I'm a second-generation abortion survivor. My mother survived a failed back-street abortion and, as you can expect, I'm a pro-life supporter, because if my mother's abortion had succeeded I would not exist, and neither would my four children, my grand-child, my brothers, my nephews and nieces, and my great nephews and nieces.
We used to visit my mother's family when I was a child, but we only met a few of them, and the relationships were a bit vague. Occasionally I heard about someone called "Auntie Edith”, but when I eventually uncovered the family secrets it turned out that she actually was my grandmother.
When I grew up and had a family of my own, I started doing Jewish stuff for no apparent reason. I got involved with a local group of Messianic Jews, and I was observing Shabbat on Friday nights and Saturdays and doing all the Jewish festivals. I had Jewish books, newspapers, and ornaments all over the house. I had been brought up as a Christian and had never been taught about anything Jewish, so I never had any reason to do any of this. My mum and dad came to visit us one day, and they looked at each other. Then my mum could be silent no more and said that her father was Jewish. That was one of the few things she knew about him. She met him only once, when she was a little girl. One night when she had already gone to bed, they got her up and said, "There's a man come to see you.” He stayed for a short time, and then went away. That was the last she saw of him.
Obviously, I felt I had to respond to this. My mum never knew who her father was, and it set me off on the genealogy trail. I went on many trips to the Public Records Office in London, working on the few fragments of information that she could give me. I eventually found him, and my mum confirmed that I had found the right one. That was really cool, because I helped my mum to find her dad. However, he was long gone. He died when I was five years old. He married a Jewish lady in 1910, and they had children and grandchildren, but I am not one of them. I am the grandchild of his mistress, the lady known as "Auntie Edith". He got her pregnant, took her out of the way to another city, and put her in a women's hostel, commonly known as the "Naughty Girl's Home".
It was there that my mother was born, but only after she had survived an abortion. She was born with an injury to her left hand, but it didn't stop her doing anything. She became a music teacher and could play the piano.
One of the benefits of unravelling the mysteries is that my mum was much more relaxed and able to talk to us about herself and her family. She told us about the abortion and how it was the reason for the problem with her hand, a matter that she had never previously explained to us.
However, we didn't have the green light to talk to the rest of the world and never felt any inclination to do so. We just talked about it within the family. Then, in the process of time, my mum and dad both went down with dementia and went into nursing homes. Mum died first and then my dad shortly afterwards. We all agreed that when Mum died there would no longer be any need to keep any secrets, and we blew them all at her funeral. She came into the world with a load of secrets, and we were resolved to send her out with none of them.
Since the funeral I have felt free to talk openly about being a second generation abortion survivor, but I didn’t make a big thing of it—not until I realised that there were other abortion survivors around the world, and I found that I had something in common with them. At that point it’s like a light has been turned on. However, they are nearly all in the USA. There are a few in other countries, and I've heard about some in the UK, but none of them are currently prepared to go public. They might have all sorts of reasons for keeping quiet, just as we did until my mother's funeral, and I have to respect their privacy.
Please make this a matter for prayer, that people will come forward when they are ready, and we can build up a network of survivors in the UK. See the following page for any new developments: