A serial domestic abuser in Dundee told a victim of his abuse that he would kill her baby if she did not have an abortion.
Shaun Wilson, 22, has violently abused a number of women and girls since he was 14. Dundee Sheriff Court was told on Tuesday 2 February that Wilson, now 22, had subjected one girl to more than a year of violent abuse.
The court was told this victim had been forced to turn to Women’s Aid for help. Wilson admitted assaulting her on various occasions by grabbing her by the neck.
‘He told her to have an abortion or he would kill the baby anyway.’
He also admitted to shouting and swearing, acting in an aggressive manner and uttering threats of violence when he was a teenager between 1 September 2013 and 31 March 2014.
On another occasion, Wilson confronted the same girl in the street and grabbed her by the throat.
Fiscal depute Marie Irvine said: “She states the accused had a hard grip around her but let her go quickly. She began to engage with Women’s Aid”.
“She had weekly meetings and it eventually led to treatment for the deterioration in her mental health”.
“She fell pregnant around March 2014 and when she told him he became angry. He told her to have an abortion or he would kill the baby anyway”.
Wilson has been in and out of prison in the intervening years and is likely to face further time in custody.
‘DIY’ home abortions
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdowns in March 2020, it has been legal to take the pills used in a medical abortion at home, outside of a clinical setting. Numerous politicians, including MPs, members of the House of Lords and MSPs have been outspoken about the inherent dangers of DIY at home abortions.
The requirement that abortions take place within a clinical setting is an important safeguard not only for the mother’s health but also to prevent coercion and abuse. The Food and Drug Administration in the United States recently prohibited ‘DIY’ abortions for precisely these reasons.
A free pass to abusers
In the case of Wilson’s abuse and attempted coercion of one of his victims to have an abortion, this would have been far easier to hide had ‘DIY’ home abortions been available at the time.
An undercover investigation last year found how easy it was for people to lie over the phone to obtain the abortion pills. The investigation found that women were given the pills despite the gestational age of their baby being over 10 weeks (the cut off point for ‘DIY’ abortions). Because these abortions are no longer taking place in clinical settings, and there is no ultimate guarantee of who actually takes these pills, it is easier for an abuser to coerce a woman into having an abortion and very hard for physicians or relevant authorities to detect this or stop it from happening.
Right To Life UK spokesperson, Catherine Robinson, said: “Instances of abusers attempting to force women to have abortions are, sadly, quite common. According to the Independent ‘one in seven women in the UK have been bullied into either getting pregnant or having an abortion’. ‘DIY’ abortions make it far easier for abusers to get away with their crimes”.
“Because the abortion pills are not taken in a clinical setting, there is ultimately no way of knowing who has taken them and whether or not the person who does take them has freely chosen to do so. This provides a reason in and of itself not to make ‘DIY’ abortions a permanent feature of British law, as is currently being proposed”.
“In the case of Wilson’s abuse and attempted coercion of one of his victims to have an abortion, this would have been far easier to hide had ‘DIY’ home abortions been available at the time. Nevertheless, abortion providers and their enablers in legislators and governments across Britain seem not to care at all. They are committed to expanding abortion access at all costs – no matter the danger to women”.