In the latest of our ‘Choose Life’ series, Lynn Coles, who supports women suffering the terrible after-effects of abortion, shares her experience.
As an Abortion Recovery Facilitator, she has been able to assist women from a variety of backgrounds who have undergone abortions they came to deeply regret.
“It’s not a religious thing to regret your abortion” she says, “it’s actually a human thing, a woman thing – because we’re not designed to take the lives of our children”.
Lynn is perhaps uniquely placed to perform such a role. She has stood in the place of the women she helps and shares their regret, having had an abortion herself at just 18 years old.
She recalls her “complete ignorance” about abortion. The doctor who persuaded her to have the abortion told her that “the baby wasn’t really a baby” just a “blob of cells”.
It wasn’t until many years later that she realised that at ten and eleven weeks her son “had a heartbeat, fully formed arms, legs and that he was a human person”.
She went back to work after only a day or two, having been given no counselling either before or after the abortion.
Lynn didn’t discuss her experience with anybody. “The shame and guilt of abortion, after the event, nobody wants to talk about it.”
She says: “Abortion is offered to women as a quick solution to the problem but what women don’t realise like myself is that it just gives us new problems.”
“Often we go into denial because it’s the only way you’re going to go though with the abortion. You have to dehumanise and detach yourself from the baby, because you think this is the only way out of this situation.”
“The long term detrimental effects of abortion affect women psychologically, physically, emotionally and more importantly spiritually,” she said.
She concludes with a plea for any woman in her position to seek help – “abortion doesn’t have to be your only choice.
“Women only choose abortion because they feel they have no other choice, but of course that’s not true.”
This week, Ann Furedi, head of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) described abortion as “no more complicated than many of the minor procedures carried out in general practice”.