My abortion experience was 17 years ago
I have rarely opened up about my experience or fear of the stigma attached to abortion and what people will think, but I feel that telling my story now will go some way to helping me deal with the grief that I have not worked through properly. It may help others who end up in the same situation as I did not to let themselves be pressurised into making a decision that may affect them for a long,long time.
I was delighted to find I was pregnantI was 27 and living with a man to whom I was engaged to be married. I already had a son from a previous marriage. I got pregnant while on the pill but was delighted to find I was pregnant as I had wanted to give my son a half brother or sister.
I expected my partner to be supportive,as we were due to get married anyway but nothing could have prepared me for his reaction...on hearing the news he was horrified and adamant that under no circumstances did he want me to keep the baby as he did not want to be a father. Overnight he started to show his true colours, became a complete bully who wouldn't leave me alone for even a minute to think about what I wanted.
He refused initally to believe the results of a positive pregnancy test and insisted that we go to the local maternity hospital to be scanned to have the proof. On having the pregnancy confirmed by the scan, he insisted on accompanying me to all doctor's and abortion clinic appointments so that I had no chance to change my mind.
I told my mum about it while he was present in the hope that she would at least side with me and tell him where to go with his abortion idea but unfortunately she told me that it would be "for the best" if I went ahead because she could see by the way my partner was reacting that I would get no support. My partner's adoptive mother (he was adopted as a baby), was very abrupt, totally devoided my partner of any blame and insisted that I go ahead with a termination , so that HIS life wouldn't be ruined! She showed no feelings whatsoever for me or my unborn child.
The worst journey of my lifeThe journey to the abortion clinic was the worst of my life and during the pre -operation checks I was crying heavily and wanted to shout that I did not want to go through with it but knew that I would be bullied by my partner and his mother if I didn't go through with it. So it was with resigned acceptance that I allowed myself to be taken to theatre and given the anaesthetic.
We split up shortly afterwardsAfter the abortion rather than stay at home and support me in the after math, my partner went to stay with his mother for a week! We split up shortly after because he could not deal with my anger towards him over what he made me do.
Seventeen years on, I have not had further children because unfortunately, my present husband had had a vasectomy before we met. In a way I see this as my punishment for having allowed my baby to be killed. My son is 23 now and I often wonder how it would have been if he could have known his half brother or sister. Maybe the fact that my feelings have re-surfaced again is down to the declining fertility years and the inevitability of menopause arriving.I hope that one day I will be able to find peace with what I did. I know that I will never forgive my ex-partner and all the others who were involved in this because at the end of the day it is me who has suffered not them.
Editor's CommentUnfortunately we have heard from other women that their partner has pressurised them into ending their pregnancy against their will. It is very sad that such a situation can happen, but I think during pregnancy women often feel very vulnerable and it is difficult to stand up to such bullying when you feel very emotional and in need of support.
It often takes a lot of energy to cope with the grief after an abortion, and these emotions can appear years later. If you would like to talk to a post abortion advisor please contact the national helpline and speak to someone. Many women seek help years after an abortion. There are also centres that offer post abortion support find a centre for post abortion support in your area. a>
This story was sent in on 23/04/2010