Abortion was initially mentioned by my private GP. She was very persuasive in convincing me that this procedure was, indeed, my best option in the present situation. I was led to agree with her in spite of the fact that there was not ever a mention of any other alternative. This was my “counselling” regarding my abortion decision.
Hours afterwards, I began to experience a great deal of pain and increased bleeding. I did not know the name of the man who had performed the abortion on me, so I could not call to talk to him about my condition. I did not call my regular doctor for advice either. In fact, I’ve never spoken to her since. I was so humiliated and angry at the deception she had pulled on me. I saw her as uncaring and oblivious to my feelings at a very vulnerable and emotional time in my life.
VICTIM TO VICTIM
Eight years late, I became pregnant again. The emotional trauma of the abortion began to manifest itself in several ways during this second pregnancy. Then, after the births of each of my living children, I experienced nightmares where I was frantically searching the bed for the “lost” baby. My fear was not for my new baby because I knew that one was safe. It was for the Other One that I was searching, the one I shall never find. The one that I was never told I might miss someday.
My sister and I had been victims of incest. My sister had been sexually assaulted by my brothers for a number of years when she got her first abortion at the age of 16. Had she been questioned by anyone as to how a minor like herself had come to be pregnant in the first place, perhaps she could have been saved form any further abuse withing the family. This is indeed what should have happened in any agency that claims to be concerned about preventing child abuse. As it turned out, she was given the abortion without my parents, consent or knowledge and then returned to the same environment.
LIFE SAVING QUESTIONS
Years later, after having given birth to three children, having had many years of psychotherapy and antidepressant drugs, she became pregnant in a crisis situation. She was advised by friends, self-appointed do-gooders, to abort the baby to take care of herself. This caused her a great deal of distress and anxiety. The decision was very difficult for her and in her weakened state she succumbed to the “sensibility” of their arguments and scheduled the abortion. She was crying when she entered the clinic, she cried throughout the procedure and was sobbing as she left. No one there asked her any questions that might upset her anymore. But, of course, had anyone asked her, they might have recognised that she was not emotionally strong enough to stand the abortion. Had they inquired about her heath history, they may have seen her as the high-risk patient that she was. None of this took place. One week later, she took her life with a gunshot to the chest, striking her heart. Her children growing up without their mum because no one wanted to ask the question.
(Julie shared her story as part of a press conference on January 22, 1996. The conference focused on the harm that abortion and the unregulated abortion industry does to women.)