Monique's story: Doctor's pressure to abort
My husband and I found out we were expecting our first baby and we were thrilled. The day came for our 20 week scan, but after the ultrasound we were just left to wait.
After several hours of delay, we were finally taken to see a doctor. They said outright - "There are issues with your baby's head and heart; would you like to terminate the pregnancy?"
Just like that; no warning, no leading up to it, no more information than "issues" just "your baby's not perfect, do you want to abort them?”.
I was in shock, I couldn't answer; this morning we were coming to find out what we were having and now you want to kill my baby? We didn't even find out if it was a boy or a girl.
When I could speak again I said "No, we don't want to do that" and we were given a referral to see a specialist.
When we saw the specialist, he also asked me straight up - "Do you want to terminate the pregnancy?" I answered "No! We told the doctor on Friday we don't want to. That's why we're here."
He completely ignored my ‘no’: "You can do it easily for the next four weeks so you have to decide before then. It gets a lot harder but don't worry, we can still do it." For a third time I said "No. We've already decided."
He ignored me and said, "I can refer you to Brisbane but it will be stressful and expensive so are you sure you don't want to terminate the pregnancy?"
By this point I was in tears. I sobbed "I want to do everything we can for our baby," and after ignoring us 3 times, the nasty doctor finally rang the Mater Mothers Hospital in Brisbane.
We were squeezed in for an appointment that evening where we were told that our darling child had a perfect little heart and that we were having a baby girl.
A few weeks later we hit 24 weeks. I was so inexplicably glad now that it was "much harder" to kill my baby. She was loved from the moment I saw those two pink lines and to be asked 4 times in 4 days, with three of those being in a row, if I wanted to terminate my child was the worst thing that had happened to me up to that point in my life.
Renae's story: Mother pressured her into an abortion
‘Hi, my name is Renae and I had an abortion when I was 14. I was barely an adult and just didn’t comprehend what was happening. I was pushed (by my mother) into making an uninformed decision out of convenience rather than given counselling and support to wrap my head around the situation I was facing. I now find this lack of care and information very disturbing.
I had no knowledge of what to expect or what would happen at the clinic – I was shuffled in without as much as a word. Someone asked me to confirm my name and that was it.
'I was given an inadequate amount of drugs by the anesthetist. I woke up in the middle of the surgery and heard a doctor saying ‘There it is – got it!’ I was absolutely traumatized and distraught as I left the clinic that fateful day.
I have struggled to take all this in ever since and truthfully to come to terms with what happened. As a result of this experience I have endured depression, drug addiction and a ‘ruined life’. It’s ironic to think that my mum told me I would ruin my life if I had the baby, but no one ever stopped to think that maybe not having the baby and having an abortion instead would do the exact same thing.
'Was I scared when I found out I was pregnant? Yeah sure I was. But I should have been able to explore further options in relation to single parenting and adoption before taking ‘the easy option’. I’m here to share my story today in the hope that no other woman has to suffer through the very personal isolation, agony and complete heartbreak of losing a child in such a way. My abortion experience has severely impacted my life and I hope and pray that these Bills don’t pass.’