By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

  CORNWALL, UK, February 22, 2008 ( – A young woman, who was considered a talented artist, loved to paint and had sold a number of paintings, was found dead in her home in Helston, Cornwall, UK.

  Emma Beck committed suicide on February 1, 2007 after aborting her twin babies in September 2006. She left a suicide note which said, “Living is hell for me. I should never have had an abortion. I see now I would have been a good mum. 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.”

  The inquest into Emma’s death, held yesterday, heard that she was reluctant to go through with the abortion. Emma’s GP, Dr. Katie Gibbs, described her as “extremely vulnerable.” She missed one hospital appointment and cancelled another before finally seeing a doctor at Treliske hospital in Truro, Cornwall.

  The doctor who discussed Emma’s situation with her before the abortion wrote, ‘Unsupported, lives alone, ex-partner aware’ on the form. She needed more help than she got, perhaps more than those who could possibly have helped realized. The counsellor at the unplanned pregnancy clinic was on holiday, so the doctor gave her the number of a “telephone pregnancy counseling service”. Eight days later this same doctor performed the abortion.

  The inquest also heard that Emma’s mother, Sylvia Beck, later contacted the hospital, demanding to know why Emma had not been given more counseling and support before the abortion, given her vulnerable state. She said, “I want to know why she was not given the opportunity to see a counsellor. She was only going ahead with the abortion because Ben (the estranged common-law father) did not want the twins. She was pleased when she became pregnant, but Ben reacted badly to the news. I believe this is what led Emma to take her own life, because she could not live with what she had done.”

  The inquest heard that Emma made numerous cries for help after the abortion. Dr. Gibbs told the hearing, “Emma was extremely distressed by the abortion procedure, and I didn’t think she ever came to terms with it.”

  A new study investigating abortion and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) published in the BMC Psychiatry journal found that “high rates of PTSD characterize women who have undergone voluntary pregnancy termination.” (see coverage: Study: Rates of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Increased 61% After Abortion

  The Elliot Institute’s model legislation, the Protection from High Risk and Coerced Abortion Act, would require abortion businesses to screen women for evidence that they are being coerced or forced into unwanted abortions and for other risk factors that are likely to put them at risk for post-traumatic stress and other problems after abortion.

  Other studies have linked abortion to higher rates of sleep disorders, anxiety disorders, clinical depression, substance abuse, and suicide.

  The authors of the BMC study called for more screening to be done on women prior to abortion in order to “help identify women at risk of PTSD and provide follow-up care.” 


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