Coercion Can Lead to Violence

Forced Abortion- Part II

Coercion Can Lead to Violence

Coercion Can Escalate to Violence if Women Won’t Abort Pregnancy Places Women at Higher Risk of Attack(9)

64% of abortions involve coercion,(1) and this sometimes includes threats of physical abuse from partners – or even parents – who don’t want the child. Girls have been physically pushed into clinics and restrained when they tried to escape their abortion.(7) Women have endured violently forced miscarriages, which sometimes result in murder – the leading killer of pregnant women.(10) Other women resort to abortion because they believe it is the only way to stop the abuse.

Men have forcibly performed abortions by switchblade, gunshot, and other violent methods

Coercion often involves direct or indirect threats of physical violence. Women who refuse to abort have been subjected to every manner of abuse, from forced injections to stabbings, beatings, bombings, gunshots, and strangulation.

According to one study of battered women, the target of battery during their pregnancies shifted to their pregnant abdomens.(18) Indeed, the leading cause of death among pregnant women is murder.(10) In many cases, it is known that these women were killed solely because their killers wanted to stop them from giving birth to their children.(19) In a recent poll, 92% of women cited preventing domestic violence as their highest priority.(11)

NOTE: Some of the cases below contain graphic descriptions of violence.

Women Who Choose Life Subjected to Violent Forced Abortions

Doctor Stabs Girlfriend with Syringe Outside Parking Garage to Force Abortion New York physician Stephen Pack was sentenced to prison after repeatedly stabbing his girlfriend, Joy Schepis, with a syringe filled with an abortion-inducing drug. A witness said that Pack shouted, “I’m giving you an abortion!” as he forced the woman to the ground near a hospital parking garage. Joy later gave birth to a healthy boy.

Three Hit Men Hired to Kill Unborn Baby After Woman Refuses Abortion

In Arkansas, Shawana Pace was within days of giving birth when she was beaten and kicked in the abdomen by three men. She said she pleaded for her child’s life as her attackers told her: “Your child is dying tonight.” Her baby girl, Heaven, died. Shawana’s boyfriend, Eric Bullock, was convicted of planning the attack.

Man Beats Girlfriend For Refusing to Go into Abortion Clinic

Andrew Jerome Gaither pleaded guilty to two counts of simple assault for beating up his girlfriend, Belinda Davis, outside an abortion clinic in Washington, DC. Witnesses said that Gaither beat Belinda after she refused to enter the clinic after speaking with pro-lifers outside the clinic. She later gave birth to a healthy baby.

Man Charged with Assaulting Wife Who Says She Had Refused Abortion. Unborn Child Dies

In New Jersey, Drew Stauffenberg was charged with aggravated assault for allegedly attacking his wife. His wife said he squeezed and punched her abdomen and forced her out of the house. She also said that Stauffenberg had “expressed a wish for her to have an abortion” after he found out she was pregnant. Doctors determined that the 10-week-old unborn baby died as a result of injuries to the amniotic sac and uterus.

Boyfriend Breaks Into Home, Assaults Girlfriend Who Had Refused Abortion

Jeremy Powell pleaded guilty to forcing his way into his girlfriend’s New York house and beating, kicking, and punching her after she refused to have an abortion. The victim, who was three months pregnant, told police Powell said to her, “I’m going to beat that baby out of you.”

Pregnant Girlfriend Tied to Chair During Gas Explosion; Boyfriend Charged with Attempted Murder

In Buffalo, NY, David Elersic was charged with the attempted murder of his pregnant girlfriend. Police said he tied Gloria Bush to a chair and disconnected the gas stove pipe after she told him she was pregnant and intended to keep the baby. Gloria and her unborn baby survived the explosion, although Gloria suffered severe burns.

Boyfriend Charged in Stabbing Pregnant Woman Who Says He Demanded an Abortion

In Nevada, Jesus Villagomez was charged with manslaughter for repeatedly stabbing his pregnant girlfriend, Flora Solorio, in the abdomen, killing her 18-week-old unborn baby. Flora told police he had demanded she have an abortion. Villagomez was sentenced to 18 years in prison for causing the unborn child’s death, and ordered to pay Flora’s medical bills.

Connecticut Man Demands Abortion, Rapes Girlfriend, Forces Abortifacient Drug

Edward Sandoval was convicted of seven felony charges in Connecticut for raping his girlfriend and trying to abort her baby by forcing her to take misopristol, a labor-inducing drug. The woman told police that he had demanded she have an abortion.

Pregnant Woman Blindfolded, Tied Up, and Injected in Forced Abortion

Mark Redeker, a second-year ob/gyn resident in New York, was charged with assault and unauthorized practice of medicine for blindfolding his girlfriend, tying her up, and injecting her with a drug that left her unconscious and bleeding. She later suffered a miscarriage.

Man Hired to Forcibly Induce Miscarriage

In Oklahoma, Andrel Singleton told police that Erin Gardner’s boyfriend, Shawn Lawrence, hired him and another person to assault Erin and cause her to have a miscarriage. Erin was pistol-whipped and repeatedly kicked in the stomach.

Police Charge New Yorker for Beating, Raping, Attempting Forced Abortion on Girlfriend

David Lyons was charged with sexual abuse, rape, stalking, and attempted abortion after police said he beat and sexually assaulted his pregnant girlfriend in an attempt to force an abortion.

Man Poisons Girlfriend’s Drink to Induce Miscarriage

In Missouri, Michael T. Bullock was convicted after he put poison in his girlfriend’s drink in an attempt to induce a miscarriage. Police said he had told friends he poisoned his girlfriend because he didn’t want the baby. His 19-year-old girlfriend later delivered a healthy baby.

19-Year-Old Loses Baby After Being Kicked in Abdomen

In Pennsylvania, Sheena Carson, 19, suffered a miscarriage after being kicked in the abdomen by Corrine Wilcott, whose husband fathered Sheena’s baby. Wilcott was sentenced to seven to 14 years in prison for third-degree murder in the unborn child’s death. Witnesses said Wilcott screamed at Sheena that she hoped her baby died.

Man Arrested for Stabbing Pregnant Girlfriend, Killing Unborn Child

In South Dakota, a man was arrested for stabbing his girlfriend in the abdomen, resulting in the death of her unborn child. Sundance Medicinehorn Keeble faced assault and fetal homicide charges. His girlfriend, who survived the attack, was 4 to 5 months pregnant. The prosecutor said that Keeble “intentionally stabbed the woman in the stomach, causing the death of the unborn child.”

Woman Testifies That Husband Beat Her with Log for Refusing Abortion; Newborn Dies

Leah Hawkins of Missouri testified that her husband beat her with a log after she refused to have an abortion. Jason Hawkins was charged with second-degree murder after their son was born three months premature and died.

Man Charged with Beating Nine-Months-Pregnant Girlfriend Until Twins Were Stillborn

In Norwood, NY, Anthony Puglia was charged with assault and forced abortion after he allegedly beat his pregnant girlfriend. Police said he kicked and punched Julia Harris in the abdomen. Her nine-month-old unborn twins were stillborn.

Man Laces Girlfriend’s Drink with Drug Used to Induce Labor in Farm Animals

In New York, Danny Court was sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to lacing his pregnant girlfriend’s drink with a drug used to induce labor in farm animals. His 19-year-old girlfriend and her baby survived.

Man Charged with Kidnapping; Woman Says He Told Her He Was Taking Her for Abortion

Usbaldo Palomino of Nevada was charged with kidnapping, domestic battery, aggravated stalking, and leaving the scene of an accident. According to Veronica Flores, who was eight months pregnant, he punched her in the face and forced her into the truck, which he then crashed into a house as he was leaving the area, causing Veronica to be knocked unconscious after her head struck the dashboard. Veronica also told police that Palomino struck her and that he told her he was taking her to Reno for an abortion.

Woman Refuses Abortion; Baby’s Father Kicks Her in Stomach in Attempt to Cause Miscarriage

In Michigan, Justin Siekierk was charged with assaulting a pregnant woman and intending to cause a miscarriage or stillbirth. Kristin Gleason testified that she and a friend went to Siekierk’s apartment to talk about the baby, but after she refused to have an abortion, Siekierk threw her into some bushes and began punching her and kicking her in the abdomen with steel-toed boots.

Boyfriend Charged After Shooting Pregnant Woman; Unborn Child Killed

In Indiana, Victoria Henry was shot, killing her eight-month-old unborn baby boy. Her ex-boyfriend, Mark Joseph Griffin, 25, was charged with first degree feticide and three counts of attempted first degree murder. Police said Griffin shot Henry because he believed she was pregnant with another man’s baby.

Man Arrested Twice for Assault, Attempted Murder of Pregnant Woman

In St. Louis, George Villarreal III was sentenced to five years in prison for assaulting his pregnant girlfriend and causing the death of his unborn twin daughters. He was released from prison after two years, but was arrested again for attempting to murder the same woman, who had married him and was five to six months pregnant at the time of the murder attempt.

Abortionist Charged with Raping and Forcing Abortion on His Wife

Dr. Theodore Lehrer, a Florida abortionist, had his medical license suspended after he was charged with performing an abortion on his wife against her will. Lehrer was arrested after his wife told police that he handcuffed and gagged her, raped her, and then forcibly aborted her 11-week-old baby in the bathroom of their home. However, charges were dropped against Lehrer after his wife refused to take the stand against him, saying she was too ill to testify.

Man Charged With Assaulting Pregnant Girlfriend Told Police She Was Trying to Kill Herself

Albert J. Danos of Louisiana was charged with assaulting his pregnant girlfriend, then telling police she tried to commit suicide. Danos’ girlfriend, who suffered multiple injuries, told police that he pushed her, knocked her to the floor, punched her, kicked her in the side and stomach, and tried to shoot her, telling her that her baby did not deserve to live.

Man Charged with Tearing Unborn Child from Wife’s Womb

Robert Hollis of Kentucky was charged with chasing his wife into a barn, shoving his hand into her womb, and tearing her seven-month old unborn child from the wall of the uterus. The 2-pound baby was delivered dead later that day.

Woman Beaten, Punched in Abdomen by Husband Days Before Delivery Date

In Milwaukee, Tracy Marciniak was days away from her delivery date when her estranged husband beat her, grabbed her by her hair, and punched her in the abdomen. Her unborn son, Zachariah, died of bleeding caused by blunt force trauma. Glenndale Black was convicted of first degree assault and false imprisonment, but Wisconsin did not at that time allow prosecution for the death of the unborn child. Tracy later testified before Congress that Black said in an interview that if the state had a law protecting unborn children, he would not have attacked her child.

Police: Woman Tried to Hire Hit Man to Kill Rival’s Baby

Melinda Ann Elem was indicted for attempting to hire a hit man to kill a woman who was seven months pregnant. Police said that Elem wanted the woman’s baby killed because she believed the woman was pregnant by Elem’s husband, and she did not care if the mother lived or died in the process.

Man Charged with Repeatedly Punching Pregnant Girlfriend in the Abdomen After She Refuses to Abort

In Massachusetts, Richard Andrade was charged with repeatedly punching his pregnant girlfriend in the abdomen after she refused to abort. Andrade was charged with felony assault.

Pennsylvania Man Imprisoned for Punching Pregnant Girlfriend in Stomach

Amber Bozack’s boyfriend punched her in the stomach when she was three months pregnant. Ronald Loughney pleaded guilty to assault after prosecutors dropped charges for aggravated assault against the unborn child, who survived.

Pregnant Woman Miscarries After Being Punched and Kicked by Boyfriend

Clayton R. Tucker of Malone, NY, pleaded guilty to second-degree abortion and was sentenced to two to four years in a state prison for repeatedly punching and kicking his pregnant girlfriend in the abdomen. His girlfriend suffered a miscarriage the next day. Prosecutors said Tucker shouted that he wanted to kill the baby.

New York Man Arrested for Stabbing of Pregnant Woman

Sean Brown, of Albany, was convicted for repeatedly stabbing his pregnant girlfriend in the abdomen in what prosecutors said was an attempt to make her lose the pregnancy. Brown was sentenced to 11 years in prison for assault and up to three more years for attempting to kill the unborn child. His girlfriend and the baby both survived.

Caught on Tape: Doctor Tries to Abort Ex-Girlfriend’s Baby with Abortifacient Drug

Ohio police videotaped Dr. Maynard Muntzing slipping Cyrotec, an abortifacient drug, into his ex-girlfriend’s drink. Michelle Baker went to police after she became ill several times after visiting Muntzing. She later miscarried. Muntzing received five years in prison for attempted abortion, and his wife, Tammy, who purchased the drug, was also convicted.

Hit Man Shoots Pregnant Woman; Mother and Wounded Baby Survive

Angelique McKinney was 30 weeks pregnant when she was shot repeatedly by a masked gunman as she was walking home with children from a nearby elementary school in Chicago. Her 3-pound, 4-ounce baby daughter, Adriel, was delivered by Caesarean section and survived despite having been wounded in the attack. Doctors said Adriel helped save her mother’s life because she stopped bullets from striking Angelique’s vital organs. Jimmy Spencer, 32, faced murder charges. Police said that Spencer, who was not the baby’s father, had been hired to shoot Angelique.

Man Charged with Beating Pregnant Girlfriend Because She Wouldn’t Abort

Authorities in Fayette, GA, charged Michael Antonio Glass with fetal homicide after he allegedly beat his girlfriend, causing the deaths of her four-month-old unborn twins. Police said that Glass had been angry at his girlfriend because she refused to have an abortion.

Man Charged in Beating of Woman and Death of Unborn Child

In St. Louis, Lawrence Green, 26, was charged with beating Rashawn Peterson, causing her to go into premature labor. Rashawn’s baby, Rosie, lived just eight minutes outside the womb. Green faced charges of involuntary manslaughter after the medical examiner ruled Rosie’s death a homicide.

Pregnant Woman Loses Six-Month-Old Unborn Baby After Assault; Boyfriend Charged

Marquita Evans of Troy, NY, lost her six-month-old unborn child after being beaten, allegedly by her boyfriend. Darren Jones was charged with assault and reckless endangerment, but no murder charges were filed because prosecutors said they could not prove the baby died as a result of the attack.

Attorney Tries to Hire Hit Man to Kill Girlfriend’s Unborn Twins

Florida attorney David Luskin was convicted for attempting to hire a hit man to beat his pregnant girlfriend in the stomach with a baseball bat after she refused to have an abortion. Kim Mascola, who was pregnant with twins, asked for leniency in Luskin’s sentencing, but said later that she did so before she heard a tape of Luskin asking a prostitute how he could hire someone to kill Kim.

Man Could Face Up to 65 Years for Charge of Kidnapping, Assaulting Pregnant Girlfriend

Wisconsin police arrested Jake Perry after his pregnant girlfriend, Patricia Smith, told them that he held her against her will for four hours at her sister’s home, where he slapped her, threw her into a box of plates, and jabbed her in the stomach, head, arms, and legs. Patricia, who was two months pregnant, later suffered a miscarriage.

Abortionist Convicted of Forcibly Aborting Women He Impregnated

Bonnie Coffey-Meyers, Kathy Collins, and Carmen Hertzinger were three women who suffered at the hands of Indianapolis abortionist Pravin Thakkar, who seduced and impregnated them and then performed abortions on them without their consent. Carmen testified that Thakkar drugged her and aborted her eight-month-old baby at his home. She said she awoke briefly to hear a baby crying, but Thakkar told her the baby was stillborn. The child’s body was never found. Thakkar was convicted in all three cases, and also found guilty of tax evasion and numerous counts of improper sexual behavior towards patients’ including raping one woman in her home. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison.

Man Rapes and Tortures Pregnant Girlfriend, Her Baby Dies

David A. Enis of Milwaukee was convicted of beating, raping, and torturing his pregnant girlfriend and holding her captive in his home for two days. His girlfriend, who was eight-and-a-half months pregnant, was tied to a bed, bitten, burned with cigarettes, and beaten with an electrical cord. She delivered a stillborn baby after Thompson finally summoned an ambulance for her. Thompson pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Father Stages Carjacking, Has Mother and Unborn Child Shot

In Ohio, Paul Nino Tarver II was convicted of arranging to have Keisha Lewis shot during a staged carjacking so he wouldn’t have to be a father to her child. Keisha survived the shooting, but her 3-month-old unborn baby died.

Man Goes Missing After Being Charged in Shooting of Pregnant Girlfriend

A Lansing, Michigan man fled from police after prosecutors authorized charges against him for allegedly pistol-whipping his pregnant girlfriend and shooting her in the abdomen, missing her 5-month-old unborn child by inches. The mother was hospitalized and placed under police protection after her boyfriend disappeared. Prosecutors said he could face up to life in prison if convicted.

For More Examples

These are only a sampling of the pressures faced by girls and women whose unplanned pregnancies inconvenience others. Refer to these web sites for current news, information and more examples of coerced abortion and pregnancy- and abortion-related violence:

Across the country, pro-lifers spend thousands of dollars and donate countless hours of time helping women with unplanned pregnancies. However, when they try to save babies, pro-choice organizations brand them as “anti-choice.” When was the last time you heard a pro-choice group express concern over the epidemic of coercion and violence done to women who don’t want abortions?


1. VM Rue et. al., “Induced abortion and traumatic stress: A preliminary comparison of American and Russian women, Medical Science Monitor 10(10): SR5-16 (2004).
2. See the for futher information and cases.
3. M Gissler et. al., “Pregnancy Associated Deaths in Finland 1987-1994 — definition problems and benefits of record linkage,” Acta Obsetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica 76:651-657 (1997); and M. Gissler, “Injury deaths, suicides and homicides associated with pregnancy, Finland 1987-2000,” European J. Public Health 15(5):459-63 (2005).
4. Frederica Mathewes-Green, Real Choices (Ben Lomond, CA: Conciliar Press, 1997).
5. Mary K. Zimmerman, Passage Through Abortion (New York, Prager Publishers, 1977).
6. Arthur Shostak and Gary McLouth, Men and Abortion: Lessons, Losses, and Love (New York: Preager Publishers, 1984).
7. Brian McQuarrie, “Guard, clinic at odds at abortion hearing,” Boston Globe, April 16, 1999.
8. Carol Everett with Jack Shaw, Blood Money (Sisters, OR: Multnomah Books, 1992). See also Pamela Zekman and Pamela Warwick, “The Abortion Profiteers,” Chicago Sun Times special reprint, Dec. 3, 1978 (originally published Nov. 12, 1978), p. 2-3, 33.
9. Julie A. Gazmararian et al., “The Relationship Between Pregnancy Intendedness and Physical Violence in Mothers of Newborns,” Obstetrics & Gynecology, 85 :1031 (1995); Hortensia Amaro et al., “Violence During Pregnancy and Substance Use,” American Journal of Public Health, 80: 575 (1990); and J. McFarlane et al., “Abuse During Pregnancy and Femicide: Urgent Implications for Women’s Health,” Obstetrics & Gynecology, 100: 27, 27-36 (2002).
10. I.L. Horton and D. Cheng, “Enhanced Surveillance for Pregnancy-Associated Mortality-Maryland, 1993-1998,” JAMA 285(11): 1455-1459 (2001); see also J. Mcfarlane et. al., “Abuse During Pregnancy and Femicide: Urgent Implications for Women’s Health,” Obstetrics & Gynecology 100: 27-36 (2002).
11. “Is Your Mother’s Feminism Dead? New Agenda for Women Revealed in Landmark Two-Year Study,” press release from the Center for the Advancement of Women (, June 24, 2003; and Steve Ertelt, “Pro-Abortion Poll Shows Majority of Women Are Pro-Life,” (, June 25, 2003. 12. See Theresa Burke, Forbidden Grief: The Unspoken Pain of Abortion (Springfield, IL: Acorn Books, 2000) and
13. “National Opinion Survey of 600 Adults Regarding Attitudes Toward a Pro-Woman/Pro-Life Agenda,” proprietary poll commissioned by the Elliot Institute, conducted in Dec. 2002.
14. D. Reardon, Abortion Malpractice (Denton, TX: Life Dynamics, 1993)
15. JR Cougle, DC Reardon & PK Coleman, “Depression Associated With Abortion and Childbirth: A Long-Term Analysis of the NLSY Cohort,” Medical Science Monitor 9(4):CR105-112, 2003.
16. Frank,, “Induced Abortion Operations and Their Early Sequelae,” Journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners 35(73):175-180, April 1985; Grimes and Cates, “Abortion: Methods and Complications”, in Human Reproduction, 2nd ed., 796-813; M.A. Freedman, “Comparison of complication rates in first trimester abortions performed by physician assistants and physicians,” Am. J. Public Health 76(5):550-554, 1986).
17. M Gissler et. al., “Pregnancy Associated Deaths in Finland 1987-1994 — definition problems and benefits of record linkage,” Acta Obsetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica 76:651-657, (1997). Another study found that, compared to women who gave birth, women who had abortions had a 62% higher risk of death from all causes for at least eight years after their pregnancies. DC Reardon et. al., “Deaths Associated With Pregnancy Outcome: A Record Linkage Study of Low Income Women,” Southern Medical Journal 95(8):834-41, (2002).
18. Elaine Hilberman and Kit Munson, “Sixty Battered Women,” Victimology, 2: 460-470 (1977-78).
19. “The Many Faces of Coercion,” The Post-Abortion Review, 8(1): 5-6 (Jan.-March 2000). See also R.M. Tolman, “Protecting the children of battered women,” J. Interpersonal Violence, 3(4): 476-483 (1988).

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