OXFORD, UK, February 27, 2014 ( – A student at Oxford University committed suicide last year mere hours after her boyfriend broke up with her. The boyfriend told an inquest recently that the young woman’s grief had begun only three months earlier after he convinced her to get an abortion, The Daily Mail reports.

Charlotte Coursier, 25, was also troubled by a “campaign of harassment” against her by college lecturer Dr Jeffrey Ketland, with whom she had previously had a sexual relationship, the paper reports.

In June, Coursier was found after hanging herself in her home.


She had begun dating Ben Fardell in July 2012. “In the first six months there were issues of trust and commitment in the relationship,” Fardell told the inquest. “But Charlotte was much better in the new year. Then, in February, she discovered she was seven weeks pregnant despite taking contraception.”

According to Fardell, he told her he wasn’t prepared for a child, and helped her make the “incredibly difficult” decision to seek an abortion.

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Coursier cancelled the first appointment, but then went through with the abortion on March 25.

Afterwards she was devastated, saying she had “murdered her child.”

She was “low for weeks,” said Fardell. “Although she stopped mentioning it after a while I'm not sure she ever got over it.”

Fardell broke up with Coursier on the morning of June 10 because “he felt the relationship was holding both he and Miss Coursier back,” in the words of The Daily Mail.

She was found dead in her room later that evening. 'I can't help but feel my breaking up with her was the tipping point but I understand I am not responsible for her death,” said Fardell.

News of Coursier’s death comes only days after the suicide of Australian celebrity Charlotte Dawson, whose descent into depression had begun 15 years ago after her own abortion.

“When I got home [from the abortion], I felt that something had changed,” Dawson wrote in her autobiography. “I felt a shift. Maybe it was hormonal, but I felt the early tinges of what I can now identify as my first experience with depression.”

Numerous studies over many years have shown a strong link between abortion and subsequent depression. For example, in 2012 a study of post-abortive women in China found a high correlation between induced abortion and depression among pregnant women.


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