It was that one-off occasion that did it. I don't blame him - I went into it quite deliberately, on the rebound from a relationship which had just broken up and which meant everything to me. All that it took was a lonely heart and too much wine.
When I found out I was pregnant, I was horrified and panic-stricken, particularly as my career placed me in the public eye. When I told the guy he sheared off, and I never heard another word from him. The only thing I could think of was 'How am I going to get rid of it?' There was no conflict in my mind or question of morality or ethics.
I was young, I was terrified and I could not tell my family. I had to cope alone. My job and my career were at stake. Had I loved the guy it might have been different. But as it was I never thought of the foetus as a living being. It was a blip in my life that had to be dealt with. 'I never thought of the foetus as a living being.'
No amount of exercise or medication could produce a natural miscarriage. In those days, abortion was not the high profile issue it is nowadays. All I could expect was condemnation, not understanding and compassion - a backstreet risk and a slur on my reputation.
In the fourth month I got some medical help through a friend and, after a frantic period of waiting, a natural miscarriage was induced. My relief was unbelievable: I felt I could live again. I suffered no emotional trauma - except for my bitterness at the way the guy had left me to cope on my own.
Some years later, when I was married and carrying our child, I was often haunted by the terrible fear that I would lose the baby. I had told my husband about the abortion before we got married, as I didn't want there to be any secrets or shadows in our relationship.
I had found a faith in God, and my life had taken a 180 degree turn, one result of which was that I took a long hard look at my lifestyle and values, or lack of them, which included the abortion. I found it very difficult to face and accept that I had killed a living being. In my mind I had always thought of it as something easier to live with, a 'miscarriage'. But at four months, it had been a living soul that I had flushed down the drain.
People's attitude to abortion is much more liberal today, but the question of whether to have a termination or not remains an anguished one. The pros and cons are argued and felt with such passion. But can the protagonists ever get inside the heart and feelings of those who are actually faced with the decision?
When you get rid of a foetus you are doing away with a potential life. We have to live with our actions. They are our responsibility -- that is the bottom line. What I have learnt is that in our Creator we have a very loving and forgiving father who doesn't hold things against us but gives us a second chance.
We had a special service for that little lost soul of mine, which gave me a deep feeling of forgiveness and peace.