Following the news that single mother Jade Rees, 21, ended her life weeks after having a termination, brings forth the question whether there is enough (or any) support for women that choose to have an abortion. Rochdale Coroner’s Court was told the termination had made the 21 year old kill herself after becoming ‘upset and distressed’ about having the termination. Jade wrote a note for her 2-year-old son and her parents, describing the difficulties she endured since having the procedure.
Despite struggling with depression for years, she was considered to be coping ‘exceptionally well’ being a loving and single mum.
Jade began a relationship with a man in early 2015, but unfortunately the relationship ended and she then decided to have a termination in October that year. On the 3rd November, Jade ended her life. This brings us to the question of whether there is enough support out there for women who go through the ordeal of having an abortion.
Currently, under UK law, an abortion can be implemented up to 24 weeks of pregnancy, as long as certain criteria are met. The criteria are that 2 doctors must agree that the abortion would cause less harm (physical or mental) than proceeding with the pregnancy. In rare cases, an abortion can sometimes be carried out after the 24-week deadline. However, where possible, terminations are aimed for within 12 weeks.
At present there is no support given automatically to women following this procedure. Approximately 184,000 women, either privately or through the NHS, are having terminations each year. Often, no support is offered or arranged upon leaving the clinic or hospital. Instead, women are given various leaflets on coping mentally and physically. At the bottom of these leaflets there are contact numbers for various post-abortion counseling services, such as Marie Stopes, and NHS Counseling Services. To prevent more lives being damaged or lost, more should be done to establish the mental health of women before and after the procedure, and before they leave the clinic.