‘The doctor counted all the baby body parts after my abortion’, woman says

Women who regret abortions tell their stories at Women Hurt event in Dublin

Women from the group Women Hurt gather on Grafton Street, Dublin, to call for a No vote ahead of the referendum on the Eighth Amendment. Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Women from the group Women Hurt gather on Grafton Street, Dublin, to call for a No vote ahead of the referendum on the Eighth Amendment. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

 

Campaigners from Women Hurt, a group of women who regret having abortions, held an event on Grafton Street in Dublin on Tuesday to outline their stories.

Rachel, a woman who had two abortions, one when she was 18 years old and another when she was 22 years old, said she found the experience “brutal”.

“I was awake for my second abortion,” she said. “The doctor counted all the baby body parts after my abortion. This was ‘best practice’ but it was horrific. My eyes were open that day to the reality of what an abortion involves. Abortion was a brutal way to treat me and my babies.”

A second woman, Aine from Co Kerry, talked about the aftermath of her abortion. “I denied it had happened and fooled myself for some years,” she said. “The regret and pain that came from experiencing abortion happens silently. I suffered silently for years.”

Galyna from the Ukraine but now living in the Republic said: “I believed abortion was a quick fix, but it was a quick fix that broke me.

“I will never see the colour of my children’s eyes or their smiles, all because abortion was legal and freely available in my home country. I love my new country of Ireland and its people. I don’t want you to suffer from the reality of abortion the way I have.”

Bernadette from Cork said there was “a spiral of silence” around abortion which needed to be addressed. “I didn’t have to travel for my abortion,” she said. “I was living in England at the time.

“It was quick, ‘safe’ and successful. Nobody told me that the success of my abortion meant that there was no longer a heart beating under my heart, that the ‘clump of cells’ was a real baby.

“It was devastating to later realise just what had happened. Today I am in contact with women from all over the world who are grieving after their abortions. They were ‘wanted abortions’ but the grief and regret they feel after is immense.

“There is a spiral of silence around the issue and a denial about abortion regret and the research and evidence that backs it up.

“Listening to women and men every day who experience this loss, regret and trauma, I see very clearly that abortion is destructive and tragic. We can do so much better for women in Ireland. That is why I will be voting No on May 25th,” she said.

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