When I was first pregnant, I was very happy and then at about twenty-two weeks my partner left me. He said I don’t want a baby and I don’t want to live with you. At that time I was really really upset. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t how I could manage life with a baby. It was a very tense situation and so I decided at that time I was going to go and have an abortion.
Because of this situation, I felt under strong pressure to have an abortion and I really felt I had no other choice. Feeling that I had no support from anyone, my only option was making an appointment for an abortion.
So I went to my GP and they asked about my reasons for seeking an abortion. I said my partner had left me and I did not want the baby because I couldn’t afford it. The GP gave me an appointment at the BPAS Richmond abortion clinic.
I did not have rights to claim a benefit or anything here as I am a foreign worker, so I was in a difficult situation where I couldn’t see any other options for support. The doctor made no attempt to provide me with any other options for support.
I was 23 weeks pregnant when I went to the abortion clinic in Richmond, just inside the 24 week abortion limit.
I went into the abortion clinic and there were lots of other people there for abortions. A staff member took my appointment paper and then told me to wait ten minutes. I then had a scan which they were doing to prepare for the abortion.
During the scan I saw my baby girl. She was very nice, playing, and putting her thumb in her mouth. But I didn’t have a choice about what I was going to do. I was crying, crying so much.
I went outside and and met a woman called Justyna standing there offering women help as they walked into the clinic. We started talking and I told her about why I was there and that I was now 23 and a half weeks pregnant. She offered to support me and that was very emotional for me, I was crying a lot because up until that stage I really did not feel anyone wanted to support me. I relaxed after that, feeling that someone now wanted to support me.
Justyna took me to the Good Counsel Network and they worked with me to find out what I would needed in terms of support to keep my baby. First off, my accommodation. I needed a house or a room and food because at that time I was not getting much work. After becoming pregnant it became even more difficult to the point that I was not getting any work, so I needed support to cover my rent and food. I had my full rent covered by them and they gave me vouchers every week for food.
What this support meant for me was that I had a choice. It was clear with this support in place that I really really wanted my little girl. Without the support offered outside the abortion clinic I would have had only one choice. That is not really a choice at all when there is only one choice. My baby girl would not be here today if I had not met the woman outside the abortion clinic.
Now I have my baby girl and I am still getting support from the Good Counsel Network.
If I hadn’t met Justyna that day, I would have definitely had the abortion. Because who was there to look after me? I had no money. If I had been living somewhere, the landlord would have moved me on because I couldn’t afford the rent.
Tomorrow my baby girl will be 9 months old.
It makes me angry to see people saying the help and support I was given outside the clinic should be banned. These people say that other people should not be allowed to offer help to women like me because that is harassment. They do not speak for me. They should come and talk to me and hear my story.
Note: This testimony uses a pseudonym to preserve the identity of the woman involved.