In Northern Ireland, abortion is only permitted if a woman’s life is at risk or there is a permanent or serious risk to her mental or physical health.
Before I became an abortion rights activist, I was a photographer and picture editor in London. I’d moved away from Belfast when I was a teenager, like so many others did and still do; the peace process had only just been brokered and it was still a suffocating, nervous and parochial place.
I studied documentary photography in Newport, but after over a decade working away from home, not really having the time or money to concentrate on the work I wanted to make, I decided to move home and do a new Masters in Photography at Ulster University. Despite knowing people who’d had to travel for abortions when I was younger, I hadn’t really thought about it much again. In Northern Ireland, abortion is only permitted if a woman’s life is at risk or there is a permanent or serious risk to her mental or physical health.
But back in Belfast, in 2010, I saw a woman called Bernie Smyth on the BBC and I was gobsmacked she was allowed away with so many untruths on television. I knew I needed to make this my Masters project. I went to a few Alliance for Choice and Belfast Feminist Meetings and very quickly became heavily involved in the many facets of activism and organising. I retraced the steps of some abortion stories given to me by the Abortion Support Network and photographed those journeys. I’ve been unable to tear myself away ever since. This is a week in my life:
A High Court case, brought by a woman forced to travel for an abortion after being told her baby would not survive, means a …read more
Source:: New Statesman