One woman now in her 40s told me about her experience at Brook. She gave permission for me to tell her story here.
She became pregnant in her early 20s and really wasn't sure whether she wanted to keep the baby or have an abortion - her instinct said she wanted an abortion, but she needed both practical and emotional support to think. She spent time with a Brook counsellor working through her options and through that process she decided she wanted to keep the baby, even if it impacted on her relationship with her partner which she feared it would. She was helped to think through and prepare for the different scenarios, and practised how she would tell her partner and her parents about the pregnancy.
She described her experience like this; 'The counsellor was a wonderful woman who cared about what I wanted. She helped me by listening, asking questions and questioning my assumptions and later she offered practical tips about how to explain MY feelings about the situation and MY decision to keep the baby to my partner and family. She gave time for me to practise it'.
And that for me is a perfect example of how pregnancy choices counselling should be - focused on the needs and choices of the woman, providing a safe space for her to explore the choices available to her and having done so to make her decision without any bias or direction from the counsellor about what is the best option. As always when I hear these types of stories I felt proud of the work of Brook staff - this just one example, of which I hear so many, about the difference Brook has made and continues to make on a day to day basis over the decades to many individual woman's lives. Women's right to objective pregnancy choices counselling must be preserved, maintained and protected. That is an absolute fact.