Letter: Lunch-time abortions will reduce misery

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The Independent Online
As someone who had the gruesome experience of an abortion on the National Health Service during the 1960s, I was overjoyed to discover that "lunch-break abortion" is to be available at Marie Stopes centres in London.

Abortion should never be trivialised, and perhaps the "harsh marketing language of convenience shopping" is inappropriate ("Out to lunch..." 29 June), but we must not confuse the issue with the words. The opening of these centres is a great breakthrough for women.

My experience was grim. I was not young - in my thirties - and in a cold dead marriage, already the mother of two children and desperately planning how to get out with minimum hurt to all involved. I do not have to explain to those who have found themselves in similar circumstances the solace of sex, the hope that things will be better after a night of desperate lovemaking. When this results in an unwanted pregnancy it brings the darkest suicidal feelings. Abortion seemed the only solution. It seemed to me irresponsible to bring an unwanted baby into the world.

My GP was helpful but reticent. He arranged for me to go before what I considered a tribunal. It became a horror story: waiting for appointments, trying to maintain secrecy in a small rural community, being questioned by men (at that time it was always male psychiatrists), trying to justify my decision - until in the end I was over the 12-week stage and had to have an abdominal operation.

Getting rid of a baby will never be an easy decision for a woman but surely once made, the quicker the method the better. This is why I welcome the new daycentres.

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