UK mom Carla Foster jailed for aborting baby at 8 months
A British mother of three has been sentenced to 28 months in prison for secretly aborting her baby at around eight months pregnant, in order to conceal the pregnancy from her estranged partner. Carla Foster, 44, pleaded guilty to two charges of unlawfully terminating her pregnancy, and was found to have repeatedly lied in order to obtain abortion drugs that were only available online due to loosened COVID-19 restrictions. The drugs were intended for use during the first weeks of pregnancy, but Foster was beyond the 24-week limit for abortions in the UK, and made numerous internet searches about “How to not look pregnant” and “How to hide the pregnancy bump,” as well as “If you get hit in the belly will you lose your baby?” Foster searched for ways to abort her baby. She repeatedly lied to a pregnancy adviser that she was only seven weeks pregnant, despite her own searches indicating otherwise. While the baby’s body was never found, prosecutors told the court that the deceased infant was approaching full term.
Justifying the sentence, Justice Edward Pepperall stated that Foster could have avoided imprisonment if she had pleaded guilty sooner. The judge took into account her deep remorse, depression and nightmares about her actions, as well as her consistently being a good mother to her three children, one of whom has special needs. Nevertheless, Pepperall noted that he had a duty to apply the law as it stands, and that Foster had planned her actions for a prolonged period of time.
The case has prompted calls from numerous politicians for a review of the UK’s abortion laws, with critics arguing that the 1861 law used to prosecute Foster is outdated. Caroline Nokes, Chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee in Parliament, argued that the case revealed the “ugly truth” about the criminalisation of abortion, while Society for the Protection of Unborn Children criticised the abortion providers that allegedly left Foster to administer dangerous drugs alone, without medical supervision or support. However, a spokesperson for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stated that current laws struck a balance between “a woman’s right to access safe and legal abortions with the rights of an unborn child,” and gave no indication that there were any plans to change them.
Q: Is abortion illegal in the UK?
A: No, abortion is legal in the UK, but only within certain parameters. Abortions must be performed by a registered medical professional, and within the first 24 weeks of pregnancy in most cases (with some exceptions).
Q: What was Carla Foster’s reason for aborting her baby?
A: Foster was afraid that her estranged partner would find out she had become pregnant while seeing two other men, and wanted to conceal the pregnancy from him.
Q: What charges was Foster found guilty of?
A: Foster pleaded guilty to two charges of unlawfully terminating her pregnancy, and was sentenced to 28 months in prison for her actions.
Q: Will the UK’s abortion laws be reviewed in the wake of this case?
A: Some politicians have called for a review of the current laws, but the government has given no indication that they will be changed.
Carla Foster, a UK mother, imprisoned for terminating infant at 8 months.
A British mother of three has been sentenced to over two years in prison for aborting a baby when she was around eight months pregnant. Carla Foster, 44, was reportedly worried that her estranged partner would discover she had become pregnant while seeing other men late in 2019, according to a report in StokeOnTrentLive. She repeatedly lied in order to obtain abortion pills that were only legally available online due to the relaxed restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. While these pills are intended for women in the first few weeks of pregnancy, Foster was between 32 and 34 weeks along. She subsequently conducted a number of online searches to learn “how to not look pregnant” and also searched for information on whether hitting the belly might result in a pregnancy being lost. Foster later lied to a pregnancy adviser, claiming to be just seven weeks pregnant. Prosecutor Robert Price said that Foster had shown “a level of planning” through her extensive online research. The baby’s body was never found.
Justice Edward Pepperall handed down a prison sentence of 28 months to Foster, though noted that she had been a “good mother to three children,” one of whom had special needs. During sentencing, he said that Foster could have avoided jail time if she had pleaded guilty sooner to this “tragic” and “very rare” case. The judge also cited concerns over reinforcing the limit of the law and Foster’s lack of remorse. He did, however, acknowledge that Foster felt “deep and genuine remorse” for her actions and had suffered from depression since the incident. Following the case, several politicians suggested that the law needed to be reviewed, including Caroline Nokes, Chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee. The 1861 law used to prosecute Foster was “out of date” and lawmakers needed to examine the matter in detail, she said. The Women’s Equality Party also called the case a “damning indictment” of abortion law in England.