Man charged after ‘secretly giving his girlfriend an abortion drug and telling her it was an iron pill’

Massachusetts man is charged with attempted poisoning, among other charges, after tricking his pregnant girlfriend into taking misprostol

Ariana Baio
Wednesday 29 May 2024 15:06 BST
Man arraigned on charges of attempted poisoning after allegedly misleading ex-girlfriend into taking abortion pill

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

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A Massachusetts man gave his pregnant girlfriend abortion medication under the guise of iron pills and vitamins, causing her to miscarry, prosecutors say.

Robert Kawada, 43, is now facing criminal charges of attempted poisoning, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon on a pregnant person and assault and battery on a household or family member, according to Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan.

One of the pills he is accused of giving the victim is believed to be misoprostol, which is used in combination with mifepristone to end a pregnancy.

Mr Kawada was arraigned in Waltham District Court on Tuesday. A not-guilty plea was entered on his behalf and the judge set his bail at $100,000.

During Tuesday’s arraignment, Assistant District Attorney Jacob McCrindle said Mr Kawada and the victim began dating in January after meeting on a dating app. The two went on several in-person dates and engaged in consensual sex on three occasions, The Boston Globe reported. 

After learning the victim was pregnant, Mr Kawada ended their relationship. However, the two met in person to discuss the pregnancy. The victim claims Mr Kawada assured her about the pregnancy and shared his experience with his ex-wife’s pregnancy.

Robert Kawada, 43, gave his pregnant girlfriend, abortion medication under the guise of iron pills and vitamins, prosecutors say. He has now been charged in connection to the case.
Robert Kawada, 43, gave his pregnant girlfriend, abortion medication under the guise of iron pills and vitamins, prosecutors say. He has now been charged in connection to the case. (WCVB Channel 5 Boston / YouTube)

On one of those occasions they met, the victim alleges Mr Kawada gave her “homemade raspberry leaf cookies” which caused her to feel unwell.

Prosecutors explained that raspberry leaves are sometimes used to start labor but can be potentially harmful during the first trimester.

On another occasion, Mr Kawada gave the victim pills but she went to the bathroom and spat them out. She later saved them in a Ziplock plastic bag.

Before their final meeting, prosecutors say Mr Kawanda orchestrated a call from a fake nurse to advise the victim she should take iron pills due to her blood levels. Mr Kawanda then showed up at the victim’s home with the supposed iron supplements. Mr McCrindle alleges Mr Kawanda checked her mouth “by pulling on the victim’s cheeks to ensure she had consumed the pills.”

The victim later went to sleep feeling “cold” and “shivering” and woke up with “very bad cramps.” She later miscarried.

The victim called the nurse but soon discovered it was an “internet-based phone number” and became suspicious it was a fake number from a fake nurse. After informing her family of the incident, the victim called the police and provided the previous pills Mr Kawada gave her.

Prosecutors say that when questioned by police, Mr Kawada said he gave her “vitamin C and iron pills.”

Cell phone web searches from Mr Kawanda’s phone show searches for “misoprostol dissolved” and “9-week aborted fetus pics”. Prosecutors say Mr Kawanda also called an online pharmacy that sells misoprostol – which is only available in the state through a prescription.

Mr Kawada is expected to return to court on July 23 for a probable cause hearing.

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