Police arrested a Tennessee man on Monday after his pregnant girlfriend accused him of hitting and kicking her when she refused to have an abortion, WREG News 3 reports.
Police said Juan Lee, 24, of Memphis, was sitting in a vehicle with his girlfriend when he demanded that she have an abortion. The girlfriend told Lee that it was her decision whether to have an abortion, and then she started to get out of the vehicle, according to police.
Lee allegedly began hitting the woman with his fists and choking her, and he pulled her back into the vehicle when she tried to leave, police reported. Then, Lee allegedly pulled over the vehicle, forced the woman outside and kicked her in the head when she was on the ground, according to the police report.
Lee is charged with aggravated assault. The reports do not indicate the status of the woman or her unborn child. One report indicated that the woman had a large gash on her head.
These situations are not infrequent. Last year, LifeNews reported a very similar situation when a man was charged in Pennsylvania after he allegedly beat and choked his pregnant girlfriend. The woman said he attacked her after she refused to abort their unborn child.
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Domestic violence against pregnant women and their unborn babies is high. One in six women is first abused during pregnancy, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Several studies also have linked domestic violence to abortion. In these cases, some women were forced or pressured by partners into having abortions, while others believed having an abortion would help them escape abuse.
In a 2011 study in The Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, one woman told researchers: “So when I found out I was pregnant he was like … oh go get an abortion, I don’t want no baby now and threatening me and he was trying to get [X] to come and beat me up, he was telling me he was going to stab me and slice up my face and kick the baby out of my stomach and like … it was really scary.”
The study found that almost 40 percent of the women seeking abortions had a history of physical abuse and relationship issues. Yet, a Canadian study found that more than half of the women at the abortion clinic said they were not screened for abuse.