In Columbus Ohio, October 2010 pregnant Yolanda Burgess agreed with then boyfriend Dominic L. Holt-Reid that she should have an abortion. The two already had a son together, and Holt-Reid, had an even younger child with another woman as well.
The appointment at the clinic to have the procedure was set, but Burgess changed her mind, and didnít go to the appointment. Furious with her, he pulled a gun from the glove compartment of the car after dropping their child off to school. He threatened to shoot her to induce a miscarriage if she didnít have the abortion.
They drove to the clinic and Holt-Reid waited outside with the gun in his waistband.
While inside the clinic, Burgess slipped a note to a clinician who called the police. Holt-Reid was arrested in the parking lot, and Burgess has since delivered a healthy baby.
This is an all too common scenario, without such a positive outcome.
Facing charges of fetal homicide, Holt-Reid plead guilty in April to attempted murder, weapons and abduction counts and was convicted last week and sentenced to 13 years in prison. The maximum for his offenses would have been 20 years.
The Ohio fetal homicide law passed in 1996, is usually used when a pregnant woman is killed in a car accident or is attacked. There has never been a case of this kind, known in Ohioís history.
According to Burgess, Reid had threatened her pregnancy with their first child as well, though not to the extent of this one. Before he threatened her with the gun during this pregnancy, he had reportedly choked her, saying they were not having this baby.
The defense tried to argue that this was just a typical domestic violence case, and that the baby was not actually harmed in any way. Ultimately, the evidence that swayed the judge to convict so harshly was a text Burgess had sent her sister the day of abduction. The text was to say that if anything happened to her, Holt-Reid was responsible.
Holt-Reid has 5 other children besides the baby he tried to have forcibly aborted.
If you are someone you know is being threatened, bullied, coerced, or forced against your will, there is help. Call the police immediately or have someone you trust do it for you. Coercion is the unchoice.