Our Lady of the Wayside

Our Lady of the Wayside
Protect Expectant Mothers and Their Babies


Tuesday, 5 October 2010

A Change of Heart

‘Oonagh’ is 21, she met one of our counsellors outside a notorious abortuary and came to us for a pregnancy test. She was upfront to me, ‘I had an abortion last month, and if this test is positive, I want to have another abortion the next minute.’

Her test was negative, so I asked her, “if you get a positive test soon, what would you do?”
“I’d find a new abortion clinic.”
“Why would you find a new clinic?”
“Well if I found a new place it might be better...Going back to the old clinics makes me feel like a women whose had three abortions, but I know that’s what I am...but...”
“What didn’t you like about the other clinics?”
It had disturbed her that they didn’t tell her the age of the baby. Nor had she asked them.

'I convinced myself that I was only two weeks pregnant', but she had had a second trimester abortion. Oonagh had gone home after her first abortion, and had ‘been so out of it, so frozen like that I didn’t hear people when they spoke to me’. Her family found their daughter had ‘become too weird’, and asked her to leave.

She lived with a boyfriend in cramped rented accommodation. She got pregnant a second time, panicked and went for her second abortion. When she was getting on the table, she cried out, ‘I don’t know what I want to do. I don’t know what I’m doing...’ A nurse just blanked her and said, ‘Well you came here...so...let’s get it over and done with.’
When she got pregnant a third time, she just said to her boyfriend that she ‘needed an abortion’. It had become fixed in her mind that pregnancy equated to having an abortion, but she still felt ‘dead inside’ after each abortion.
A week after my meeting with her, Oonagh came back for a pregnancy re-test which was also negative. She saw the film "After The Choice" and listened to the words of other women giving their testimonies of how they had felt deadened and isolated after abortion.

Oonagh said, “this is amazing! I always thought it was just me who never told anyone about my abortions! I always thought that I was the only one who had problems after an abortion.
Oonagh shared with me how she has told her boyfriend that she ‘is through with abortion'. They have started practising chastity, and she has firmly told him that if he wants to sleep with her, and put her in the position of getting pregnant, then he will have to marry her. Personally, Oonagh's change of heart surprised me. But it gave me enormous hope that while no woman plans to get in this downward spiral, one woman can make plans to change her life so that she is free from the possibility of a crisis pregnancy.

Please keep her in your prayers.

Mary O' Regan


  1. A wonderful and thought provoking story. Women like Oonagh are often written off as being beyong reach, but in fact I think people like her are often the most responsive to a change of life. They know what the alternative really looks and feels like.

  2. This is heartbreaking. You're doing a great job, slan agus beannacht, Niamh

  3. Prayers as requested . . . of course.

  4. Wonderful story; those prayers are being said already. Thank you Mary for all your amazing work.

  5. When I was talking with 'Oonagh' about chastity - this was an in-depth discussion - she talked a lot about her plans for marriage. She yearns to get married to her current boyfriend. When we discussed in detail how she has both a better chance of getting married and of having a better marriage, she became Much More Interested in actually practising chastity from that day forth.

    People think that it's old fashioned to tell women how practising chastity greatly helps their chances of having a happy marriage, but often it's exactly what a young woman might want to know.


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