Grief over aborted twins drove woman to suicide

A woman whose grief for her aborted twin babies led her to take her own life left a note saying she had never wanted to terminate the pregnancies, an inquest has heard.

Emma Beck, who was 30 when she died, wrote that “Living is hell for me. I should never have had an abortion. I see now I would have been a good mum. I told everyone I didn’t want to do it, even at the hospital. I was frightened, now it is too late. I died when my babies died.”

Miss Beck’s mother told an inquest into her daughter’s death that she had been “pleased when she became pregnant” but that her boyfriend, Ben, had “reacted badly to the news.”

Before the abortion took place, Miss Beck missed one hospital appointment and cancelled another. She finally saw a doctor who referred her to a telephone counselling service because the counsellor at the unplanned pregnancy clinic was away.

The doctor who dealt with the case said: “I am satisfied that everything was done to make sure that Emma consented to the operation.

“As far as I can recall, Emma did not express any doubts about her decision. There is never any pressure put on a woman to choose either way.”

However, the court heard that Miss Beck’s mother had written to the hospital: “I want to know why she was not given the opportunity to see a counsellor.

“She was only going ahead with the abortion because Ben did not want the twins. I believe this is what led Emma to take her own life, because she could not live with what she had done.”

Miss Beck’s GP told the court: “Emma was extremely distressed by the abortion procedure, and I didn’t think she ever came to terms with it.

“…She had a long history of anxiety and depression. Despite my best efforts, she was not willing to see a counsellor after the termination.”

Coroner Dr Emma Carlyon, recording a verdict of suicide, said: “It is clear that the termination of pregnancy can have a profound effect on a woman’s life. But I am reassured by the evidence of the doctors here today.”

Related Resources