Teen incest victim was not helped by her abortion

Kate, who was molested and raped by her father, became pregnant by him, decided to get an abortion. She was far advanced in her pregnancy when she went to the abortion facility:

“In fact no-one ever asked me the identity of my child’s father; nor did I want to tell them… I had been trained to believe that no-one would believe me…

I had given up alcohol and was taking extra milk and iron to nurture a baby I intended to abort!

September came, and at last I left home, having won a place at college to read theology and psychology… Still pregnant, I went to the students’ health center. There was no discussion of alternatives to abortion. The attitude was, “You’re at the start of your degree. You don’t want to spoil everything now.”…

At the BPAS clinic [British Pregnancy Advisory Service, a network of abortion clinics] I had what was euphemistically described as counseling. Two doctors pronounced that my mental health would be impaired if I continued with this pregnancy. There was no discussion about my circumstances or the father’s identity; it was simply assumed that because I was 18 and embarking on a three-year degree course, a child would get in the way.

My naïveté extended to ignorance of the abortion procedure. I thought I’d go into the clinic, have an anesthetic, wake up and walk out, free to get on with my life.

“You might feel mildly depressed afterwards,” I was told. They took no account of the fact that I was nearly 26 weeks gone, nearly at the legal limit. I think all abortion is traumatic, but I had no idea what would come my way. I was totally unprepared to discover that not only would I be awake, but it would take a long time and be extremely painful.

The staff at the clinic were also ambivalent towards me. It’s harder for them to administer a process which will destroy a 26 week unborn infant than a 10 week baby, because the gruesome result of their actions is far more evident…

Nothing was explained except that I was too many weeks pregnant for termination to be by a surgical procedure. The solution was a saline injection. It never occurred to me that I would go through labor and birth. I remember asking a doctor, “Will this hurt the child?”

He replied, “You mustn’t think about that. It’s not a child, it’s a fetus.”

Melanie Symonds, Phyllis Bowman And Still They Weep: Personal Stories of Abortion (The SPUC Educational Research Trust, 1996) 73 – 74

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About Sarah

Sarah Terzo is a freelance writer and journalist who works for Live Action. She is a member of the board of The Pro-life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians and Consistent Life.
This entry was posted in Women's Stories, Women's Stories of Abortion Counseling. Bookmark the permalink.

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