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Saturday, March 19, 2005

In the United Kingdom, there has recently been a debate about whether the legal limit for abortions should be reduced from 24 weeks to 20 weeks.

Now, whenever a limit on abortion is proposed, it's traditional for reproductive rights activists to get stories in the media about women who would not have been able to terminate their pregnancy if the new limit had been in effect when they were pregnant.

So, here's the story:

'Nearly six months of my life was taken':

"Shortly after her 23rd birthday Terry discovered that she was six weeks pregnant. She was forced to wait another four months before she was able to have a termination."

The only thing is, I am totally convinced that this story was actually planted by a pro-life activist. Read it and see what you think:

Shortly after her 23rd birthday Terry discovered that she was six weeks pregnant. She was forced to wait another four months before she was able to have a termination.

I was in what seemed like a long-term relationship when I became convinced that I was pregnant. Despite the cap and the assurances of the local family planning clinic — the initial test had been negative — I felt sure that something inside me had changed.

I returned to the clinic a fortnight later and this time my fears were confirmed. I was six weeks gone. Unhesitatingly I decided on a termination.

I was a university graduate but in no position to support a child. Not only was I then unemployed, with no obvious career direction, but my boyfriend showed signs of retreating when I broke the news. I suppose he just couldn’t comprehend what was going on and his behaviour then and subsequently sowed the seeds of our break-up later that year.

My GP had always been an ostentatious traditionalist. I remember him warning me on the supposed evils of the Pill, so I could not turn to him. My parents, devout Catholics, were never told. I turned up alone at a private clinic in Liverpool in my eleventh week, fully expecting to go home relieved of my steadily approaching maternity.

But doctors there felt unable to go ahead once they realised I was asthmatic. I spent the day wandering around the unfamiliar city sick with the kind of fear I don’t think a man will ever understand. Only then did the panic and self-loathing set in.

I returned home and a friend persuaded me to visit my GP, where we asked to see a woman doctor. I sat there incredulous and in tears as she explained that due to staff shortages, an abortion could not be carried out for another 12 weeks. It was the only time I ever considered not going through with it — but through fear of the procedure rather than any moral quandary. I finally had the abortion in London. A fluke meeting with a doctor put me in touch with another private clinic where I underwent an operation under anaesthetic. For almost six months of my life I was unable to focus on anything else. That time was taken from me.
Really. I am convinced that this article is a plant from a pro-life activist.

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