Many women don’t undergo abortions because they want to; they do it because they face pressure and coercion from the people around them. One woman in Australia faced that exact situation, and after the abortion, she felt abandoned by the very people who pushed her into it. She became depressed, suicidal, and homeless.
Writing anonymously for the Australian website MamaMia, the woman said she was married to a wealthy man with two children. “I lived in a palace of a home that I had designed and decorated myself,” she said. “I was fit and beautiful, going to Pilates three times a week and cycling every day. I hosted parties and was attending balls and charity events and social occasions.”
Then, she and her husband separated. She began dating another man and became pregnant. Since she had previously struggled to get pregnant, she was overjoyed to be expecting a third baby. But her ex-husband, her mother, and her new boyfriend did not share her joy. Each of them wanted her to get an abortion. “For the sake of my ex-husband, for my children, for my boyfriend and his mother and her family, I had to terminate this pregnancy and abort this child,” she wrote. “They were all happy that I was pregnant. Just not right now. As soon as everything was done properly.”
The woman did not want to get an abortion and she delayed as much as she could, but they all began manipulating and pressuring her, wearing her down. “Eventually, the stress with the hormones became too much and I had a mental breakdown,” she said. “I became extremely unwell. Manic, depressed, even psychotic at times.” The father of the baby, meanwhile, wouldn’t even look at her stomach or touch her when the baby would kick. She learned she was having a boy, but as the pressure continued to build, she went to an abortion facility in Melbourne. However, a panel there deemed her “too unwell to make the decision.” This did not stop her ex-husband and boyfriend from pushing her to abort – even sending her out of the country.
“Under my ex-husband’s instruction, I bought first-class tickets for the dad and economy for me (he had a bad back at the time),” she said. “The plan was (I told the clinic) to have this little abortion and then pop back to Melbourne and go back to IVF so that we could do it in the RIGHT ORDER. This way I would get support for the baby. As if one can just press a rewind button and become magically unpregnant.” The abortion was traumatic for her though, and left her “a completely shattered human being.” Yet there was no understanding or sympathy from the people who pressured her into the procedure.
“I came back to Australia and couldn’t move. Feed my children or even stand. I was drowned in sweat and stopped eating. Employees from my law firm were feeding my kids,” she recounted. “I wanted my baby. Desperately, so much so that I began to live in two parallel worlds. One where I am still pregnant expecting in three months and two, where it’s the here and now. I had been expecting and my body physically and psychologically just couldn’t get out of that zone. I got post-natal depression.”
Her ex-husband changed the locks on his house and she couldn’t see her living children. Her boyfriend complained that she was no longer the “bright, vivacious woman” he liked before. And her parents didn’t support her, either. She described herself as “psychologically broken,” and even though she had money, she ended up homeless, because she wasn’t mentally capable of caring for herself.
“I haven’t seen one of my daughters in almost two years. The other a mere handful of times, always quick and rushed,” she said, adding, “[…] Losing a baby and never fully grieving it for it will change a person. Not [being] around your children during that time will dull you to the point where you can barely feel anything at all other than the constant hum of fear; a rumble of terror.”
Being pressured and coerced into abortion is sadly common, and it’s not unusual for women to suffer depression, pain, and regret afterward. Yet there is no outcry from the abortion industry or its defenders for these women. There is little concern for women who are pushed to have abortions they do not want, but this coercion is cruel, abhorrent, and unacceptable. These stories must be shared so that no woman ever has to experience something like this again.
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