We Need Greater Awareness About The Damaging Effects Of Abortion

By Bernadette Goulding

I am a founding member of a group called Women Hurt.

The group consists of women who regret the decision to opt for abortion.

Our main goal is to reach out to women in similar situations to let them know they are not alone and to awaken in society a greater awareness about the damaging effects of abortion.

Should the people of Gibraltar vote to ratify the proposed abortion law in the referendum on March 19th, we expect our work here to significantly increase and for the calls upon our service to grow.

I accept that these are not the kind of statements you will ordinarily hear whenever the topic is discussed.

Indeed, heroic efforts have been made to frame abortion as a ‘procedure’ of little, if any, medical or psychological significance.

How else to explain the decision by Scottish NHS in 2007 to introduce controversial "lunchtime" abortions to fully conscious women under local anaesthetic?

The very existence of post-abortion trauma is often subjected to the 3D treatment of: denial, derision and downplaying.

This has proved to be an important and strategically effective approach wherever it is adopted by pro-abortion advocates and their medical and industrial allies.

I have encountered it in Gibraltar among those pushing for a Yes Vote in the March referendum.

What is striking is the manner in which this strategy mirrors the one adopted by the Tobacco industry in the 1960’s and 70’s.

In fact, a now notorious memo sent by a tobacco executive in 1969 reads as follows:

“Doubt is our product since it is the best means of competing with the ‘body of fact’ that exists in the minds of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy.”

That memo could easily have been written by an executive of the modern abortion industry.

For the members of Women Hurt, there can never be any doubt about the emotionally and physically destructive consequences of abortion.

Our very existence and our experience are a direct challenge to the narrative that abortion is a liberation for women.

I can personally witness to how false and dangerous that claim is.

I was born and raised in the south of Ireland.

After I went to work in the U.K when I was 19 years old, I became pregnant.

I was very adamant that I did not want to be pregnant.

I told the doctor that I would end my life rather than continue with my pregnancy.

The doctor suggested that they could do a termination.

He said that there was nothing there but some cells and that I would be just fine afterwards.

Perhaps if that doctor had made me aware that at 21 days there was a little heart beating under my heart that day, my child could be alive today.

When I woke up after the abortion, I discovered that I had a 4 inch scar in my abdomen.

I am reminded every day of my life that I ended the life of my own child as that scar is there as a permanent reminder.

Initially I felt relieved, but very soon the relief was replaced with shame, guilt, regret and anguish.

All my child’s life experiences were taken away because of a choice, my choice.

They will tell you it’s freedom of choice.

It’s not freedom.  It’s a prison of regret, guilt, grief and shame.

Eventually, I shared my secret with a friend.

It changed my life.  The isolation was over.

I had to face my life with honesty.

To begin healing I had to acknowledge that my baby’s heart was beating under my heart when I had the abortion.

With abortion there is no focus for your grief.  There is no body to bury, no graveside to visit and no family and friends to help you grieve your loss.

Abortion is repeatedly sold as a safe and simple solution.  Rarely, if ever, is information is given about alternatives, foetal development or ‘procedure’ risks.

There is a common thread which runs through many testimonies of women who have suffered psychological trauma or physical injury: a sense of anger and betrayal when they discover that they were never told about the dangers of induced abortion.

But healing can happen when the isolation and secrecy are dismantled.

I am not here to condemn or judge.

We will continue to stand with all women hurt by abortion long after the abortion industry has moved on.

On March 19th I urge you not to make a decision that you will inevitably come to regret.

Choose life. Create hope. Vote No.

Bernadette Goulding is from Ireland. She is co-founder of Women Hurt, a project initiated by women who have been through abortion “offering hope, help and healing to other women.” Bernadette also runs retreats “for women and men suffering after abortion.”

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