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Abortion has caused the deaths of too many women

5 April 2016


Ashli Blake had an abortion when she was just 13 and committed suicide two years later

Today we reported the tragic case of Jade Rees, the 21-year-old student who hanged herself following an abortion

Jade is the latest case of a young woman taking her own life following abortion.

Just last month, details emerged of a 15-year-old girl who committed suicide two years after having an abortion when she was just 13.

Ashli Blake

Ashli Blake was dating 17-year-old Marcus Webb, four years her senior, when she became pregnant. She decided she wanted to keep her baby, but was eventually pressured by her mother into getting an abortion.

Ashli jumped to her death from a tower in the New Forest in September 2014.

Webb had taunted her over the abortion, even – sickeningly – sending her a mock Mother’s Day card after the procedure. These details came to light during a trial last month accusing Webb of sexually abusing his girlfriend.

Webb has since been sentenced to four years in jail for sexually abusing Ashli.

Emma Beck

Today’s story also has parallels with the case of Emma Beck, who hanged herself the day before her 31st birthday in February 2007 after aborting her baby twins when she was eight weeks pregnant.

Emma was a well-known British artist and the story of her suicide was widely reported. In her suicide note, she wrote: "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. I want to be with my babies: they need me, no-one else does."

No counsellor provided

The Daily Telegraph described how Emma’s mother believed her daughter should have been offered post-abortive counselling:

The inquest at Truro City Hall heard that Miss Beck had split up with her boyfriend, referred to as "Ben" after he "reacted badly" to the pregnancy.

She saw her GP before the termination, but missed an appointment at a hospital in Penzance. She then cancelled, but later turned up to an appointment at a clinic at Royal Cornwall Hospital in Treliske. The counsellor was on holiday so a doctor referred Miss Beck to a pregnancy counselling telephone service eight days before carrying out the abortion when she was eight weeks pregnant, the inquest heard.

The coroner, Dr Emma Carlyon, ordered that the identities of the doctor who performed the abortion and her lead consultant be kept secret.

"I believe this is what led Emma to take her own life"

The inquest heard that Sylvia Beck, the victim's mother, wrote to the hospital after her daughter's death, saying: "I want to know why she was not given the opportunity to see a counsellor.

"She was only going ahead with the abortion because her boyfriend did not want the twins.

"I believe this is what led Emma to take her own life - she could not live with what she had done."

The doctor said: "I discussed Emma's situation with her, and wrote on the form, 'Unsupported, lives alone, ex-partner aware'.

"Normal practice"

"It is normal practice to give a woman the number for telephone counselling when a counsellor is not available.

"I am satisfied that everything was done to make sure that Emma consented to the operation.

She added: "We have since appointed more counsellors so there is more holiday cover."

Stories like those of Jade, Ashli, Emma and many others are a reminder that abortion hurts women.

If you are suffering after abortion, or know anyone who is, you can contact the Abortion Recovery Care and Helpline on: 0845 603 501

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