Artist hanged herself after aborting her twins

An artist killed herself after aborting her twins when she was eight weeks pregnant, leaving a note saying: “I should never have had an abortion. I see now I would have been a good mum.”

“Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils, And shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood. Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions.”
—Psa 106:37-39

Emma Beck was found hanging at her home in Helston, Cornwall, on Feb 1 2007. She was declared dead early the following day – her 31st birthday.

Her suicide note read: “I told everyone I didn’t want to do it, even at the hospital. I was frightened, now it is too late. I died when my babies died. I want to be with my babies: they need me, no-one else does.”

The inquest at Truro City Hall heard that Miss Beck had split up with her boyfriend, referred to as “Ben” after he “reacted badly” to the pregnancy.

She saw her GP before the termination, but missed an appointment at a hospital in Penzance. She then cancelled, but later turned up to an appointment at a clinic at Royal Cornwall Hospital in Treliske. The counsellor was on holiday so a doctor referred Miss Beck to a pregnancy counselling telephone service eight days before carrying out the abortion when she was eight weeks pregnant, the inquest heard.

The coroner, Dr Emma Carlyon, ordered that the identities of the doctor who performed the abortion and her lead consultant be kept secret.

The inquest heard that Sylvia Beck, the victim’s mother, wrote to the hospital after her daughter’s death, saying: “I want to know why she was not given the opportunity to see a counsellor.

“She was only going ahead with the abortion because her boyfriend did not want the twins.

“I believe this is what led Emma to take her own life – she could not live with what she had done.”

The doctor said: “I discussed Emma’s situation with her, and wrote on the form, ‘Unsupported, lives alone, ex-partner aware’.

“It is normal practice to give a woman the number for telephone counselling when a counsellor is not available.

“I am satisfied that everything was done to make sure that Emma consented to the operation.

She added: “We have since appointed more counsellors so there is more holiday cover.”

Katie Gibbs, Miss Beck’s GP, told the hearing: “She was extremely distressed by the abortion procedure, and I didn’t think she ever came to terms with it.

“She had a long history of anxiety and depression. Despite my best efforts, she was not willing to see a counsellor after the termination.”

Her boss at the clinic, said: “The time that can be given to a woman by a counsellor is limited in a busy hospital.

“I am satisfied everything was done to make sure Emma was consenting to surgery. I don’t feel there was any gap in the counselling service.

“There were lots of individuals who would be alert to any doubts. The comments made by Emma’s mother are not about a doctor I recognise.”

Mrs Beck told the court: “Emma was considered a talented artist, and sold a number of paintings.

“She was pleased when she became pregnant, but Ben reacted badly to the news.”

Recording a verdict of suicide, Dr Carlyon said: “It is clear that a termination can have a profound effect on a woman’s life.

“But I am reassured by the evidence of the doctors here.”

  1. YeshuaAgapao, 25 February, 2008

    I was wondering if how much of the idolatrous child sacrifices in Ezekiel-era Israel were an ancient form of having an abortion (more literal modern equivalent would be throwing a baby into the dumpster) as opposed to any actual caring about or worship the false demon-gods. Might be explanation of the link of the ancient child sacrifices vs modern abortions that I hear in church. Not meant to honor the god, just dumping the unwanted kid, under cover of an offering. Sorta depressing, but not sure if I could resist the temptation if I were to end up with an unwanted kid. Lots of unwanted responsibility. Best to avoid having an unwanted kid in the first place, then you don’t have to worry about it.

  2. Carrie M. Boyer, 26 February, 2008

    This is very sad. The Scripture posted is not in context with the story of this poor woman’s torment. She did not scald her live babies on the brass arms of a burning altar believing she was honoring a (false) god.

    I believe it was Chuck Smith who said “The denigration of women is the end of a society.”

    –Carrie M. Boyer

  3. jen-o, 29 February, 2008

    dear carrie,

    i beg to differ…
    abortion is the shedding of innocent blood, even the blood of sons and daughters… whether it is done by scalding the baby or by butchering it in the birth canal is beside the point…

    (i’m not sure what this has to do with denigrating women)

    i’m not sure i understand what you are referring to when you say you are not sure whether you could “resist the temptation”… i hope you don’t mean the “temptation” of butchering your own flesh and blood…

    this is a tragic story and highlights the seriousness of abortion… my heart goes out to this woman, and to women everywhere who have had abortions without realizing the consequences… there is forgiveness with God…


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