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Forced Miscarriage

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A woman is pregnant but someone else, often a jealous wife or even the father himself, doesn't want her to be. After failing to convince the to-be mother into aborting the baby, they attempt to make sure the baby isn't born anyway.

This can be done indirectly or more directly. Tampering with Food and Drink by putting poison, medicine, or herbs into the woman's food can lead to a forced miscarriage, but some people instead opt to directly attack the mother in hopes of leading to a miscarriage or stillbirth.

Related to Convenient Miscarriage and Tragic Stillbirth.

For a more gruesome sister trope, see Traumatic C-Section.


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     Anime & Manga 
  • In Gunjo, the Brunette's abusive husband kicked her in the stomach when she was about midway through a pregnancy, causing her to miscarry. It's especially traumatic for her because she has a medical condition that makes conception very difficult.
  • In Mononoke, Shino, who is pregnant, has a vision of how the madam of a brothel would induce these in her working girls to keep them available for customers by striking them on the back repeatedly. The antagonist of the arc is the collected spirits of these aborted children out for revenge on the madam and her assistant.

     Fan Works 
  • This occurred prior to the Avatar: The Last Airbender fancomic How I Became Yours. Zuko's jealous wife Mai learns about Katara's pregnancy before he does. She sends Katara poisoned fruit and forces her to have a stillbirth halfway through her pregnancy.
  • A subversion appears in the Legend of Zelda fic Blind Courage when this is attempted. When the barely 17 year old Princess Zelda becomes pregnant out of wedlock, it causes a scandal in the court. Her father and his royal advisors try to make her terminate the pregnancy but Zelda refuses. One of the advisors sneaks a poison into the princess' food, which causes Zelda to get rapidly sick. She spends a week asleep but her nursemaid Impa is able to save the baby. The incident, however, led to Zelda's daughter being born blind and made Zelda suffer from chronic illness.
  • The harem setting from I Will Never Be Him means the wives are constantly competiting in order to become mother to the Emperor's firstborn. The newest concubine unknowingly drinks an abortifacient disguised as a welcome gift and loses her unborn as a consequence, horrifying the attendants.

     Film — Live Action 
  • In Gone with the Wind, Rhett Butler pushes his pregnant wife Scarlett down a flight of stairs, killing her unborn baby because he knows the baby was the result of him raping her and after he tells her she'd be happy to miscarry.
  • Ju-on has a squicky example in the first VHS film. At the end of the "Kayako" vignette, Takeo Saeki forces Manami Kobayashi to abort her fetus, which kills her in the process. The fetus is dead on arrival, but he still calls Manami's horrified husband, Shunsuke, to chat about its gender ("It's a girl") before proceeding to slam the fetus on the pavement repeatedly.

  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • It is revealed in A Storm of Swords that Lysa Tully of Riverun (the widowed Lady Lysa Arryn of the Vale in the present) became pregnant as a very young girl after she slept with her father's ward Petyr Baelish. Lysa revealed her pregnancy to her father, hoping that Hoster Tully would let them wed, but Hoster considers Petyr too lowborn to marry a Tully. Instead, he forced Lysa to abort her child — she was tricked into drinking moon tea. Furthermore, this is implied to be the reason she had several other miscarriages before finally carrying her son Robin to term.
    • In the backstory to the main series, detailed in The World of Ice & Fire and Fire & Blood, Tyanna of the Tower, the Dark Mistress and later one of the wives of King Maegor the Cruel, poisons his other wives so that they would give birth to stillborn monstrosities.
  • In Stephen King's short story Dedication, the main character's husband punches her in the stomach when she tells him she's pregnant. He then runs out of the apartment and comes back later with a carpet beater, but she lies and says she's already miscarried. He then turns sweet on her, apologising that he "has" to do this. Even worse as it turns out he's done this to her before.
    • King uses this again in Rose Madder. Whether Norman intended to cause a miscarriage by punching Rosie in the abdomen repeatedly isn't clear, but he did achieve that effect.
  • In Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon, Macon Dead II tries to get his wife Ruth to miscarry the baby (the one that became Milkman) after finding out that she became pregnant by a love drug that was put in Macon's food. Macon's sister Pilate protects Ruth by threatening her brother with a Voodoo Doll, which he ended up burning to ashes.
  • In the Longmire novel The Western Star, Walt's wife Martha was pregnant but ended up losing the baby when the antagonist of the book ends up punching her in the stomach after being caught. Savvy readers may have figured out this baby wasn't Walt's daughter Cady due to the timeline given.
  • In the first Beka Cooper novel, Beka’s friend Tansy turns up on her doorstep after her grandfather-in-law, mad with grief and greed after loosing two heirs to an extortionist Serial Killer, threatens to make her loose her pregnancy so the babe can’t be used against him.

     Live-Action TV 
  • Ruyi's Royal Love in the Palace: Xiyue causes at least two miscarriages by tricking pregnant women into drinking poison.
  • Moon Lovers: Queen Yoo tricked Lady Oh into drinking tea laced with a drug that forced her to miscarry.
  • Chicago P.D.: In "I Was Here", Burgess ends up losing the child she and Ruzek conceived as a result of being viciously assaulted by a sex trafficker she was trying to apprehend, and who was about to drown one of his victims for ratting him out, and blames herself for it for going in alone, while Ruzek points out that the girl would have died had she waited for backup.
  • Rizzoli & Isles: In a plotline somewhat similar to above, a pregnant Rizzoli gets slugged in the abdomen while trying to protect a teenage girl and is later informed that the impact caused her to lose the baby.
  • CSI: Miami: One episode revolved around finding out who was the one responsible for attacking a pregnant woman (rear-ending her car, then pulling her out and giving her a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown) to the point she nearly loses her child (and nearly died herself when this forces the doctors to prematurely deliver the baby). It eventually turned out that this was the machination of the woman's lover, who already believed that Children Are a Waste because he needed to pay alimony on a disastrous (for him) divorce and brutally refused to spend a single dime on another one.
  • Inverted in a case of Caso Cerrado. A man wants his daughter to be born in America but the surrogate wants to keep the baby for herself (or alternatively, give her up for adoption) and move elsewhere. During the case, the man sneaks a drug into the woman's coffee to try and induce labor.
  • In Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter, a Gestapo officer punches his pregnant mistress in the stomach after she demands financial support for his unborn child. As a result, she miscarries, then he has her arrested and killed.
  • The Bold and the Beautiful. After Morgan DeWitt tricks Ridge Forrester into sleeping with her so that she can get pregnant and essentially replace the baby his mother Stephanie forced her to abort years ago, Stephanie nearly strikes again by slipping an abortifacient into Morgan's tea. (She and Ridge are desperate to keep his wife Taylor from finding out). She relents upon realizing that it might not work or could kill Morgan herself.
  • An ER subplot had a young woman being admitted with copious, life-threatening bleeding. Her boyfriend finally admits that he's been spiking her drinks with an herb known to cause miscarriages. The incensed doctors inform him that he's likely going to jail for attempted murder, even as he feebly protests that he wasn't trying to hurt her, just get rid of the baby.
  • A Forensic Files episode had a woman realizing that her boyfriend, a doctor, had been spiking her drinks with a medication known to cause miscarriages, thus explaining her frequent cramping and bleeding, and indeed, finally losing the baby.
  • The King's Woman:
    • Lady Chu forces Lady Jing to drink an abortifacient while another concubine is Forced to Watch.
    • Lady Min sends Gongsun Li a bowl of soup during her second pregnancy. It's actually a drug that causes her to miscarry.
  • In Hannibal, Mason Verger inflicts this on his sister Margot when he learns she's secretly pregnant with Will's baby; she hopes to conceive a son so she can kill Mason and still inherit the family fortune (her father wrote his will so only a male blood heir can inherit and trust us, Mason has it coming). He actually goes several steps further; after causing Margot to have a car accident to abduct her, he not only has her pregnancy aborted but also arranges a hysterectomy so she'll never be free of him. When Will finds out, he attacks Mason and then lets Hannibal disfigure and paralyze Mason. In Season 3 Margot gets around the issue by stealing Mason's sperm, which her girlfriend Alana uses to get pregnant with a son.
  • Law & Order: SVU:
    • The police are called to a hotel when guests hear the sound of a beating and a teen girl screaming "Stop! Don't!" The girl turns out to be heavily pregnant, so this is suspected to be a motive (above or in addition to traditional domestic abuse). Then it turns out that the girl had come to New York City for an abortion but had wound up finding a conservative "clinic" that repeatedly found excuses not to perform the abortion to stall until their patients either reconsidered or flat out had the child. The beating was a desperate effort to self-abort, it was her idea, and she was actually screaming "Don't stop!" to her reluctant boyfriend as both of them pounded on her stomach.
    • In "Gray" an accused rapist had convinced his pregnant girlfriend to try a new lubricant that unknown to her, contained Misoprostol. She ends up miscarrying. Later, she is found dead from toxic shock syndrome caused by the fetal tissue she had not expelled note  This lands the boyfriend in jail for manslaughter.
  • Rome: Out of jealousy Gaia gives Pullo's pregnant wife Eirene tea laced with herbs. The seller had told Gaia that the herbs could safely terminate an early pregnancy, but one farther along, not so much. Indeed, the mother-to-be goes into early labor and she and her unborn child end up dying, just as Gaia intended.


     Mythology and Religion 
  • In the Book of Numbers, a procedure is laid out for cases where a man suspects that his wife has been unfaithful, but can't prove it. He is to take her to the Temple and make an offering of coarse flour. Then he is to remove some or all of her clothing, while the priests write down a curse and have her drink "bitter water" note  from an earthenware jar. If she has been faithful, the "bitter water" will have no ill effect on her (and according to some Midrashic interpretations, she'd have a healthy baby boy in the coming year). But if she had been unfaithful, then the "bitter water" would cause her "belly to swell and her thighs to waste away." The exact meaning of this phrase has been lost to history, but one common interpretation is that she'd miscarry the illegitimate child she was carrying (and possibly all future pregnancies). The woman could confess before this point (rendering the test moot), or her husband could simply divorce her instead of subjecting her to this.

     Video Games 
  • The first guy Anaksha kills in Anaksha: Female Assassin kicked his pregnant wife in the stomach when she tried to divorce him for being an abusive asshole, resulting in a miscarriage.
  • DmC: Devil May Cry had the infamous scene where Vergil performs an abortion on Lilith with a FAMAS before putting one through her skull.
  • In The Elder Scrolls series, The Real Barenziah, an in-universe biography of Queen Barenziah, claims that Barenziah had an affair with Emperor Tiber Septim when she was young and conceived a child by him, but he ordered his healer to terminate the pregnancy against Barenziah's wishes because of the threat that it posed to his legitimate heirs.

     Web Animation 

     Western Animation 
  • There was an episode of American Dad! that involved Steve Smith and his friends modding a video game so that the objective was to prevent Adolf Hitler from being born by beating a boss fight against Hitler's pregnant mother.