How many abortions have you had?
One in the Richmond clinic in London
My circumstances at the time of the abortion.
I was living in London aged 21. After having too much to drink at a party one night, I woke up with someone sexually violating me. I felt immediately a foreboding feeling and knew the possibility of having conceived. When my menstrual period was one week late and working in a hospital I immediately went to employee health.
How much information were you given on the abortion procedure at the time and by whom?
I made a hasty decision to seek a termination. I could not contemplate any other option and felt if I do this quickly it will be like it never happened. There was no counselling given to help me look at other options just a token few minutes to mark off a check-list. I was unable to confide in my family as I feared rejection. If abortion was not as readily available I may have had time to think about the decision more.
What was your immediate reaction after the abortion and how did you feel?
I went into denial that it ever happened, buried it and got on with my life. When I became pregnant 7yrs later I was deeply traumatized with the surfacing of memories which I had never processed.
How has/have your abortion affected you?
It felt right at the time but it definitely was not the right decision for me.
It is the single and most profound regret of my life.
What has helped you come to terms with your abortion?
Peace only came when I faced myself in truth, acknowledged the fact that abortion took the life of my unborn child and I allowed myself to grieve. Attending a Rachel’s Vineyard healing retreat many years later really helped, but the truth is after the abortion my life changed completely. I would often sink into pools of sadness. Life became very serious and my self-esteem plummeted.
Many women who have been hurt by abortion are unable to speak about their pain because they are silenced by shame and the fear of being judged. I would recommend the book Forbidden Grief by Dr Teresa Burke to give further insight into the pain that abortion brings.