LONDON, U.K., April 25, 2013 ( – British reality TV star Gemma Collins opened up to the media this week about an abortion she had when she was in her 20s, saying the guilt she felt led her to a life of self-harm that included cutting herself and binge eating. She told NOW Magazine that, even now at 32, she wonders if her recent miscarriage was divine retribution.

Collins said she aborted her baby when she was three months pregnant, worrying that the child might have birth defects because of medication she had been taking.

She further explained to The Sun newspaper that she had been taking oral contraceptives at the time and had continued taking them, unaware that she was pregnant. She also took an antibiotic and Pepto Bismol in an attempt to ease her nausea.

“The doctor said the embryo wouldn’t be a good one because I’d been taking medication,” she said. “I got three doctors’ opinions – I still felt really guilty about it, though.”

Afterward, Collins told NOW, “I felt guilt and total despair. I was thinking: ‘Oh my God, I killed my baby.’” She started cutting herself and binge eating, going from a UK size 10 to a UK size 18 in less than a year.

“Once I couldn’t breathe, because I was ramming food down so quickly,” Collins told The Mirror. “I’d have loved to have been sick, to get it all up. But it didn’t work for me.”


“Because I felt so sad, I thought, what’s going to make me happy? Food. Food became my happiness,” she said. “Instead of going out with my friends, I’d have a meal. Food became my friend.”

Collins struggles with her weight to this day.

The star now says she worries a miscarriage she suffered on the night of the British National Television Awards may have been divine punishment for the abortion.

“I do feel guilty. What if I can never have a baby now? The miscarriage felt like God’s way of punishing me,” she told The Mirror.

Collins is not alone in her post-abortive suffering. A meta-analysis of 22 studies encompassing 877,181 women over a 14-year period published in 2011 in the British Journal of Psychiatry revealed that women who had undergone an abortion experienced an 81 percent increased risk of mental health problems. Substance abuse and suicidal behavior were especially likely after an abortion.

The study also revealed that nearly 10 percent of all mental health problems are directly attributable to abortion.

The UK's Royal College of Psychiatrists warned in 2008 that women should be counseled on the possible risk to their mental health before submitting to an abortion.