Shouldn’t we protect women by providing abortion?

Womens’ lives are not protected by abortion. Under law, pregnant women in Ireland are never denied life-saving medical treatment, even if that treatment will result in the loss of the baby.

Where a woman has an underlying mental health illness abortion is not the answer and could well be counterproductive for her mental health. Abortion can expose women to emotional hurt and possible psychological harm.

Stories of women harmed by abortion are rarely covered by the media. In July 2013, an Irish women died in the back of a taxi in July 2013 after an abortion in a Marie Stopes clinic in West London.

Many women have experienced how abortion can have a profoundly negative effect on their lives. Women Hurt is a project initiated by Irish women who regret their abortions and wish to share their stories of hope and healing with women who find themselves in similar situations.

Lynn Coles, from Co. Down, is a spokeswoman for Women Hurt. She travelled to England for an abortion when she was 18. She said: “I thought abortion would solve my problems but instead it gave me new ones. I felt I had no other choice but to follow through on the abortion.

“If I had known the emotional, psychological and physical consequences of abortion, I wouldn’t have gone through with it and would have saved myself years of heartbreak. I chose abortion but little did I know that my ‘choice’ would prove to be a very poor choice.”

Lynn said it was ten years later when she was pregnant again and reading antenatal books on baby development that the full force of what she had done fully hit her.

She said: “I read about the first trimester and how the heartbeat can start as early as 28 days after conception. The baby is fully formed at 12 weeks. The reality sunk in that I had been told lies and had believed every one of them.”

We cannot shy away from the implications of what legal abortion involves and the brutal reality of abortion, legal up to birth, in countries like Britain and elsewhere.