A study reveals that up to 1,000 women per year experiencing severe morning sickness (HG) opt to have abortions because they feel they can’t continue with their pregnancies.
A joint report by BPAS and Pregnancy Sickness Support called “I could not survive another day”, found that women with extreme nausea and vomiting are not receiving the support they need.
Life spokeswoman Anne Scanlan said: “This is a sad indictment of the lack of support some pregnant women receive. With proper care and advice, HG can be managed much more successfully than it is now. That women are allowed to get to a point where they feel their only option is to have an abortion is a tragedy.
“To end a pregnancy is a traumatic event for a woman in any case, but particularly the abortion of a much wanted baby. The decision to terminate because she feels she has no other choice could have repercussions longer term, both in terms of her physical and mental health. These women are desperate and are not receiving the help they need.
“There are a range of treatments available for this debilitating condition and it is not good enough that pregnant women are either expected to get on with it largely unsupported, or undergo an abortion. Abortion is being presented to them as one of only two options when this is simply not the case.
“In fact, a woman approached our Care service for help recently, not wanting an abortion but suffering from HG so severely that she couldn’t see another way out. She was unable to look after her toddler, leave the house or do any household tasks. What this client needed was access to support services to enable her to cope with this condition and continue with her pregnancy, and not to be presented with abortion as her only solution.
“In a stretched NHS with limited resources, it’s about prioritising this condition and making the right decision alongside each patient. Pregnant women with a wanted pregnancy would never opt for an abortion prior to the onset of HG, lack of support means that they are being backed into a corner and forced to make a life-changing decision which they will have to live with for the rest of their lives.
“We hope that this research will highlight the need to put in place effective support, advice and treatment for each and every woman experiencing HG so that no woman ever has to face aborting a child simply to feel well again. Women’s health matters. The termination of wanted pregnancies is not an acceptable solution to a treatable condition.”