Police in India said a 33-year-old woman committed suicide earlier this month, haunted by trauma and grief after her partner allegedly forced her to abort 14 of their unborn babies.
The Irish Sun reports the woman from Jaitpur, Delhi, India, left a suicide note explaining the abuse that she suffered for eight years, according to police.
Police said the woman accused her partner of forcing her to take abortion drugs 14 different times while she was pregnant with their unborn babies. Allegedly, she was having an affair with the man and living separately from her husband, the report states.
She also has two daughters, ages 12 and 14, according to the report.
“On July 5, a PCR call was received regarding suicide by a woman at Jaitpur,” said Esha Pandey, Jaitpur Deputy Commissioner of Police Southeast. “A police team rushed to the spot where a woman was found hanging in a room. She was immediately shifted to AIIMS where doctor declared her dead.”
Police said the woman’s partner may face charges of abetting the woman’s suicide, rape and forcing a miscarriage.
Suicide, substance abuse and depression are risks associated with abortions. One study in the “British Medical Journal” found a suicide rate nearly six times higher among women who had abortions compared to women who gave birth. Other research also has linked abortion to an increased risk of mental health problems.
Forced and coerced abortions are more common than many people realize, often because of an abusive partner or parent, or a human trafficker.
Earlier this year, a BBC survey found 15 percent of women of childbearing age in the United Kingdom felt pressured to have abortions that they did not want.
Often the pressure comes from an intimate partner. Another recent 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.
A 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.