The Marie Stopes counsellor asked me before I went through with the abortion how I thought I would feel afterwards.

Finding myself pregnant for the third time at the age of 46, but also having separated from the father, I took the decision to have a medical abortion at 8 weeks. Almost two years have gone by and I regret it every single day. The Marie Stopes counsellor asked me before I went through with the abortion how I thought I would feel afterwards. The thing is, you have no idea of how you will feel. You think you do, that you can just get over it, but in my experience that is not what happens. If you have any doubts at all, listen to that inner voice and don't do it. I had doubts, but ignored them. I read somewhere that hardly anyone regrets having a child, but many many women regret having had an abortion. Not only immediately after, but 5, 10, 20 or more years after. What seem to be insurmountable problems beforehand seem insignificant in comparison with the anguish you feel after the abortion and the knowledge that you have taken your own child's life away. If just one woman reading this who has not yet decided, then goes on to have her child, then it will have been worth me writing this. Editor’s note: Thank you for sharing your experience…It’s true that many women do not anticipate how they might feel after an abortion – at first, all the circumstances seem to crowd in on our minds and abortion seems like the only solution. Yet afterwards, although many feel sort term relief initially, feelings of loss, sadness, grief, regret, guilt and shame can set in quite quickly. You seem to be no exception to that. You know that you didn’t take you heart’s message on board at the time, persuaded by the head’s logical message that a pregnancy was just not possible. Naturally, you feel concerned for all the other women who may go in for abortion, but it sounds as if you need some care first. Thankfully, abortion does not have to continue to be a source of guilt-ridden pain forever. Yes, there is a road of painful truths and honesty with oneself to walk, but it’s a road of recovery and freedom too, enabling you to become the person you were meant to be. All it takes is that first step of contacting your nearest centre and making an appointment for post-abortion support. Please get in touch – we’ll be thinking of you.

This story was sent in on 16/07/2009

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