Why I Tried To Kill My Child
Great-Grandmother Winifred Cowell celebrates Mother's Day this Sunday with
the daughter she tried to kill 44 years ago. Mrs. Cowell, 75, bravely told the
story this week of how she tried to abort her daughter Barbara, in an attempt to
stop other woman opting for terminations.
Mrs. Cowell said: "I wish we could stop and think of the far-reaching
consequences of abortion. It touches me most when my beautiful baby
great-grand-daughter Jenna runs to me with her little arms outstretched in love.
"It's then that I think, if I'd had my way, these beautiful people would all
have been lost to the world, and to the pain, joy and beauty which are all the
patterns of life. I hope this true story will save the lives of unborn innocent
Mrs. Cowell, who lives in Burnley, Lanashire, now has 10 grandchildren and
six great grandchildren. But in 1944, living in terrible conditions with her
five young children and an unsupportive husband, Winfred was dismayed to find
herself pregnant once again.
"I had nowhere to lay this new life, nothing," she said "Not even peace to
greet the new baby." Having taken an overdose of quinine in an attempt to induce
an abortion. Mrs. Cowell almost died whilst having her stomach pumped in
She recovered gradually but was still resentful of the life inside her. Then,
a month later before the birth was due. Winifred slipped and fell down a flight
of stone steps, causing serious complications.
I Tried to Kill Baby
Although she once tried to kill the child, this new threat made her desperate
to bring the baby into the world. Winifred suddenly felt that "the little one
was absolutely alive and fighting for survival."
Against, all the odds, her daughter was born by caesarian, alive and healthy.
Now that Barbara herself is a grandmother and a successful businesswoman,
Winifred thanks God for thwarting her original plans. "I can just imagine,'' she
smiles, "How the Lord would say, Oh no you don't. I've got plans in the future
for this little one."
Her own experiences compelled Mrs. Cowell to write to David Alton MP in
support of his Abortion (Amendment) Bill. The best way to help his campaign, she
decided, was to make her own story public.