Tragedy All Around
An artist killed herself after aborting her twins when she was eight weeks pregnant, leaving a note saying: "I should never have had an abortion. I see now I would have been a good mum."
Emma Beck was found hanging at her home in Helston, Cornwall, on Feb 1 2007. She was declared dead early the following day - her 31st birthday.
Her suicide note read: "I told everyone I didn't want to do it, even at the hospital. I was frightened, now it is too late. I died when my babies died. I want to be with my babies: they need me, no-one else does."An inquest at Truro City Hall heard that Miss Beck had split up with her boyfriend, referred to as "Ben" after he "reacted badly" to the pregnancy.
She saw her GP before the termination, but missed an appointment at a hospital in Penzance. She then cancelled, but later turned up to an appointment at a clinic at Royal Cornwall Hospital in Treliske. The counsellor was on holiday so a doctor referred Miss Beck to a pregnancy counselling telephone service eight days before carrying out the abortion when she was eight weeks pregnant, the inquest heard.
The coroner, Dr Emma Carlyon, ordered that the identities of the doctor who performed the abortion and her lead consultant be kept secret.
The inquest heard that Sylvia Beck, the victim's mother, wrote to the hospital after her daughter's death, saying: "I want to know why she was not given the opportunity to see a counsellor.
"She was only going ahead with the abortion because her boyfriend did not want the twins.
"I believe this is what led Emma to take her own life - she could not live with what she had done."...
Katie Gibbs, Miss Beck's GP, told the hearing: "She was extremely distressed by the abortion procedure, and I didn't think she ever came to terms with it."
Lest anyone be unaware of it, this seems a necessary moment to highlight the work of Project Rachel, which is present in many places as an outreach -- often as unsung as it's intensely needed -- of compassion, hope, healing and comfort for women who've had abortions.
According to early stats, 1.2 million legal abortions were performed in the States last year -- ending 22% of all pregnancies in the US. All told, this year the figure is expected to reach 50 million since the Supreme Court's 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade legalized the practice.
Approximately one out of three American women will opt to terminate a pregnancy at some point -- and, according to a 2001 study, a quarter of respondents who've done so identified themselves as Catholic.
Folks, we've got work to do. Not marches -- work... so let's get to it.