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Melbourne high-school teacher who had sex with a teenage student has been jailed for at least four years. Stephen Peter Morrow, 55, was a physics teacher at Melbourne Girls’ College in the 1990s when he seduced the girl, then 16, during her final year of high school. The first time they had sex, she was a virgin. In aggravation of his crime, Morrow took his victim to a fertility clinic and paid for her abortion when she was six weeks pregnant. The victim told the County Court in a statement that she had wasted years weighed down with guilt over the abortion and her relationship with Morrow. “It is not merely the fact that he abused his power; it is more the fact that he took me to the fertility clinic and allowed me to be put through such physical distress and years of psychological shame,” she said. “The emotional and psychological impact will still be felt for years to come”. Morrow was jailed for six years with a non-parole period of four years. (“Teacher jailed for sex crime”, Melbourne Herald Sun, April 19, 2008).

Bound and gagged

The Morrow case is typical of the abortion experiences of many women. In the United States, a Maine couple Nicholas and Lola Kampf were charged with abducting their pregnant 19-year-old daughter, whom they bound, gagged and put in their car with the intention of driving her to New York for an abortion. She escaped and called the police. In Georgia, police arrested Rozelletta Blackshire after she allegedly forced her pregnant 16-year-old daughter to drink turpentine in an attempt to abort the pregnancy. The mother and two of the girl’s cousins were charged with criminal abortion after the teen told a school counsellor that her mother had forced her to drink turpentine. (LifeSiteNews. com, September 29, 2006).

Dr David Reardon, director of the Elliot Institute in the US, co-authored a Medical Science Monitor study that found that 64 per cent of American and Russian women who had had abortions reported that they felt pressured by others to abort. Studies have shown that homicide is the leading killer of pregnant women in the US and that women in abusive relationships are at increased risk of suffering violence during pregnancy. Reardon said: “In many of the cases documented for our Forced Abortion in America report*, police and witnesses reported that acts of violence and murder took place after the woman refused to abort or because the attacker didn’t want the pregnancy.” “Even if a woman isn’t physically threatened, she often faces intense pressure, abandonment, lack of support or emotional blackmail if she doesn’t abort. “While abortion is often described as a ‘choice’, women who’ve been there tell a very different story. “Too often, abortion clinics and others simply assume that if a woman is coming for an abortion, it is her free choice. This ‘no questions asked’ policy is especially harmful to those in abusive situations, including young girls who are victims of sexual predators.”

On April 10, 2008, Governor C.L. Otter signed a bill into law that makes Idaho the first American state to legally forbid individuals from forcing a woman to have an abortion. House Bill 654 criminalises any physical harm or threats used with the intention of inducing an abortion. Similar legislation is pending in other states in the US. Under the new law, “a woman or girl wronged by a predator or abusive partner would not have to wait upon the mercies of some prosecuting attorney to seek justice — even after an abortion. The language of the law allows a woman to seek civil damages even if she doesn’t undergo an abortion,” explains an Idaho Chooses Life web report. The pro-abortion Planned Parenthood of Idaho expressed disappointment on its website over the enactment of the new law. The abortion industry’s opposition to anti-coercion legislation is deeply disturbing — it’s like the tobacco industry seeking to protect its profits by pretending that smoking is not harmful for one’s health. S i l e n t No Mo r e Awareness Campaign (SNMAC), a support network for men and women hurt by abortion, however, has applauded Idaho for its new law and is encouraging all states to adopt similar legislation. “Abortion is traumatic on its own; coerced abortion is beyond horrific. Those who oppose domestic abuse and those who seek to protect women and their unborn babies should unite to support this kind of legislation in every jurisdiction,” says SNMAC co-founder Georgette Forney. Similar legislation is required in Australia where predators coerce their victims into having abortions to eliminate DNA evidence of incest and child sex crimes. The onus should be on abortionproviders to screen patients for evidence of coercion and to report sex crimes.

— Babette Francis is national coordinator of Endeavour Forum Inc., an NGO accredited to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations.

* Free copies of the Elliot Institute’s special report, Forced Abortion in America, and fact sheets on coerced and forced abortions can be downloaded from: www.unfairchoice.info/resources.htm



Member Organisation, World Council for Life and Family

NGO in Special Consultative Status with ECOSOC of the UN