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Magical Abortion

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Like in nature to the Convenient Miscarriage, a Magical Abortion is what happens when a female hero on a supernatural series becomes pregnant, but the writers—terrified of addressing the issue of actual abortion and dissatisfied by the idea of doing a simple miscarriage—find a way to get rid of the unwanted fetus that involves magic in some way, thus making it less controversial. It differs from the Convenient Miscarriage in that the pregnancy is directly and deliberately terminated, rather than naturally miscarried.

Almost always involves a Fetus Terrible plot, where mundane abortions logically wouldn't work anyway. Doesn't apply to the Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong, which doesn't really resemble a real life pregnancy at all.

Contrast Plot-Relevant Age-Up and Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome, where the inconvenient infant is born and then matured to a more usable character. Compare Fantasy Contraception.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Solution Epsilon from Overlord (2012) shapeshifts her hands into realistic abortion tools when Sebas asks her to take care of an injured prostitute.

    Comic Books 
  • A variant was used by Marvel Comics for the Scarlet Witch; she actually had her children (with a robot, and before you ask, we're not sure how that works either,) but when they got inconvenient they were Ret Conned into being figments of her imagination mixed with the soul of a demon-lord. When you have Reality Warper powers that aren't under your complete control, it's not the most far-fetched thing that could happen. And then these "imaginary" children are now members of the Young Avengers. Sort of.
    • All... those... poor... mutants...
  • Spider-Man: The now-infamous One More Day storyline also included Mary Jane's pregnancy getting aborted as part of the big magic Retcon. For irony's sake, Joe Quesada didn't want Spidey and MJ getting divorced because it might be seen as objectionable... so instead, he whipped up a storyline where a superhero makes a Deal with the Devil and gets a free abortion in the process.
  • Averted in Judge Dredd where they can remove a foetus and put it into another woman or even cryogenically freeze it until a new mother comes along.
  • In Lucifer, Jill Presto is impregnated by the Basanos, the living personification of the Tarot. When she has the chance, she leaves the Fetus Terrible to die in another dimension, but it turns out she was carrying twins. The other one, Noema, gets Brought Down to Normal and is born as a human child.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Fairy Tales Done Hot retelling of "Rapunzel", Rapunzel is afraid that if she gets pregnant by the Prince, Dame Gothel will use her magic to abort the baby.

  • Near the end of Constantine (2005), John's love interest and girl sidekick Angela becomes mystically impregnated with the Antichrist, which is sent back to Hell through a personal appearance by Satan. In this case she wasn't so much literally pregnant as acting as sort of "flesh-gate" to hell.
  • An odd film example comes in a flashback scene at the beginning of Warlock: The Armageddon. A nameless female satanist that becomes mystically pregnant with the titular Warlock is shown having the full-term foetus exorcised out of her with mystical jewellery. No, seriously.
  • Night Watch starts with the hero getting a witch to magically abort his ex girlfriend's pregnancy so she would come back to him. He backs out of going through with it but it still comes back to bite him.
  • The director's cut of The Butterfly Effect ends with Evan using his Mental Time Travel to go back to being a foetus and strangling himself with his own umbilical cord.
  • The novelization to Pan's Labyrinth says that the titular maze was designed by a witch whose main job was to get rid of unwanted pregnancies that the mothers couldn't afford.
  • The Big Bad's witch minions tried to do this to the hero's mother in The Beastmaster, magically transferring the unborn hero into the womb of a cow as a precursor to killing him. Subverted when the hero-to-be is rescued by an enemy of the Big Bad, who gives the baby a home.

  • One character in Black Dogs uses the Kytha (a kind of physical magic) to abort a pregnancy by rape and purposefully sterilizes herself in the process. She knew that if she simply aborted the baby, the villain would just rape her again and again until she conceived and bore a living child.
  • In Delicate Condition, pregnant teenager Viviana cannot get an abortion in 1978 Texas. Her friend puts one of her great-aunt's (a famous bruja in Mexico) spell on Viviana to end the pregnancy. But she botches it; Viviana is still pregnant. Worse, she has cravings for raw meat, has hallucinations, and the baby shows signs of being other than human.
  • In the Dragonriders of Pern universe, the between used in teleporting is very cold, seeing as how it is absolute nothingness. Female dragonriders who go between too often or too long can end up infertile or sterile, and at least one dragonrider has deliberately used it to induce multiple abortions. "Taking a short dragon ride" is mentioned in some books as a Pernese euphemism for abortion.
  • The Licanius Trilogy: During the escape from Zvaelar, Caeden has to kill Niha's unborn child because she cannot use the transformation Vessel while pregnant. However, that child comes Back from the Dead (after a fashion) and then grows up to become Davian, setting in motion the entire plot of the trilogy.
  • Mages of Magic for Liars have access to potions that will cause a medical abortion within a specific window (similar to scientific pharmaceutical abortion) and a surgical procedure that can be used beyond that window.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire exposure to dark magic in the womb kills Daenerys' unborn son, mutating and decaying him and rendering her infertile. Said magic is worked by a witch whose community was overrun by the Dothraki, both to avenge her people and to avert the son's prophesied conquest of other peoples.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel
    • Cordelia is pregnant twice over the course of the series, only the last of which results in an actual birth. Her first pregnancy in season one (Expecting) with demonic septuplets is terminated supernaturally by the death of their demon daddy, which destroys the evil babies by proxy through a psychic connection.
    • Subverted with Darla, who tries to find some way to get rid of her pregnancy, whether mundane or magical, but can't: the fetus basically has a magical force field around him. Ironically the thing that comes closest to killing him is his actual birth, since the same magic causes complications before Darla, who is vicariously able to love Connor since he has a soul, stakes herself so that he can survive.
  • Charmed (1998): Phoebe's Antichrist-like son is transferred out of her body into the uterus of another woman, The Seer, whom the Charmed sisters then kill. Phoebe doesn't seem particularly shaken up about it, which makes sense since when the baby controlled her she felt that it wasn't hers nor did it have a soul (which was true, since it was the Seer's own evil spawn) and it absolves her of all the crappy things she does while she was pregnant.
  • Game of Thrones: Due to Mirri Maz Duur's Blood Magic, Mirri Maz Duur uses Rhaego as the sacrifice for the life of his father Drogo, unbeknownst to Rhaego's mother Daenerys at the time. Rhaego is said to be born dead and to add extra nightmare fuel to the fire, is warped into some half-human half-dragon abomination by the resonance of such black sorcery.
  • Arlene of True Blood tries to have one with the help of a witch in season 3, because the baby's father was a Serial Killer. It doesn't work. Oddly enough, she considered regular abortion wrong, but this okay for some unexplained reason.
  • The Magicians (2016): Discussed by Julia and Kady after the former gets pregnant by rape. However, it turns out spells that cause abortion are very dangerous, with side effects like erasing the woman's uterus, so they decide a regular medical procedure is a safer idea. After this doesn't work as Renard forces the doctor to kill herself, she gets a different magical one from two Korean magicians that is successful. Unfortunately, it has the side effect of severing her shade.
  • Curtis from Misfits uses his gender shifting power and accidentally impregnates himself with some of his own sperm. This leaves him unable to turn back into a man so he gets Seth to remove his power and make him a non-pregnant male again.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • In The Bible (specifically, the Book of Numbers), there is a test for a woman whose husband suspects her of cheating, but doesn't have proof. He takes her to the temple, unbinds her hair, and they offer some grain flour to call on God to judge her. The priest mixes some dust from the floor with water in an earthenware vessel, and writes a Curse to go with it. If the woman has not been cheating (but only been Mistaken for Cheating), then the cursed water will not affect her. But if she has, then one interpretation is that it would cause her to miscarry, either right then and there or shortly afterwards. This reading of Numbers 5 is very contentious for obvious reasons - the NIV explicitly identifies this as miscarrage, while other translations read this as the curse causing infertility.

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • Silent Hill 3 features a magic abortion pill - just the the thing you need when you're about to give birth to an evil god. Unfortunately she's a little too far along...