Further to this week’s events and the request [details below] by two French filmmakers to talk to women who have sought an abortion in England, Broadsheet commenter Liggy writes:
It’s all very well kicking around the subject of abortion, the wrongs and rights, the political and the reality, the pomp and the circumstance but most women who have had one know the reality….
17 years ago, I had an abortion.
The boat from Cork to Swansea, long distance mainline rail train and the underground to Camden in London.
I remember being surprised that there were so many trees in that part of London. I was expecting it to be all concrete buildings and pavements.
The Marie Stopes clinic was in a huge old red-brick house. When I got there, I was given a sympathetic interview with a doctor and a nurse who were there to help me decide what to do for the best. There was no pressure to decide one way or the other. Just a promise of support either way.
I decided to go through with it,
No food or drink the night before, a fitful sleep in a local B’n’B owned by a Greek woman who the clinic recommended. She had some heartbreaking tales to tell of the girls that had stayed there before. There were no names, no faces to associate with the tales of rape, incest, slavery, money controlling husbands running off and life threatening medical conditions that a pregnancy would have made worse. The police were called but sometimes they could do very little. The clinic was the only hope of a life for most of these women.
The next morning, up early, back to the clinic, changed into my bedclothes, given the gas to help me fall asleep. Procedure. A lot of drug induced sleep. Some Tea. More deep exhausted drug inspired sleep. Some toast and tea. Sunlight coming through the blinds. Shallow sleep. Breakfast and discharge.
The boat back was the longest journey of my life but I read the 20p books I bought in a bundle from an Oxfam shop to pass the time. I also stuffed the stained Mickey mouse nightshirt that I wore during the procedure into a bin in one of the toilets. I did not want it any more. I felt guilty for leaving it for some poor cleaner to find.
I bled for a week afterwards and after that it was over. I was no longer pregnant and my body was returning back to normal.
That is all that is involved. The rest, like some of the above and the 100s of other posts on here are just opinions from various parties with vested interests trying to stop women from making a choice or promote their own agenda. How I became pregnant or my reasons for having an abortion are not political footballs to be kicked about by those who want to point score or scream “my view is right” the loudest.
I made a choice and it was the right one. I neither regret it nor take pride in it. It was just something that had to be done. I wish that my fellow Irishwomen had the same option in their own country, the chance to make a medical choice. That choice could be yes or could be no. We are in charge of ourselves enough to be able to decide.
Previously: Have You Taken The Boat?