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Abortion - angry and want to harness it!

(43 Posts)

I'm naive I know - I'm a feminist but thought that in 2016 seeking to end an unwanted pregnancy would be straightforward. I'm 37, and earlier this week found out I was pregnant.

I made an appt with my GP. She refused to refer me on religious grounds. Saw another doctor in the practice. He gave me a scrappy leaflet and a scribbled number to refer to Marie Stopes. I would have gone straight there but understood that I needed an NHS referral to secure funding.

Marie Stopes can't see me for a while, and my local clinic can't offer both medical and surgical abortions, so I go to BPAS instead. At BPAS decide that I want the medical, but my local MS clinic can't then take me for the treatment, I'd need to go through a consultation again from the beginning.
Although this pregnancy is unwanted, the whole thing is emotionally distressing. I just want it sorted as soon as possible.

It all feels so secretive and separate - in what other medical situation do you need to call a central booking line to organise treatment? And what medical treatment doesn't allow sharing of files between professional health carers? Am I missing something huge here?

If 1 in 3 women have an abortion in their lifetimes, then this is normal. Why can't I be booked into a clinic via my GP?

It shouldn't be so hard should it? What can I do to channel my anger? And for a women who can't get an abortion in the country they call home, that is an outrage. How do I get involved in campaigning?

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHorrid Sat 28-May-16 09:04:27

bill really sorry you are going through this. GPs having the option not the refer pisses me off too. Abortion is a medical procedure and all GPs should refer.

There's a massive issue with sexual health funding in this country. The less money we put into sexual health the more abortions we will see.

I'm worried about the future of access to abortions too. Most abortions are done by BPAS or Marie Stopes now. They have no obligation to train new doctors to perform abortions. I really worry that in the future it will become harder and harder to access an abortion.

I don't know about campaigning - I'm going to lurk on the thread and see if anyone more knowledgeable can advise.

Very best of luck with the abortion flowers

PalmerViolet Sat 28-May-16 09:12:14

I'm so sorry you're having all these difficulties accessing medical care Bill. I don't know what to suggest as you're doing all the right things, hopefully you will be sorted out soon, the later you have to leave it the more faff it takes.

please ignore all the deeply unhelpful claptrap people will write on your thread, hopefully you know which posters not to bother reading

take care flowers

Thank you both - that's really kind. When I had no idea that new doctors are not required to be trained now, that's awful. I was pissed off when my GP refused to refer, because it won't make a difference to the outcome, so what's the point?

Palmer thank you, it shouldn't be too long now I think. And oh dear - should I brace myself for an onslaught?

PalmerViolet Sat 28-May-16 09:21:53

I hadn't seen that you'd posted in FWR, so no, probably not. We know that women are capable of making decisions about their own bodies here and tend to support them in doing so. Really sorry about that.

sashh Sat 28-May-16 09:45:56

Sorry for your delay, I hope it is sorted soon.

If you want to help other women - follow the links below.

ASN - you can fundraise, donate and volunteer a bed for the night for a woman who has had an abortion.

Women on waves and women on the web provide two services, the first is the 'waves' bit - they have a ship that sails to a country where abortion is illegal, pick up women, sail out in to international waters where Dutch law applies (Dutch org and ship) and perform terminations.

Women on the web supplies abortion pills to countries where abortion is illegal. They have sent drones over boarders to drop pills but more often wend them by post.

Again you can fundraise and offer practical health, in the case of the pills if you live in Ireland / NI or Poland you can offer your address for them to send pills to so that there is less chance of the woman receiving the pills being prosecuted, you obviously risk prosecution your self in some countries.

The Royal college of midwives are advocating the decriminalisation of abortion, ie that women will not have to go through the process you are going through to see 2 doctors, to be denied abortion past a certain date etc - they say it should be a medical procedure with no prospect of prosecution for the woman or the doctor performing it.

Brilliant sashh thank you so much.

NeedACleverNN Sat 28-May-16 09:55:58

That is bloody ridiculous!

I would also be tempted to complain about the doctor who refused on religious grounds. No doctor should be able to refuse a procedure because they don't believe in it! They should be doing it because it's there job

Yes I agree, but legally they are allowed to refuse, as long as they then refer you to another doctor who will. Pointless really, but I guess the only way legislation could be passed on this.

JillyTheDependableBoot Sat 28-May-16 10:27:31

I had a similar experience, OP, except the doctor wouldn't actually admit that she was conscientiously objecting - she just obfuscated and tried to put me off and ended up giving me a phone number that was wrong. I was so angry and distressed at the time - I really, really regret not reporting her. flowers for you - I hope you it's all over soon.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Sat 28-May-16 10:30:51

It is illogical but quite legal. Registrars for example cannot refuse to officiate at civil same sex partnerships or gay weddings no matter how strongly they might believe for religious reasons it is wrong to do so.

Midwives can also refuse to carry out any direct treatment although cannot refuse to supervise other nurses who do.

Catholic midwives lose abortion case at UK Supreme Court -

shinynewusername Sat 28-May-16 10:36:48

No doctor should be able to refuse a procedure because they don't believe in it!

As a GP, I agree, but unfortunately the rules do allow this.

AHellOfABird Sat 28-May-16 22:09:51


I do so love your username, Bill.

flowers , sorry you are having hassle

LucyBabs Wed 08-Jun-16 02:16:22

How did you get on billsticker ?

WhereAreWeNow Thu 09-Jun-16 09:48:17

I'm so sorry you're being made to jump through hoops OP. The conscientious objection thing for GPs really pisses me off too. My GP won't prescribe contraceptives either because he's Catholic and objects.
Channeling the anger sounds like a good idea! Abortion Rights is a campaigning organisation here in the UK.
BPAS run a campaign for the decriminalisation of abortion called We Trust Women.

WhereAreWeNow Thu 09-Jun-16 09:50:33

Also, how about a letter to your MP? And are there any local feminist groups that could take up access to sexual health services as a campaigning issue? A local Fawcett group for instance? Also you could try contacting Healthwatch.

WhereAreWeNow Thu 09-Jun-16 09:53:48

Oh, and you could contact the local councillor with lead responsibility for public health to express concern about access to abortion in your area and to ask about how NHS funding is allocated to these services..

KindDogsTail Fri 10-Jun-16 19:49:07

Billstickers I am very sorry you are having to go through all this. If a GP has their own grounds for not referring there should always be another GP at the practice, available, who will. They should follow the law of the country which says it is legal. I hope you find someone to help you soon,flowers

This sort of messing around by doctors could lead to the time for discussing it all, working out what is best and making a decision - all being delayed. Then the abortion could become even more upsetting, or become too late in some circumstances.

I think OP, though you can stand up for yourself this is still all very difficult for you. Imagine what it would be like for some young girls facing this alone.

It shouldn't be so complicated. You should be able to go to your GP and walk away with an appointment.

DraenorQueen Tue 14-Jun-16 20:18:05

OP you have my absolute sympathy and support. I hope you don't mind me recounting my experience as it still fucking grates now.

When I was 22 I was going through a tough patch and making some bad choices. One night I had sex minus contraception and as soon as I woke up realised what a fucking stupid thing I'd done. I hot footed it down the doctor's for the MAP which cost me around £28 plus a load of publicly embarrassing questions. I got the pill, scarpered back to my car and opened the pack. Some FUCKING person had already popped the pill out of the plastic blister! It was totally empty.

Naturally I went back to the pharmacy and explained but the male pharmacist didn't believe me and I was refused a repeat dose and dismissed. I think he thought I was stockpiling MAPs. He was so fucking loud and rude and cut me off several times. It was mortifying as this was all in the public pharmacy in the town where I work! I was also beyond skint and literally did not have another £30 so foolishly I decided to chance it. Worst decision ever. sad

When I realised I was pregnant I went to my male GP in a shaking panic and said "I'm pregnant and need to arrange a termination please." He said absolutely nothing for a good ten seconds but stared at me with a deeply unimpressed expression before telling me I needed to ring his secretary in 2 weeks time and dismissing me. I agreed to do this and left i a daze.

Luckily I realised what fucking shit this was and contacted BPAS directly and sorted a termination myself but when I had the medical termination I was on the last possible day for having that procedure.

While it was absolutely my choice and my mistake originally, I will never forget the way the pharmacist and GP treated me.If you cannot respect people's legal medical choices, you should not be in the profession. I'm so sorry it's been difficult for you, OP, it's a fucking disgrace. I hope you are coping well now.

Draenor, what a couple of aasholes. angry for what you went through.

DaleMaily Thu 16-Jun-16 18:57:59

I've nothing to add bill but support you and think it's shit what you're having to go through.

I did not know GPs could refuse to prescribe contraceptives where, that's eye-opening, thank you.

sleepyhead Thu 16-Jun-16 19:15:39

I know of 2 people who had abortions later than was necessary. Both times meaning that surgery was necessary rather than the pill. Both times because dishonest GPs obfuscated and delayed before refusing to refer on the basis of their beliefs. Two different GPs in different parts of the UK.

Obviously most GPs would never consider doing this, but it seems to happen often enough to make requesting an abortion far more of a lottery than it should be. I think of their experiences every time I hear of calls to drastically reduce the time limit.

meddie Thu 16-Jun-16 21:12:15

Following a condom and map failure I found myself pregnant.I had 2 children under 18 months and my marriage was in trouble so it was not the right time. My GP told me I had to wait until 8 weeks before they would agree to refer me.
Due to previous gynae complications during previous pregnancies and 2 c-sections and a ruptured uterus (which the hospital did during a d&c after a miscarriage, due to my weird anatomy) I had to go to the hospital for the procedure.
The vile sonographer pointed the screen towards me and said "so why do you want to kill your baby" .
In the end I was 14 weeks before I got my termination and also a tubal ligation at the same time.The waiting was awful. I was made to feel like a piece of shit throughout the whole process. I never regretted the termination. But there was absolutely no need for the way I was treated. I honestly think they only agreed because I asked to be sterilised at the same time. I was that terrified of getting pregnant again. I was 24

DraenorQueen Thu 16-Jun-16 21:25:31

Meddie, that is truly horrific. I'm so sorry you went through that. WHY is it so fucking hard to be in control of our own bodies??

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