by Steven Ertelt
August 20, 2007
Auckland, New Zealand (LifeNews.com) — The epidemic of violence directed at pregnant women isn’t confined to the United States. A teenager in New Zealand appeared in court yesterday on charges that he assaulted his pregnant girlfriend and killed her unborn child after she refused to have an abortion.
The case points to the devastating effect of violence against women as a result of legalized abortion.
Lange Fonoti is accused of telling his girlfriend "I don’t want you to have this baby, I want you to have a miscarriage," before repeatedly punching her in the stomach.
As a result of the attack, 17-year-old Palu Aholelei’s unborn baby died.
Now, Fonoti is appearing in front of the High Court at Auckland and is on trial for causing an abortion. He has admitted guilt to the one count of assault against his girlfriend but denied causing the miscarriage that killed the baby.
According to the New Zealand Herald, prosecuting attorney Kirsten Lummis told the jury the case centers on a dispute last September. She said Fonoti got so enraged that Aholelei would not have an abortion of a child he fathered that he attacked her.
"He wanted the complainant to have a miscarriage. He didn’t want her to have the baby and he followed that up with hard blows to the stomach," Lummis said, according to a newspaper report.
Lummis told the court that the young woman had heard her baby’s heartbeat for the first time on an ultrasound just days before the assault occurred.
She indicated eyewitnesses told authorities that Fonoti was upset at the attention Aholelei and her baby were getting. He accused his girlfriend of spoiling a chance at a job he wanted because her family was busy helping her instead of assisting his job search.
Lummis told the court that the assault lasted for 30 minutes and that Fonoti wouldn’t let Aholelei leave and instead drug her back to a bedroom by her hair to assault her further.
"When she tried to defend herself he got angry," the Herald reported her saying.
Once the young woman got to the hospital doctors told her there was nothing they could do for the baby, who died two weeks later.
Defense lawyer Carolyn Rameil told the court there were "two sides to every story" and to "keep an open mind until the very end of the trial."