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‘They began screaming at me, shouting ‘assassin’ – the harrowing accounts of Scots girls compelled to journey to England for abortions


Karen was simply 19 when she found she was pregnant. She had no signs, and was utilizing a contraceptive injection. However after struggling acute again ache, she visited her physician, who referred her to the Sandyford Clinic in Glasgow. She was almost 23 weeks gone.

“They instructed me, ‘You should go to London now, you’re days away from this not occurring’,” she recalled. The shock was so nice she vomited over herself.

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The subsequent morning, Karen and her dad and mom have been en path to London. After they arrived on the clinic, her father put his arms round her and pulled her shut. She quickly realised why.

“There have been all these protestors exterior, and so they all began screaming at me, shouting ‘assassin’, and throwing eggs,” she mentioned.

The trauma of the journey, she says, made an already fraught expertise worse. “I used to be all over, I didn’t have time to assume,” she remembered. “I discovered at 4pm in the future I used to be months pregnant, then I used to be on a flight at 7am.”

Karen says nobody at NHS Higher Glasgow and Clyde instructed her she might reclaim journey or lodging bills, leaving her household hundreds of kilos out of pocket.

One other lady, Joanne, found she was 20 weeks’ pregnant after her coil failed. She felt pressured by the preliminary conversations with healthcare suppliers in Glasgow. “I used to be completely in shock, however on the time, I used to be virtually led to consider the gestation legal guidelines have been completely different in Scotland than England,” she mentioned.

Some girls compelled to journey to London for abortions mentioned they have been left traumatised. Image: Getty

Joanne ended up travelling along with her mom to a BPAS clinic in London at quick discover. The one accessible practice tickets have been top notch, and never understanding how lengthy restoration would take, they booked a resort for 3 nights. In all, they spent round £600, which they have been solely capable of declare again from their well being board after asking.

“I used to be so lucky that I had my mum,” she mentioned. “Even on the time, I used to be fully horrified desirous about folks having to journey alone.”

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Though she was listened to and revered by the workers, and “exceptionally properly taken care of” through the abortion itself, Joanne mentioned the expertise “made a tough time extra traumatic” because of the presence of anti-abortion protestors.

She added: “The considered girls having to undergo what I went via is a shame to Scotland, a rustic which so outwardly proclaims to be a progressive nation.”

One other lady mentioned she was “fully shell shocked” at her lack of choices after discovering she was almost 17 weeks’ pregnant, regardless of utilizing contraception with the identical associate. She travelled by practice to London for an abortion which spanned two procedures over two days.

On the finish, she felt “very fragile” and booked a flight again to get residence as rapidly as potential. After arriving late at night time, she went to work the following day regardless of being in “agony”, and couldn’t face emailing her journey receipts for reimbursement by her well being board.

“I didn’t wish to cope with it anymore,” she mirrored. “I used to be simply attempting to maneuver on the most effective I might.”

All names have been modified to guard their anonymity

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