a twisted coathanger


Senior Member
He was grinning, but she couldn’t see his face. A wave of frigid cold blasting up at her from that awful grin. No, she couldn’t see his face, but she could see the gift this terrible apparition had brought for her unborn baby: a twisted coathanger.
She fled, fled from the room, from the dream, coming up, surfacing briefly—

Source: The stand by Stephen King
Context: Frannie is dreaming. She is pregnant.

What does the bolded sentence mean? I understand it will be a figure of speech.

Thank you.
  • wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    A twisted coathanger is the made-up instrument often used by back-street abortionists in places where abortion is or was illegal.
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