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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 November 2006, 00:37 GMT
'Still hard to discuss abortion'
Cath Elliott
Ms Elliott already had four children when she fell pregnant
Most people are in favour of a woman's right to choose whether to have an abortion, according to a survey.

But it is still not an easy subject to talk about, says one woman.

Cath Elliott was 32 years old and already had four children when she fell pregnant for a fifth time in 1997.

"We didn't expect it," she said.

"All our children were planned and then to find out we were pregnant came as a complete surprise.

"I discussed it with my husband and we just decided it was not feasible to have another child and so we decided to have an abortion."

When I had an abortion I hardly told anyone. It is not the sort of thing that is discussed
Cath Elliott

But Ms Elliott, now 41, from Norwich, added: "We found out a couple of weeks in, but did not have the abortion until 12 weeks. That was wrong.

"My GP in Milton Keynes, where I was living at the time, was not helpful at all. He kept saying he had lost my results and it took a long time until we were referred to hospital.

"Even though he didn't say it, it was clear he did not agree with abortion.

"We then found out that that hospital did not do abortions so had to be referred to an abortion provider. It should not have been so hard."

However, she now believes there is scope to relax the law so other won't have to go through what she did.

"There is the abortion pill which could be administered by nurses. Why should women who want abortions have to see a doctor at all when it is in the early stages?"

But Ms Elliott also acknowledges there is still a lot of stigma over abortion - despite the fact that one in three women will have one in their life time.

"When I had an abortion I hardly told anyone. It is not the sort of thing that is discussed. But when I did start mentioning it, I realised so many others had also had one.

"It was like this big secret that no one mentioned. I suppose the thing is, is that there is no middle ground - you are either strongly for or strong against."

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