Forced and coerced abortions are more common than most people probably realize. On Friday, authorities in Pennsylvania charged a Millersville University student with attempted murder of an unborn child after he allegedly put bleach in his pregnant girlfriend’s water, Fox 43 reports.
Police also charged Theophilous Washington, 20, a college junior from Washington, D.C., with a misdemeanor count of reckless endangerment.
A doctor who examined the woman said she and her unborn child appear to be physically unharmed. The woman is approximately two-months pregnant, according to the report.
Here’s more from the report:
Police say Washington and the female were hanging out in his room Thursday night into Friday morning. As she was leaving, Washington suggested she have a bottle of water from his refrigerator.
The female drank the water when she returned to her on-campus room and felt a burning sensation in her throat. She vomited and then called 911.
Both Washington and the female victim provided statements to police.
Washington admitted to putting bleach in the water bottle. He had stated previously that he did not want his girlfriend to have the child.
“The charges are twisted and the intended result nothing short of horrifying,” Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman said Friday.
Authorities said they continue to investigate the incident, and more charges could be filed.
Reports of alleged forced abortion attempts are common. LifeNews frequently reports cases from the U.S. and across the world where women allegedly were pressured or forced to abort their unborn babies, sometimes through physical violence.
When Shiree Afzal became pregnant, she told authorities that she faced physical threats and abuse from her boyfriend Kenneth Macmillan. He allegedly threatened to kill Afzal after she refused to abort their unborn child, according to the Daily Record. Later, Macmillan was convicted of domestic abuse and sentenced to prison.
In another case, abortionist Eric Yahav allegedly threatened and abused his girlfriend after she refused to abort their baby. The unnamed girlfriend accused Yahav of pushing her down stairs, kicking her and trying to drag her out of the house.
An in a horrifying North Carolina case, the family of a murder victim believes her boyfriend shot her in the head and injured her 3-year-old son after she refused his demands to have an abortion. A jogger found Candace Pickens’ body on May 12 in a park in Asheville with her young son beside her.
In April, LifeNews also reported a man was arrested in Pennsylvania after he allegedly beat his pregnant wife and threatened to give her an abortion.
The rates of domestic violence against pregnant women are high. One in six women is first abused during pregnancy, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Sometimes the abuse occurs after the woman refuses her partner’s demands to have an abortion, as it did with another Pennsylvania case in 2015.
Tragically, sometimes abuse leads women to abort their unborn babies. In studies linking domestic violence to abortion, some women reported being forced or pressured by partners into having abortions, while others believed abortion would help them escape their abusive partner.
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.”