British Woman Dies After Botched Late-Term Abortion Her Family Forced

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 1, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

British Woman Dies After Botched Late-Term Abortion Her Family Forced Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 1,

London, England ( — A woman of Pakistani heritage living in England has died after her family forced her to have an abortion when they learned she had secretly married a British man. Sobia Wali, 22, had married Usman Gulzar in a secret ceremony in Scotland in December and then her family found out about the pregnancy and the wedding.

After they found out, Wali’s family took her to their native Pakistan on December 15 where they forced her to have an abortion. She was five months pregnant at the time.

The abortion went awry and Wali was hospitalized from complications and eventually died last Thursday.

Gulzar has not spoken much with the media about the case, but the London Daily Record reports that he told a close friend that media accounts of the forced abortion and her death are "absolutely accurate."

"Sobia didn’t want an abortion but she ended up in a shabby hospital to have an operation. I have plenty of evidence to back it up," Gulzar reportedly said.

The Scotsman newspaper reports that Wali sent Gulzar urgent text messages the day before her death pleading for him to come to Pakistan and help her.

The Record indicates Wali’s family claimed in conversations with friends and family at home in England that she died of food poisoning but later changed their stance to acknowledge the abortion.

"She was in good health and there’s no way she suffered food poisoning or general gynecological problems," The Record said Gulzar told his friend.

Scotland officials are investigating the case and interviewing witnesses at the December wedding. They’ve also spoken with Gulzar about Wali’s death. They have received Wali’s death certificate as part of the probe.

Police are expected to begin interviewing Wali’s family today after they return from Pakistan.

Wali’s father told the Scotsman that he had no involvement in the forced abortion.

"Can a father kill her daughter? No, no chance," he said. "I loved that girl. I’ve become useless now. I sit like a dead body now. I used to have two daughters, now just one."

The newspaper interviewed a close friend of Wali’s who said she was in love with her new husband and knew he family was not happy about their relationship. She disclosed that only close friends knew of her pregnancy.