Letter: My sense of loss after abortion

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Sir: I read Suzanne Moore's article in defence of abortion (6 December) with interest. While I wholly commend her stance, she failed to broach the complexity of abortion itself. This year I found myself pregnant and chose, with much pain, to have an abortion. But as recently as two years ago, I was a fairly ardent anti-abortionist.

Like racism in Britain, it is a subject that few wish to discuss until they are forced into a situation where they have no choice. Part of the problem in discussing abortion is that it falls into cliches about a woman's right over her body or the right of life itself. While this may be true on the level of the collective, for the individual it is far more complex.

Few understand, apart from those who have experienced it, the uncontrollable sense of loss that many women feel after they have gone through a termination. Worse still, few care to listen or attempt to understand.

I was told by several friends that I was being "empowered". In fact, I feel as if I am still in a state of mourning and far from having been empowered. It is a death after all. It seems obvious to me that faced with having a child or having an abortion, whichever decision you make is the wrong one. It is a catch 22.

The debate on abortion will never progress until women who have been through it are given the floor - to explain to those who haven't a clue but merely a view the issues that stand out above women's rights.

LARA PAWSON

London

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