe. The new leftist parliament, elected in September, is expected to relax the law, but its members say they first must deal with urgent economic matters.