An American woman taken captive by the Taliban shared new details this week about being raped and forced to abort her unborn baby girl.
This fall, Caitlan Coleman Boyle, her Canadian husband Josh Boyle and their three children were rescued and returned to Canada, where they now live. The family spent five years in captivity.
Coleman and her husband were kidnapped in 2012 while backpacking through Afghanistan; she was pregnant at the time. She gave birth to their child and later two others while being held in underground cells in the Middle East.
Boyle previously spoke to the media about his wife being forced to abort their unborn baby girl and later raped by Taliban guards. In a new interview this week, the couple shared more details about the abuses that their family suffered, Christian Post reports.
Coleman Boyle told ABC News that she believes the guards put something in her food to force her to abort her unborn baby girl, who she named Martyr. She said two guards later raped her in front of her son, a toddler, as “punishment” for trying to report the forced abortion to leaders visiting the Taliban, according to the Times of India.
“They just kept saying that this will happen again if we don’t stop speaking about the forced abortion, that this happened because we were trying to tell people what they had done and that it would happen again,” Coleman Boyle said.
She described the abuse to ABC:
She believes the guards put something in her food in 2014 to force a miscarriage of their unborn daughter, who the couple named Martyr Boyle. The couple complained to their captors and tried to slip notes to Taliban visitors informing them of the crime, so, the two said, their guards raped her while their eldest son was in the room to compel her to stay silent.
“One day they came into the cell, and they took my husband out forcefully, dragging him out, and one of the guards threw me down on the ground, hitting me and shouting, ‘I will kill you,’” Coleman Boyle said. “That’s when the assault happened. It was with two men. And then there was a third at the door. And afterwards, the animals wouldn’t even give me back my clothes.”
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According to another report, Coleman hid her pregnancy with their third child, a boy. In a letter sent to Boyle’s parents, the couple explained how Boyle helped his wife deliver their baby boy in the dark, with the only light coming from a flashlight held between his teeth.
Despite their terrible circumstances, Coleman Boyle said she wanted to have children with her husband.
“It was a decision we made,” she said. “We did think about it and talk about it and it’s difficult to explain all the reasons, but, for me, a large part was the fact that it has always been important to me to have a large family.”
Her husband said they are speaking out because they want justice for the crimes committed against them and their children.
“Our focus is on trying to hold accountable those who have committed grave human rights violations against us and against others,” Boyle said. “I lost a daughter. That was more of a crushing blow to me than the years. What they did was a crime against humanity by international law.”
Many have suffered from forced abortions at the hands of terrorists. Earlier this month, the Christian Post reported a Yazidi teen named Helin, 15, was kidnapped by ISIS fighters in Syria and forced to abort three of her unborn babies. She recently was rescued after her terrorist captors abandoned her and other sex slaves while fleeing Raqqa, Syria. In 2016, the New York Times published several accounts of women who ISIS fighters captured, sold into sex slavery, raped and then forced to have abortions.