The weekly Catholic publication Alba in Spain has published the story of an 84 year-old woman who was forced by her ex-husband to undergo an abortion 57 years ago before they were married. She told Alba that despite the counseling she has received over the years, she has never been able to overcome her depression and was never able to carry a child to term.
In the wake of the imprisonment of the Spanish abortion provider Carlos Morin, the entire “personal drama” of the woman “has come to the surface with violence. The diagnosis? It’s clear: post-abortion syndrome. The therapy? Face the pain over the loss of her son,” the article in Alba stated.
Referring to her as Maria in order to protect her privacy because “she fears reprisals from her ex-husband who is still alive,” Alba explained that what torments Maria most about her life is her abortion. “It was 57 years ago. At that time she was 27 and single, but she was in a relationship with the man whom she would later marry.”
After she told him she was pregnant, he took her to get an abortion without her consent. “He put her in a taxi and took her to an apartment in Madrid on Barcelona Street… ‘That place was a pigsty, a slaughterhouse,’ she recalled. He told her, ‘Don’t worry, you’re in good hands.’ The abortion was performed without anesthesia, so Maria shrieked with pain,” the article continued.
“On May 3, 1951, a month and a half later, Maria had serious hemorrhaging in the bathroom. That’s where her child was ‘born.’ ‘He had little arms, a little body, everything.’ What did she do? ‘I washed him, I kissed him and I put him in a little box that I had.’ What did she do with him? ‘I thought about preserving him in alcohol, but I was afraid that my mother would find out, so I said goodbye to him and I flushed him down the toilet’,” she recalled with tears.
After she married, Maria became pregnant again on four different occasions. All the pregnancies ended in miscarriages, perhaps because of the abortion she underwent when she was 27.
“The case of Maria is only one example of how post-abortion syndrome can continue throughout one’s life,” said psychologist and president of the Association of Victims of Abortion, Beatriz Mariscal.
After the scandal of the abortion mills in Barcelona, Maria’s wounds have been opened again. Asked if she has every forgotten it, she is adamant. “No, I never forgot about it. I thought about it day and night and I tried to do things to forget it. But it has come back now very strong. The memory of that abortion has never left me, I have been depressed ever since,” Maria said.
“Some think abortion is painful but eventually passes. The case of Maria is evidence that the effects can remain for one’s entire life,” Mariscal stated.