LONDON - Pro-life Christians gathered to protest in London this week on the anniversary of England's abortion law. Abortion has been legal in the United Kingdom for 44 years.
Twenty years ago, Angela Coakes went through the trauma of having two abortions. Coakes looks back on what caused her to go through the ordeal.
"My family persuaded me and said, 'We're not going to support you,'" she recalled. "So I went through with it and afterwards I thought I was going to lose my mind."
Coakes said the impact on her life after having the procedure twice was devastating.
"I felt empty and I felt alone, very alone," she said. "There was no way I was going to tell anyone what I'd done."
The campaign group Christian Concern organized a "Make Abortion History" event outside parliament.
"Seven million babies have been aborted since that act was passed and so we stand here in order to commemorate that," Christian Concern CEO Andrea Williams said.
"But also to ask the question, 'What can we do? How can we change this? How can we make the unborn child human, real, alive, actually worthy of protection?'" she said.
Williams said U.K. Pro-lifers are facing major challenges to bring about legislation to limit abortion.
"We failed to reduce the upper time limit from 24 weeks to 20 weeks. We failed to get a very reasonable amendment onto a recent piece of legislation, which would've asked for women to have independent counseling when presented with an unplanned pregnancy," Williams explained.
Since overcoming her own personal challenges after an abortion, Coakes has now set up a Christian resource center for women facing post-abortion syndrome.
"I will listen for up to an hour sometimes, and they will cry and they will say things like, 'I'm just holding onto my marriage by the fingernails. I don't even want to get up in the morning,'" Coakes said.
"I have had the privilege of praying with some people and that's really special," she said.
Coakes said it was a challenge to battle the hurt from her own past but believes God has used her experience to help many others.
"I believe that His intention for everyone who's gone through abortion is that He wants to restore them back to where they were supposed to be," Coakes said.
"And to bring them to an abundant life," she added. "They don't have to live in the darkness and they don't have to live with that hidden pain anymore."
*Originally posted October 28, 2011.