Abortion: `The after-effects were bad, but I'm not sure I would have coped being awake'

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Two years ago Rachel Plante had an abortion under general anaesthetic at her local hospital. She was 10 weeks pregnant. Now 26, she works as a solicitor in Middlesex.

"The worst thing about being pregnant and not wanting to be is the guilt. I didn't feel bad about having an abortion but I did feel guilty about getting caught out in the first place. My GP kept asking me whether I was sure I didn't want to keep the baby. You could see he didn't really approve. He never once mentioned that I had a choice of different treatments. I just assumed that you had to stay in hospital and because I couldn't afford to go private I just accepted what I was given.

In the ward I stayed in, there were a few women who had gone in for hysterectomies and a few about to give birth. I kept thinking they were all looking at me because I was having an abortion. After a nurse checked my blood pressure they gave me a pessary which relaxed my cervix and allowed easy access to the uterus.

When I woke up afterwards I felt quite sick and dizzy. I went to the toilet and almost fainted. A friend picked me up the next day and drove me home but because I felt so nauseous I took another day off work to recover. Although the after effects were quite bad, I'm not sure how I would have coped being awake during the treatment.

It's two years since I had the abortion and I barely think about it now, let alone remember the actual day. Looking back, I would have liked to have been able to choose my own treatment method because it was my decision to have the operation in the first place. I should have been able to have at least some input in how it was done."