HomeCrime Update19-Year-Old Teenager Faces Charges for Illegal Abortion and Disposal of Fetus

19-Year-Old Teenager Faces Charges for Illegal Abortion and Disposal of Fetus

  • A 19-year-old pregnant teenager faces charges for performing an illegal abortion as it has gone beyond the legal limit.

Newsypeople – Sophie Harvey, who was 19 years old at the time, is accused of procuring abortion pills online after learning she’s well past the legal limit for elective abortion in England. Prosecutors allege that Harvey and her boyfriend Elliot Benham, also 19, searched the internet for ways to end the pregnancy and purchased the necessary drugs.

Teenager Faces Charges for Illegal Abortion and Disposal of Fetus

Sophie Harvey, a teenager who was heavily pregnant, is currently on trial for allegedly aborting her baby outside of legal means. She and her boyfriend, Elliot Benham, now 25, are accused of taking drastic measures after finding out Sophie was too far along in her pregnancy for a legal abortion in England.

Sophie was 28 weeks and five days pregnant when she discovered she was past the legal limit for an abortion in England, which is 24 weeks. This news led Sophie and Elliot to search the internet for ways to end the pregnancy, eventually purchasing drugs intended for this purpose.

The situation took a tragic turn when Sophie gave birth in her home’s bathroom. In a state of shock and fear, she wrapped the baby in a towel and disposed of it in a bin. This heartbreaking event unfolded while her family was away, leaving Sophie alone to deal with the aftermath. The court was informed that abortions in England are legal up to 24 weeks if performed by a registered medical practitioner, with exceptions only in very limited circumstances. Unfortunately, Sophie’s situation did not meet these criteria, leaving her and Elliot in a desperate and legally precarious position.

Sophie and Elliot’s story is one of young love turned into a nightmare. They were just 19, in a relationship for about a year, when they found themselves facing an unexpected pregnancy. Sophie hadn’t had her period since mid-April, and by August, they suspected she might be pregnant. They visited a GP, who referred them to the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) after expressing their desire not to keep the child.

A scan at BPAS revealed Sophie was further along than they had thought, at 28 weeks and five days. This was a devastating blow, as it meant a legal abortion was no longer an option. Staff at BPAS tried to refer Sophie back to her GP for antenatal care, but attempts to contact her were unsuccessful. Feeling trapped and desperate, Sophie and Elliot turned to the internet for solutions, eventually deciding to purchase drugs to induce an abortion. Elliot paid £309.44 for these drugs, which were collected from the Royal Mail.

Sophie later claimed to the police that they had decided to keep the baby but suffered a stillbirth. However, the prosecution argues that Sophie took the abortion pills, leading to the birth and subsequent disposal of the baby’s body to hide evidence of the illegal abortion. Sophie, from Cirencester, Gloucestershire, and Elliot, from Swindon, Wiltshire, both deny the charges against them, which include procuring a poison, procuring a miscarriage by poison, and attempting to pervert the course of public justice. They have admitted to concealing the birth of a child.

Legal Limits For Abortion In England

In England, Wales, and Scotland, abortion is generally allowed up to 24 weeks of gestation for socio-economic reasons. This period is longer than in many other European countries. After the 24-week mark, abortions can still be performed, but only under very limited circumstances. These circumstances include situations where the mother’s life is at risk or if there is a substantial risk that the child would be born with severe disabilities. The decision to allow an abortion after 24 weeks is based on medical assessments and considerations of the potential health risks to the mother or the severity of the child’s potential disabilities. Most abortions are carried out before the 24-week limit, and the procedure is considered safer the earlier it is performed. Health services often recommend an ultrasound scan to accurately determine the gestational age of the pregnancy, which is crucial for deciding the legality and safety of the procedure

Consequences Of Obtaining Pills For An Abortion

Obtaining pills for an abortion can have various consequences, including health risks and legal implications. Here are some key points based on the provided sources:

Health Risks:

  • Infections: If the abortion pill is unsuccessful, it can lead to retained fetal tissue in the uterus, causing infections that can be life-threatening.
  • Hemorrhaging: While rare, excessive bleeding can occur after taking the abortion pill, with potential serious consequences
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): Abortion may increase the risk of PID, especially if the individual is infected with Chlamydia, leading to complications like chronic pain and infertility.
  • Mental Health Complications: Some women may experience mental health issues post-abortion, such as anxiety, depression, or trauma-related symptoms.
  • Increased Infertility: Infections from the abortion pill can result in uterine scarring, potentially leading to future infertility and ectopic pregnancies.
  • Complications Related to Pre-existing Conditions: Individuals with certain health conditions should avoid the abortion pill due to potential risks like infections and severe reactions.

Legal Implications: Obtaining and using abortion pills illegally can lead to legal consequences, depending on the laws of the specific region. In the case of Sophie Harvey mentioned here, she faced charges related to procuring poison, attempting to cause a miscarriage, and obstructing justice.

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