My boyfriend and I walked in and asked to speak to the charge pharmacist. My boyfriend explained that I needed the morning after pill. The charge pharmacist was polite, but we were refused and asked to go to another pharmacy.
I was inappropriately advised about the traumatic nature of abortion, and potential for permanent gynaecological damage, causing severe distress.
I asked for some advice on which contraception I should be using as my partner and I had decided to start having sex. At the time we were both 21years old and hadn’t had sex yet, but I wanted to be prepared. The doctor then began to tell me that I shouldn’t be having sex unless I was ready to have a baby. I walked away feeling really powerless and felt the trust I thought I had with my doctor had been broken. I definitely felt he had put his personal views before my health.
I was pregnant and concerned that I might have post-natal depression after giving birth. I was very anxious about the pregnancy having had a miscarriage in the past.
I was told by this particular service that they were non-affiliated and would send counsellors to my home for a free session. I made it clear that I was prepared to pay but was told that they could do a referral and this was the way that they commenced their referral service also.
Two women came to my home. It was a horrendous experience. I didn’t know them and they quickly launched into some very intrusive questioning. Immediately they asked me if I had ever had an abortion (I had) and then started to attribute my anxiety to psychological damage I had experienced by having an abortion in the past – alleging that this harm I had caused to myself was well substantiated in all the research. In other words, I needed counselling because of my past abortion!
I was very angry as, in my own experience, the abortion was the one experience that I felt resolved about. It had been my choice and I had supported myself and had been supported through it. Where I felt vulnerable was in respect of the pregnancies where I did not have choice because I had experienced that my body had let me down. I did without specialised counselling services as I was reluctant to go through that experience again.
I stumbled across this doctor’s comments and thought it would be useful to clarify the point. It became evident that he didn’t just have issue with guidelines around fetal abnormality, but with pregnant people having choice.