Australia Court Holds Trial on Man Who Killed Pregnant Girlfriend Refusing Abortion

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 13, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Australia Court Holds Trial on Man Who Killed Girlfriend Refusing Abortion

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 13
, 2008

Victoria, Australia ( — The high court of the state of Victoria held a hearing on Friday in a case of a man who killed his pregnant girlfriend because she wouldn’t submit to an abortion. The court heart Darren John Ellis did not want to become a father and so he killed Naomi Bernaldo.

During the trial, the court heard how the 19-year-old Bernaldo was shot, stabbed and then wrapped in chicken wire and weighted with bricks so Ellis could dump her body in a local lake.

Bernaldo’s mother, Anne-Marie Burke, told the court how her daughter told her about the pregnancy in early September 2006.

She said Bernaldo was considering an abortion because Ellis already had children and didn’t want more.

"He didn’t want to have any more children," Burke said Bernaldo told her, according to a Western Australia news report.

Prosecutors told the court that Ellis, 37, was already a father when he moved in with Bernaldo in 2005.

The newspaper indicated Prosecutor Paul D’Arcy told the court about how Ellis show Bernaldo and then sent fake test messages from her phone to friends to cover up his actions. The messages made it appear Bernaldo was leaving Ellis to go find drugs.

"Naomi at this stage is well and truly dead and in no position to be sending anyone messages," D’Arcy said.

The United States and other nations have seen a rash of violence against pregnant women when they refused to submit to an abortion. The phenomenon was highlighted by the national attention surrounding the deaths of Laci and Conner Peterson.

In the U.S., Congress and the legislatures in 36 states have approved laws to offer more protection and justice for both mother and child when they are killed or injured in an assault.