an After abortion

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Friday, January 9, 2004

Aini's story below is no different from the stories of countless teenagers living with the pain of a past abortion.

Depression, constant thoughts about the baby and what could have been, fear of being "found out". Her boyfriend promised her marriage if she would abort. As is often the case, after the abortion the relationship ended anyway. True, there were many issues in this girl's life prior to abortion...more of a reason to have 24 hour waiting periods, screening, etc., instead of just blowing her off as damaged prior to the abortion in order to explain and try to justify her suffering. The truth is, countless women suffer whether there were prior issues or not....

So scared friends will find out her dark secret

SHE is back in school with a dark secret: She was pregnant at 15.

In February 2002, Aini (not her real name) had wanted to keep the baby. But her boyfriend, 22, persuaded her to abort it five months into the pregnancy and paid the bills of $2,000.

Now 17, Aini is picking up the pieces of her life - she started school at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) on Monday after missing out for more than a year.

But she is worried her new friends will discover her past. 'A few classmates asked me for my phone number, but I told them I don't have a phone,' said Aini.

The only number she has to give is that of the Pertapis Centre for Women and Girls.

She has called the place home since June 2002, after her mother got a Beyond Parental Control court order on her. 'It can only lead to more questions, questions I'm not ready to answer yet,' she sighed.

This anxiety comes on top of the intense regret she feels about the abortion.

'Whenever I have time, I think about what could have been. How old the baby would be now. I never should have gone through with it,' she said.

She also has to contend with heartbreak and suffers from depression.

'(My lover) promised to marry me, and I believed him. He said he wasn't ready for a baby yet, and I didn't want to lose him, so I went ahead with the abortion. In the end, he left me all the same,' said Aini, now in tears.

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