Woman left pregnant after rape tells of ‘traumatic struggle’ to get abortion in UK

A woman has told of her “traumatic struggle” to get an abortion in the UK after she became pregnant as a result of being raped.

Speaking to The Independent, Alana said it was a “massive shock” to learn she was pregnant with her rapist’s baby weeks after the incident took place.

The 32-year-old said she felt compelled to share her personal story after the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade– the landmark decision t hat legalised abortion nationwide in 1973 – at the end of June.

Abortion has already been banned in at least eight states in America, while more than half of US states are expected to ban abortion or heavily restrict policies in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision, with some states set to ban abortions even when a pregnancy is a result of rape or incest.

Alana, who has never spoken to the media before, said it makes her “feel sick” no exceptions are permitted for women who want abortions because their pregnancy is the result of rape.

“I feel really sad for women like me,” Alana, who lives in the North of England, added. “But this is also happening to young girls. We are putting their mental health at risk by forcing them to carry a rapist’s baby to term they do not want. It is just sickening.”

Recalling her personal experience from a few years ago, Alana said the rape occurred after she ran into a friend of hers on a night out and went back to his house with a group of friends.

She added: “We were all drunk. I fell asleep. All my friends had left but they didn’t think there would be an issue as he was a friend of ours. His house was somewhere I’d been before multiple times.

“He was someone I trusted – someone I’d been alone with before. I woke up with him on top of me. He was inside of me. I had no knickers on. I got my stuff and left immediately.”

Alana, whose name has been changed, said she went straight to her local hospital where she was given both a hepatitis and HIV shot in case she had been exposed while having sex.

“When I got to the hospital, I thought I’m not going to the police,” she added. “All I could think about was my dad and how upset he would be. He is extremely protective. I knew it would ruin his life. He wouldn’t be able to get over it.”

After the incident, Alana said she started to self-medicate by taking codeine. “I am very lucky not to be dead,” she added. “I did not want to feel anything. It felt much easier to feel numb and not feel things. I went to the GP and reported what had happened. They were incredible with me. I was open about the codeine and they tapered me off and got me on anti-anxiety medication instead.”

Alana said she wound up losing her job in hospitality as she explained she was not feeling well enough to engage with customers.

She added: “Then I found out I was pregnant. I felt numb and empty. I was doing better. I thought I’m getting on my feet again. But it wasn’t getting easier at all. It was about to get a lot worse. It was hard when I found out it was a gestation of 11 weeks.

“There was never a doubt in my mind I was having an abortion. A rapist is not the type of person I’d want to have a child with. I just couldn’t.”

Alana said she was plagued by delays while seeking an abortion and could only be given her first appointment three weeks after she discovered she was pregnant – meaning she was 15 weeks pregnant by the time she had the appointment.

“I could feel it,” Alana, who was on contraception when she fell pregnant, added. “If you have been pregnant before you can feel foetal movement such as kicks earlier. I had a little bit of a tummy so I wore a lot of baggy jumpers and t-shirts.”

Scar tissue from her previous C-section meant a doctor told her they could not safely give her an abortion that day, she said, adding she was informed she would have to go to a specialist service.

“I rang this number and they said the one hospital that could see me is Homerton hospital in London,” Alana added. “The next available appointment was when I was 20 weeks pregnant.”

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