Abortion, coercion and abuse are connected much more often than people probably realize.
LifeNews frequently reports about these cases, and this week, UK news outlets reported another one.
Billy Joseph Ballinger, 22, of Williton, England, is behind bars after he allegedly threatened to punch his pregnant girlfriend in the head unless she aborted their unborn baby, Somerset Live reports.
Ballinger recently pleaded guilty to harassment and violation of a restraining order from his former girlfriend, who is not named in the report. He recently was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison.
The former girlfriend said they broke up in January before Ballinger knew that she was pregnant, according to the report.
“He asked me to have an abortion but would not support me and I just couldn’t go through with it,” the woman said. “Financially I am struggling and worried about money and I waited for him to come out of prison but he cheated on me and put his details on a dating website.”
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Here’s more from the report:
Somerset Magistrates, siting at Yeovil, were told that the couple had an on/off relationship and she became pregnant with their third child.
In July 2013 Ballinger was given a restraining order at Bristol Crown Court prohibiting him from causing her harassment, alarm or distress or using or threatening violence, and was also banned from entering a specified road in Glastonbury.
Prosecutor Christine Hart said that the defendant had been told by the complainant that child contact had to be arranged through the correct channels, and then on January 10 they were having a text conversation and Ballinger told her he wanted her to have an abortion.
He then said: “If you don’t do it I will punch your f***ing head in”, which made her feel scared.
Authorities said Ballinger continued to call and message the woman, once calling her a “dirty little slag.” On March 18, the former girlfriend called police when Ballinger showed up at her home, the report states. He later was charged with harassment.
Threats and violence against pregnant women and their unborn babies are common – even without counting the violence of abortion. In the United States, 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. In a case in Pennsylvania, a man allegedly beat and choked his pregnant girlfriend after she refused to have an abortion in October 2015. LifeNews reported another case in September 2016 where police arrested a Tennessee man after his pregnant girlfriend accused him of kicking and hitting her when she told him that she would not abort their baby.
And in February, a judge ordered an Australia man to pay a fine and go to counseling after he allegedly hit his wife three times when she refused to get an abortion.
Several studies 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. However, a Canadian study found that half of the women who went to an abortion clinic said they were not screened for abuse.