Human Rights

ISIS forces sex slaves to have abortions

On March 12, the New York Times released a deeply disturbing article detailing the abuse of women captured by ISIS. According to interviews with 37 women who have escaped from the so-called Islamic State, the fighters believe Islamic law only permits them to rape their captives if the women are not pregnant. They cite medieval rulings which prohibit a man from having sex with his slave if she is pregnant.

As a result of this restriction, ISIS fighters routinely force their captives to take birth control pills or injection contraceptives before raping them. Furthermore, if the women are already pregnant when they are captured, the ISIS fighters sometimes force them to have abortions.

One woman, twenty years old and in the second trimester of pregnancy, described being forced to take abortion pills. She hid them under her tongue. Another woman, also twenty years old, described being beaten repeatedly in the stomach after refusing to have an abortion. She eventually managed to escape and gave birth to a healthy boy.

The use of abortion as a weapon against women is not limited to the so-called Islamic State. When Timothy Smith impregnated his 13-year-old stepdaughter, he took her to a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado to cover up his crime. Instead of reporting the obvious abuse, Planned Parenthood performed the abortion with no questions asked and sent the child back to her rapist. Other child rapist including Luis Gonzalez-Jose, John Blanks, Jr., Adam Gault, Joseph Coles, Kevon Walker, Edgar Ramirez, and Grey David Woods also forced their victims to get abortions at Planned Parenthood to cover up their crimes.

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