A British National Health Service hospital trust has apologized and paid £27,500 to a mother for performing an abortion on her fourth child without full informed consent.
40-year-old Teresa Cooper developed bleeding and nausea early in her pregnancy, the Guardian Unlimited reports. She took medication, but was frightened that the drugs might have harmed the baby and registered for an abortion at the Princess Alexandra hospital in Harlow, Essex.
Before the day of the abortion, however, Cooper watched a pro-life movie that gave her doubts about her decision. She hesitantly went to the hospital as scheduled and said that she only planned to abort the baby if the drugs had damaged her child.
After she arrived, however, the medical staff failed to give her proper information about her pregnancy. According to the Guardian, they also neglected to provide her with necessary contact information for someone who could give her counseling. Most importantly, they failed to ascertain whether she had fully consented to the abortion.
Cooper's lawyer David Kerry described the situation in the London Daily Mail, saying, "Teresa wanted answers to her concerns about her own health and that of her baby. It was as if she was on a conveyor belt which was impossible to stop. Despite her obvious distress she was not respected as an individual with the tragic result that she lost her baby totally unnecessarily."
Cooper emphasized the emotional trauma that the abortion caused by relating the abortion to her troubled childhood. Born into an alcoholic and dysfunctional family, she was raised by the British public institutions where she underwent solitary confinement, tranquilization and sexual abuse. Referring to this painful past, she told the Mail, "When you've gone through the care system and the only thing you've ever been good at is having your children and someone takes that away from you, that is really bad for someone like me. It opened all the wounds of my childhood."