Jade Rees, already a mother of one two-year-old boy, got pregnant by her boyfriend in early 2015 but four months into the pregnancy he left her. According to the British press, she was devastated and had an abortion in October.
Newspaper reports are confused about whether she then made one or two unsuccessful suicide attempts by overdose. The second time her father took her to the hospital for treatment. On the night of November 3, after a long talk with her parents about her ex-boyfriend, she went up to her room. In the morning, her parents discovered that she had hung herself and left suicide notes for them and her son.
According to the press, before she died, she used her cell phone to call up a pop tune on YouTube by Ed Sheeran called “Small Bump” about a miscarriage. Among its lyrics:
The inquest into her death found the abortion had indeed left her “upset and distressed.” But she was also upset at her boyfriend, enough so that he tried to ban Jade from their favourite tavern. She also had a history of depression and anorexia going back to the age of 14.Cos you were just a small bump unborn for four month, then torn from lifeMaybe you were needed up there but we’re still unaware as to why.
The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children is asking how Rees’ abortion was approved, given that the 1967 Abortion Act allows abortion only “when continuing the pregnancy would pose a greater risk to the mother’s mental or physical health, or when the baby disabled.”
“What was their justification for believing --‘ in good faith’--that abortion would pose a lesser risk to her health than the abortion which led to her suicide?” SPUC asks on its website.
But it has also asked the coroner in Rees’ inquest to investigate the question, and is urging pro-life supporters in the UK to do likewise.
SPUC reported several recent instances of women committing suicide after abortions. Ashli Blake, 17, jumped from a tower in the New Forest in 2014, after being pressured by her family to abort the baby she wanted to keep. Her boyfriend, who had taunted her with a Mother’s Day card, was later convicted of abusing her sexually.
In 2008 well-known British artist Emma Beck, 31, hanged herself after being pressured into aborting twins.
The connection between suicide and abortion has been shown by such studies as that of Mika Gissler’s using the detailed birth-to-death health records kept by the Finnish health authorities on each citizen. Released in 1996, it found the suicide rate for women who had abortions was thrice that of the general population and more than five times higher than that of women who had never had babies.
A 2012 study using Danish health records by Dr. Priscilla Coleman of Bowling Green University and David Reardon of the pro-life Elliot Institute found the mortality rate for women who had had early abortions was 50 percent higher than that of women who bore live children, and nearly three times higher for women who had late abortions.