Italy is protecting a 19-year-old Pakistani woman whose family allegedly lured her home, tied her to a bed and forced her to abort her unborn baby.
The young woman, known only as Farah, returned to the European country Thursday after the Italian Embassy in Islamabad advocated for her, according to the Italian news service ANSA. Though she is not an Italian citizen, she has a residency permit to study there as a student, the AP reports.
“Farah is finally back in Italy and now she is in a safe place,” Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano said Thursday. “Thanks to the diplomatic work of the Italian embassy in Islamabad and the cooperation with the Pakistani authorities.”
Friends of the young woman first were alerted to the harrowing abuse allegations. They said Farah’s family tricked her into returning to Pakistan on false pretenses about her brother’s wedding. While she was there, the friends said Farah sent them several texts and voice messages about the abuse that she and her unborn baby allegedly suffered.
“They sedated me, tied me to a bed and forced me to have an abortion,” one text from Farah read, according to Italian media outlets.
Other reports allege Farah’s parents also destroyed her passport in an effort to prevent her from returning to Italy and the baby’s father, her fiance, according to the Independent Recorder. The report indicates Farah’s father also had a history of abuse.
Farah, 19, didn’t have Italian citizenship, only a residency permit. Nevertheless, the foreign ministry activated Italy’s embassy in Islamabad after Verona authorities heard from Farah’s friends that she had been tricked into going home and was forced to have an abortion.
Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano tweeted Thursday that Farah was safely back in Italy, and he thanked Pakistani authorities who had removed Farah from her family’s Lahore-area home and brought her to the Italian embassy in Islamabad.
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Alfano had previously said that Italy acted in Farah’s defense as a matter of respecting her human rights and “fundamental rights based on the equality of men and women.”
Giorgia Meloni, a conservative political leader in Italy, asked the government to grant her citizenship, the report states.
Forced and coerced abortions are a problem across the world. Often in cases of sexual abuse and sex trafficking, victims are forced to abort their unborn babies by their abusers. As LifeNews previously reported, one study found that as many as 64 percent of post-abortive women say they felt pressured to have an abortion.
In the United States, several men have been convicted of killing their unborn babies by tricking their girlfriends into taking abortion drugs. Pro-life advocates are concerned that these types of abuses could grow worse if abortion activists succeed in forcing U.S. pharmacies to dispense abortion drugs.