Upon arriving home in Ireland, Laura* was admitted to hospital for an incomplete abortion. This is her story.

Laura's Story

I found out I was pregnant on Sunday the 5th of March 2017 with my partner by my side. We both knew it was not our time to be parents and while we had a list of pros/cons of what would happen if we were to keep the pregnancy, we knew it wouldn’t work out. We made contact with the Marie Stopes Clinic and decided to have my scan done with Reproductive Choices on Berkeley Street, Dublin to confirm the pregnancy.

I was nervous so I arrived quite early.  There were two women outside; one approached me and asked if I was going into the green building (Reproductive Choices). She told me that they charge stupid amounts of money for scans and she will do my scan for free.  They seemed genuine, and I was vulnerable, so I naively went with them.

Rogue Crisis Pregnancy Counseling

Two women look at a computer screen.

We arrived at a small apartment nearby. On the wall, there was pictures of ‘How to Save a Life‘.  I immediately felt uneasy.   They asked about my family and what my parents thought of my situation. I told them my dad had died last year and they inferred how disappointed he would be if I went through with this.  They told me that my life will be ruined and I’ll regret everything if I go ahead with an abortion. I really felt that they did not care about my well-being.

I had 20 minutes until my appointment with Reproductive Choices and they were aware of that, but they kept trying to keep me there.   I felt completely trapped.  

They were unable to find the pregnancy with the ultrasound machine and offered to take me to the Beacon Hospital to have a scan but I insisted that I needed to go.

Reproductive Choices

I went to Reproductive Choices and explained to them what happened. The midwife was lovely but at this stage I was so anxious and upset that my blood pressure was high and I was advised to come back another day because the pregnancy was very early.

When I returned to Reproductive Choices for a second visit, I brought my friend along with me.  I’ll never forget the feeling of walking up Berkeley Street that day. I thought I was going to get sick. I swapped coats with my friend, wore big sunglasses and a head scarf over my head in case I bumped into the same women; thankfully I didn’t.

Traveling to Manchester

A week later I flew to Manchester with a friend to have a medical abortion. I was just 7 weeks pregnant at this time. We were collected from the airport in a taxi with three other women I had seen on the same flight from Dublin; complete strangers on this lonely journey together.

Once I had my treatment, I had four hours to wait for my flight back home. The midwife told me to return to the airport immediately as the last dose can come into effect very quickly.  She was right; the treatment started to take effect in the taxi to the airport.

I was forced to wait in an airport whilst in the worst pain my life for four hours. I just wanted to be home in Ireland in my own bed.  Instead I had to ask businessmen to give me their seats so I could curl into a ball and wish this would all end.

Incomplete Abortion

Shortly after my termination, I was admitted to hospital from an incomplete abortion.  It was awful.  This could have been avoided had I been able to access abortion care in Ireland.  Instead I was retraumatised and admitted to hospital in Ireland.    

This could have been avoided if I had gone for an aftercare scan but the stress of it all was too much.  It’s bad enough being in a crisis pregnancy and having to leave my home country to receive healthcare considered normal in other countries, but to actually scaremonger me to the point where I felt I couldn’t get aftercare because I’d have to face people from a rogue crisis pregnancy counseling agency again is disgraceful.

My story was not easy to write down but I want other women to read this so they can beware of these agencies and do their research before traveling.

*Name changed for privacy

Artist: Martina Gleeson.

Instagram | Website