Women tell their abortion stories online in attempt to reduce stigma
The film No More Shame will go live on Youtube tomorrow evening. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg
The stories of women who had abortions because they were pregnant as a result of rape, because they had a diagnosis of a fatal foetal abnormality or because they were too poor to be able to cope with a child, feature in an online video project aiming to reduce the stigma around the issue.
The film, No More Shame, will go live tomorrow evening. It features 15 actors recounting women’s experiences of abortion. Other women will tell their stories on the site later in the week and it is hoped more women will then upload their stories to the site.
Film-maker Liz Dunphy, who collaborated with activist Laura Flemming on the protect, said the idea came after an advertising campaign last summer by the anti-abortion group Youth Defence. The “Abortion Tears Her Life Apart” campaign featured sad-looking women and torn pregnancy scans.
“That campaign was judgmental and an attempt to make anyone who had had an abortion feel shame and hurt,” Ms Dunphy said.
“We wanted to reclaim some of that space and amplify the voices of women who have had to make that choice.
“It is a vast and complex issue. The stories show how life is not easy and clean, and black and white. Unless we hear women’s voice we can’t fully understand why these real women make that difficult choice.”
She said a number of the stories are of women who have had a diagnosis of a fatal foetal abnormality.
“There is a woman who had been raped. Another who was married but being badly abused by her husband and she has had to leave him. Others are older women who already have children and who know those children will suffer if they continue this pregnancy,” she said.
She said the Protection of Life during Pregnancy Bill was a welcome development but would do nothing to help those faced with diagnoses of fatal foetal abnormalities.