Mum-of-five feels guilty for having abortion but says it made her a better parent

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Leona Burton, a 36-year-old from Leicester, has opened up about an abortion she had when she was just 17 and said it left her feeling guilty for ten years

Leona Burton,
Leona Burton,

A mum-of-five has admitted she felt guilty for having an abortion for ten years after the operation but said that it made her a better parent.

Leona Burton has shared her story and said how she was consumed with guilt for so long, but ultimately made the right choice.

The 36-year-old from Leicester found out she was five weeks pregnant when she was just 17-years-old, only a few months into a new relationship.

At the time, she considered her options before ultimately deciding to book an abortion into a clinic when she was seven weeks pregnant.

Her dad and then boyfriend, not named for privacy reasons, came with her and the procedure took under an hour.







Leona with Kye, 16, Enna, 14, Alana, 8, and Elis, 5. Husband Lee on far right
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Image:

Jam Press/Leona Burton)







Leona and her family
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Jam Press/Leona Burton)

But the now mum-of-five said that the “guilt” of having the operation done followed her for a decade, and especially since she started having children with her childhood sweetheart and now husband Lee, 36.

“I don’t regret it because I know that if I hadn’t had an abortion I wouldn’t have the family I have today,” Leona, who is currently pregnant with her sixth child said.

“That doesn’t mean it was an easy choice.

“I remember being in the waiting room, feeling absolutely petrified and seeing other girls in there looking as though they were feeling exactly the same.

“I was offered a scan but I just thought ‘absolutely not’ – it would have made it more real.







The family on holiday in the Caribbean
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Image:

Jam Press/Leona Burton)

“I was put under anaesthesia and walked out in pain, the entire experience was very clinical with no aftercare of the emotional toll.

“None of my friends at the time had experienced anything like it but I was definitely judged by the ones I told.

“Some even thought I was making it up for attention.

“There is a level of shame that follows you around, the guilt remained for 10 years.

“I was due in October and every year when October came around, it would cross my mind. It didn’t leave me for a very long time.

“There’s still this feeling of abortion being a taboo, which is just wrong and I hope that by sharing my experience, it will help other women not carry that same guilt.”

A few months after her abortion, Leona ended her relationship with her ex-boyfriend and got together with Lee, with the pair now having been together for 18 years

Five months into their relationship, she fell pregnant again – and decided to keep the baby.

She added: “I saw it as a sign I did the right thing by getting the abortion with my other boyfriend.

“I’m still with my husband now and we have a lovely, happy family.”

Leona is now a proud mum to Kian, 18, Kye, 16, Enna, 14, Olana, eight, and Elis, five – and is expecting her sixth child later this year.

Earlier this week, a leak from the US Supreme Court made headlines after it was suggested the US’ national right to abortion could be overturned.

The amendment refers to the landmark case Roe v Wade (1973), which protects the right to an abortion in the US up to 24 weeks.

Protestors have criticized the proposed plan and Leona stands with them.

She added: “More often than not its men who are making these decisions for a woman’s body – and they shouldn’t.

“People don’t know or don’t take into account the emotional and physical toll that an abortion takes on a woman, and things are seen as too black and white.

“It will also reinforce existing stigma and potentially even make it worse.

“We have to be able to speak and make choice without fear of judgement, and I worry others will carry the same guilt I did – I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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