“I grew up in a very religious family, attended a church school, and had very strong Catholic beliefs. It was either black or white, no grey. Either right or wrong.
When I was 16 years old I was raped by someone who knew I was a virgin, and it was like a challenge for him to do it. I was not on any kind of contraceptive protection, because being 16 and a virgin, there was no need. He followed me home to make sure I didn't go to hospital or the police. The next day I tried to go to the police station, but as I was crossing the road towards it, there he was.
He threatened me that if I didn't leave with him there and then, he would do worse (which to my naive and shocked mind meant he would kill me). That day he proceeded to put a knife to my throat and raped me again.
This was during my O-levels.
I ended up leaving the house just to go to exams, with my mum driving and picking me up. No one knew what was going on.
Shortly after I finished my exams, I realised I was pregnant. The shock of that realisation is something I can still remember. The world for me had ended. I was pregnant with a rape baby that would force me to stop all my education plans.
Still no one knew. And I kept it that way.
I tried every myth in the book to miscarry and nothing worked. I started walking to a suicide hotspot every single day, and I even made a deadline: if I don't miscarry by 4 months I'd jump and kill myself.
Still no one knew.
One morning I started getting really bad stomach aches. I didn't know what they were until I went to the bathroom and miscarried right there in the toilet. It was nothing more than a clump... I flushed the toilet and walked out.
The relief that came with that was overwhelming. I realised I had my life back. I didn't go for postnatal checks, I still didn't confide in anyone, but I was happy again. Suicide was no longer an option I contemplated.
The MAP was not available so I couldn't revert to that, and because I was still a student, I didn't have money to go abroad. If I had, believe me I would have.
The trauma of rape is already a massive trauma to go through... Having to bear a child through that was too much to handle.
Now I know how much I risked my life by not going for check-ups...but back then my mind wasn't reasoning things out.
It took me 2 years of therapy to get over the rape trauma...but through it all, losing the baby was the relief... I never had regrets or guilt feelings about it.
Abortion needs to be legalised. Yes, it has to be heavily regulated, but it needs to be an option for who so wishes. If you don't agree with it, it's simple, don't get one. But do not impose your opinions on others, because you have no idea what they're going through.”