jarethrake (jarethrake) wrote in little_details,

Can abortion fail?

Is it possible for an abortion (carried out by a licensed practitioner) to fail?  How? (circa 1983 btw - any information on birth control or abortion in the UK in that time is welcome).

One of my ideas involves the second coming of christ.  Or maybe not.  It's important that there's plausible deniability for whether he is or isn't.

Anyway, his mother does not want to be pregnant.  She's very young - eighteen, nineteen, twenty, around that age - her family is not supportive, and she had a one night stand, and can't track down the father (she does in the end, but he's useless anyway).  So she goes to the doctor, and gets an abortion (if that's plausible in the early eighties in the UK - this is the bit I'm researching).  Then she tries knitting needles, falling downstairs, any of those old time home remedies for unwanted pregnancies, eventually jumping off a bridge.  Whatever she puts herself through, she can't end the pregnancy - the foetus survive.  When she jumps off the bridge, she's fished out by a young priest, who says, well, maybe the child has some purpose in life.  She accepts this because it's easier then delving even deeper in madness, and he and the church offer the support her parents and friends don't.  (I'm trying not to indicate that abortion is bad, or wrong - she'd be a lot happier if it had just worked - and I'm also trying to show that this guy is a good person, even if very young and naive, unlike some people who claim to be religious).

Anyway, yeah.  I do want her to try the real thing first, before delving into the homemade remedies, but I need it to fail.  But, I need that failure to be plausible.

Any way to make it work?

I've tried posting this in Childfree and AbortionInfo, and got sent here.  I've checked google, which states that certain types of abortion (I'm not too clear on the differences at this point) have a 96-99% success rate, which means they do sometimes fail.  I gather that, with early abortions, doctors can sometimes remove tissue, and think they've stopped the pregnancy, but actually miss the important bits.  Should that happen, presumably it would take a month or two to notice?  And then, would they try another, later abortion, assuming it was within the legal time limits?  What were those limits in the early eighties?  Would it have been difficult to get an abortion?  Would the doctor have been snotty about it, and would she have been looked down on? (I was born in 88).


Tags: 1980-1989, uk (misc), ~medicine: reproduction

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