Frances, who travelled to London for an abortion, struggled to pull together the funds she needed. She was married with two daughters, living in a rural area, when she found out she was pregnant. She told Amnesty International that as the family’s sole breadwinner, she “would have been plunged into absolute poverty, misery and isolation living in the middle of nowhere with very little [if she had another child]… I had so little money but I had some savings – I did have enough to cover [the abortion], just about. I spent every penny I had at the time on that.”
Shortly after returning to rural Ireland after having an abortion in London, Frances started bleeding. In shock and far from any health care services, she called a clinic in Dublin that offered post-abortion care. As she later told Amnesty International: “I just remember that the way the nurse or whoever it was treated me on the phone was absolutely awful. She was so dismissive and cruel. It made me feel terrible and I didn’t seek any more help after that. But I did get a really bad uterine infection and I was on serious antibiotics for weeks and weeks afterwards.” She ultimately went to a consultant in Limerick after weeks of bleeding and explained that she had terminated a pregnancy. He prescribed antibiotics but was rude and dismissive, barely communicating with her. She said: “It made me feel terrible.” If abortion was not criminalized and Frances had not been required to travel, Frances says: “it would have been… so much less stressful and I would have been looked after properly”.