Belfast Telegraph

Alliance MLA Armstrong was 'branded a baby killer' after miscarriage nightmare

By Jonathan Bell

The Alliance MLA Kellie Armstrong said she was branded a "baby killer" because she had to have an abortion after suffering a miscarriage.

The Strangford representative spoke of how she had been through 13 miscarriages, the first when she was 25 and she still had feelings about it today.  The 47-year-old has one teenage child, Sophie who she described as her "little miracle".

"We didn't want an abortion, we were actively trying to have a baby," she said.

In her last pregnancy, at the age of 42, she had a medical termination.

"We have to be very careful about talking about abortions," she told Stephen Nolan's BBC Northern Ireland show Top Table.

"There are different references to abortions which can cause lots of harm. I've had multiple miscarriages and in medical terms that is called a 'spontaneous abortion', then I had a medical termination where my child had died."

She spoke of how she was given three options. To either wait on natural delivery, take "abortion pills" or have a medical termination. She chose the latter and was attacked by pro life groups because of that decision which she had to report to police as a hate crime.

"In the last election I was a baby killer, I was a pro-abortionist. To have people accuse you of being a baby killer, is deadly".

She said the debate around miscarriage was hidden behind the debate of abortion and recorded statistics over miscarriages was only the "tip of the iceberg" as health trusts only noted those incidents that happened in hospitals, which she said was very rare.

She said she had considered suicide after miscarrying, "but for my fantastic husband and great doctor I would not be here".

"I just wanted to be with my baby," she added.

"Nobody talks about miscarriages, nobody talks about baby loss because it is hidden behind debate on abortion.

"The debate is always about abortions, abortion unwanted children bad woman - woman taking terrible choices

"In actual fact it's a complex issue."

She continued: "People need to talk about it, being able to verbalise those words is incredibly difficult.. but it can be such a comfort.

"No body wants to talk about miscarriage. The term spontaneous abortion was used when I actively wanted a child.

She said the debate around miscarriage was hidden behind the debate of abortion and that those recorded statistics over miscarriages was only the "tip of the iceberg" as health trusts only recorded those incidents that happened in hospitals, which she said was very rare.

"For some the first scan can be an incredible day, for others it can be the worst."

 

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