A British woman who was raped as a young teenager recently revealed how she felt forced to abort her unborn baby to escape her rapist.
The Sun reports Natasha Woods, of Edinburgh, Scotland, was living on her own in a hostel at age 16 when she was raped by a man who also was living there.
Tony Gibson, who was 23 at the time, later was convicted of rape and sentenced to five years in prison, according to the report.
Seven years later, Woods said she still is healing from the trauma of the rape and abortion, and she still thinks about her aborted baby boy, Ollie. She also has two living children.
“I’m still coming to terms with what happened. I look at my sons, who are three and one, and wonder what Ollie would look like now, and what his personality would be like,” she said.
When she was 16, Woods said she moved into the hostel where Gibson also was staying. The first time she met him, Woods said she thought there was something creepy about him.
“One night he came up to my flat. ‘Come down to my room, no one else is in,’ he said. ‘No thanks,’ I said, shutting the door,” she remembered. “A few weeks later, there was a party at the ground floor flat. ‘Tony’s moving out,’ Kate told me. ‘He wants to celebrate.’ I was relieved and agreed to go to the party.”
At the end of the party when most of the guests were gone, Woods said Gibson cornered her when she was alone, dragged her to his bedroom and raped her.
“When he was finished, he stood up and flexed his muscles in front of his mirror. Then he poured himself a glass of cider from a big plastic bottle,” Woods remembered. “Then he said ‘Did you enjoy that?’ with a vile smirk on his face. I lay on the bed frozen in shock, unable to speak.”
Woods said she locked herself in her room for three days, too traumatized to eat or leave the room. She said she was afraid to tell the police.
Eventually, when she suspected she was pregnant, Woods said she went to her doctor and told her everything. Woods said her doctor was compassionate and urged her to go to the police. She did.
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Here’s more from the report:
After making a statement Natasha handed over the clothes she had been wearing that night, which were still in a bag under the bed, for DNA evidence.
A scan revealed she was six weeks pregnant, tying in with the date of the crime.
When the tests were done, police drove her to her Dad’s house, having told him what had happened.
“When he opened the door, tears were streaming down his face. ‘Come here darling,’ he said, wrapping me in a huge hug. It was the first time I’d felt safe in months.
“The following day I received a text message from Tony: ‘You’d better have a good lawyer.’
“Terrified, I phoned the police. The officer dealing with my case told me it meant he knew he’d done something wrong and that he was rattled.”
Woods said Gibson continued to send her intimidating messages. Then, she received some disturbing news from the police.
She said the police told her they did not have enough DNA evidence from her clothes to convict Gibson, and that they would need DNA from her unborn baby.
The report continues:
If she waited until the baby was born, they said, he would be released on bail until her due date.
“By now, I was around 14 weeks, and I was struggling with my feelings towards my unborn child,’ she said.
“I knew the baby was innocent, but I couldn’t help wonder if I’d ever be able to look at him or her without being reminded of Tony and what he did to me. And how would I ever be able to explain to my child that their father was a rapist?
“For weeks I tortured myself, trying to decide what to do. But eventually I came to a decision and decided to have an abortion so the police could perform a paternity test and hopefully jail the monster who attacked me.”
Woods said she held her aborted baby’s body after she delivered him, took photos with him and said goodbye.
Police used Woods’ aborted baby’s body to confirm that Gibson was the father. He later pleaded guilty to rape and was sentenced to five years in prison, according to the report.
Aborting her unborn baby was Woods’ choice, and her baby boy did deserve life. But this young, traumatized abuse victim had to choose between two terrible options.
Here in the United States, some pro-life groups are advocating for laws to help make sure rape victims do not feel that they have to abort their unborn babies to protect themselves from their abuser. In 2016, Michigan enacted the Rape Survivor Child Custody Act to help prevent a rapist from gaining custody of a child. Several other states have similar laws.