A British man is on trial this week for allegedly trying to force his pregnant lover to abort her unborn baby by spiking her orange juice with an abortion drug.
The Metro reports Darren Burke, 43, of Windsor, England, urged his mistress Laura Slade to have an abortion so that they could keep their relationship secret, but she refused, prosecutors told the Isleworth Crown Court.
The case is a reminder of the prevalence of forced and coerced abortions and adds to growing concerns about the abuse of mail-order abortion drugs. The British and United States governments recently began allowing abortion businesses to sell abortion drugs through the mail without ever seeing or even talking to the customer.
According to the Express, Burke admitted that he bought abortion drugs online, but he denied attempting to force his mistress to take them.
Burke and Slade began their secret affair in 2015; both have children from other relationships and Burke is married, according to the report.
“Mr. Burke’s wife was, it seems, unaware of his relationship with Ms. Slade,” prosecutor Paul Jarvis told the court. “She found out she was pregnant on November 15, 2020 and, on November 16, she sent Mr. Burke a Whatsapp message to tell him about the news.”
Burke told Slade that he did not want the baby and asked her to have an abortion, Jarvis said.
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“Mr. Burke replied that if she went through with the pregnancy he would have to leave his wife and family and that would kill them — especially his disabled father who was in hospital,” he continued.
However, Slade refused, telling him that she wanted the baby, Jarvis told the court.
On Dec. 3, 2020, Burke sent a message to Slade asking to visit the next morning and offering to bring her a “Starbucks latte or a tea,” the court heard. Slade told investigators that his offer was unusual.
When he arrived, Slade said Burke asked her if she wanted a cup of tea but she refused; then, he went into the kitchen and brought her a cup of orange juice, according to the report. The two began to talk about the baby’s name and child support, and Burke encouraged her repeatedly to drink the juice, arousing Slade’s suspicions, prosecutors said.
Eventually, after Slade refused the drink, Burke got up, took the glass, dumped it in the kitchen sink and then left, Jarvis told the court.
He said Slade noticed a residue on the glass and contacted police. Later, a forensics investigation found traces of the abortion drug mifepristone in the glass, the prosecutor said.
“His motive was obvious,” Jarvis said. “If Ms. Slade had kept the baby, then his double life would have come crashing down around him. There is no way he could have kept the existence of that child a secret from his wife and family.”
Burke was arrested in February 2021, the report states. Burke told police he bought the abortion drug online “in case Ms. Slade decided she wanted to abort the baby,” but he was not trying to force her to take it.
Slade later had a miscarriage, but investigators do not believe her baby’s death was caused by Burke’s alleged actions.
Reports do not mention where Burke purchased the abortion drug, but, during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the British government began allowing abortion businesses to sell the drugs through the mail without ever seeing the patient.
Pro-life advocates and even some abortion workers have expressed alarm about new mail-order abortion businesses and the already too prevalent problem of forced and coerced abortions.
Mothers frequently are forced or coerced to abort their unborn babies, and sometimes their decisions to protect their babies’ lives lead to more abuse. A new BBC survey found 15 percent of women of childbearing age in the UK felt pressured to have abortions that they did not want.
Often the pressure comes from an intimate partner. Another new study from Lifeway Research found that 42 percent of men whose partners had abortions said they either “strongly urged” or “suggested” that she have an abortion. In 2009, research by the Elliot Institute found 64 percent of post-abortive women said they felt pressured to have an abortion, often from a spouse or partner.
Another 2014 study found that forced abortions are common among sex trafficking victims. In “The Health Consequences of Sex Trafficking and Their Implications for Identifying Victims in Healthcare Facilities,” researchers found that 55 percent of sex trafficking victims had at least one abortion, with more than half saying they were forced to abort one or more unborn babies.
Studies also have found high rates of violent abuse among women seeking abortions and pregnant women. Often, abuse also is connected to a mother’s refusal to abort her unborn child.
LifeNews has been keeping track of reports of forced and coerced abortions as well as abuse when women refuse to abort their unborn babies. They include:
Ohio – Doctor Pleads Guilty after Attempting to Murder Unborn Son after Wife Refused an Abortion (Canton Repository)
Minnesota – Man Charged for Allegedly Kicking Pregnant Woman in Stomach after She Refused an Abortion (Star Tribune)