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After experiencing a traumatic DIY abortion, nurse considers legal action against Marie Stopes


Facing a pregnancy crisis, a nurse, who goes by the pseudonym “Sophie” turned to Marie Stopes abortion clinic in Britain for help. She was 5 weeks pregnant and she was offered the DIY abortion pills to deal with at home by herself, with no aftercare, follow-ups, or support. The complications she experienced from taking the pills lead to an emergency surgery. Due to this traumatic experience, she is now considering taking legal action against Marie Stopes.

Christian Concern reports that, in July of this year, “Sophie” found herself pregnant, confused, and alone. She contacted Marie Stopes UK to find out more about the abortion process. Amidst her confusion and uncertainty, she was offered an appointment and scan at a Marie Stopes clinic. Although, she told them that she was 90% sure she was making the right decision, she did say she was also confused.

During her appointment, instead of discussing the matter further with her, to ensure she was making the right decision, staff at Marie Stopes offered her the DIY abortion pills on the spot, so she could “deal” with the abortion herself at home. Despite expressing fear over this option, the staff assured her that it would be okay and that the pains could be managed by pain relief from the pharmacy.

“I said that I didn’t want to take them at home as I would be on my own,” she said. “But I was reassured that 98% of women do not experience complications and it would be just like bad period cramps.”

“Sophie” waited for a friend to be with her during this process, before taking the first pill. It was her friend that was able to stop her from taking too much pain medication once she began to experience severe pain.

“When I took the second pill at home, I began to experience the most excruciating pain. It continued to escalate that evening to the extent I thought I was going to die.”

Yet, the DIY abortion did not appear successful. After 10 days of bleeding and feeling like she was still pregnant, “Sophie” contacted Marie Stopes again regarding these complications. They told her that she was unable to have an appointment with them. Instead, “Sophie” turned to the hospital, where another scan confirmed that the “products of conception” were still inside her. Her option were to take more pills or undergo emergency surgery. She had the emergency surgery.

“I had no follow-up from Marie Stopes. When I repeatedly called, I was told that they did not have any counsellors available and that I could not get an appointment.”

“Sophie” explains this experience of having an DIY abortion as being “far worse than if I was now 10 weeks pregnant. I am appalled and horrified at what has happened to me and how much blood I lost. I don't believe that I was ok to make this decision. I don't believe I was properly checked or even cared about.”

Feeling like Marie Stopes rushed her into this decision, and then abandoned her when the process became complicated, “Sophie” has now turned to the support of Christian Legal Centre, in her consideration to take legal action against Marie Stopes.

“There must be proper assessments for women in crisis pregnancies rather than being rushed through such a traumatic process. Every day since, I have asked myself: ‘why did I do it?’ I was in shock. It was totally wrong for me.”

Chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, Andrea Williams, comments:

“Those running abortion services in England have elevated ideology over women’s safety, and we are seeing the tragic consequences of that. These pills are highly dangerous drugs which should not be handed out at a clinic or posted to women to take at home without proper medical supervision. Tragically, vulnerable pregnant women who have used the telemedicine service during UK lockdown to avoid coronavirus have died or experienced serious life-changing complications.

But the question we must ask is, how many other women have had their lives put at risk from these careless at home DIY abortion procedures?

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