These are all stories of women from Northern Ireland who have needed access to abortion. The names have been changed.
(TW: domestic violence, abuse, sexual violence)
There has recently been a significant development regarding the law on abortion in Northern Ireland, due to the judgement at the Human Right's Commission's Judicial Review on Monday 30th November.
Following this, to ensure that the primary concerns of the NI Assembly in regards to abortion are women's health and women's lives, we will be asking that our MLAs can all have a free vote on the matter.
The strong party whip prevents MLAs from voting according to personal conscience on this issue, which affects women's lives in a real and damaging way. We believe this issue should be considered by parties in the same way that the vote on Equal Marriage has been.
Ask Alliance for Choice for postcards for your friends, family and networks to send to your MLAs. We will also have them at our weekly Saturday Stall in Corn Market Belfast.
Or you can email your Stormont candidates with this message:
I ......(your name).................................................. trust women.
Alliance for Choice campaigns for progress on abortion legislation in Northern Ireland, which is currently one of the most restrictive in Europe. We believe that women should be trusted to know what is best for themselves and their families.
I am asking you as my MLA to:
1. TRUST WOMEN to make decisions about their own lives
2. Ask for LEGAL CHANGE to allow greater access
3. Push for a FREE VOTE on any progressive changes
*Any person, including trans men and non binary people requiring abortion services
Photo Press Release, 10/02/2016
Alliance for Choice, with Unite the Union, Steven Agnew and Clare Bailey from the Green Party and Dawn Purvis, gathered at Stormont today to ask the Assembly to #trustwomen support the Alliance and Green Party amendments to the Criminal Justice Bill with regard to abortion, which will be voted on later this afternoon.
Digital specimens for the "Labour of Love" show at Array Studios and the #twoformany show at Pollen Studios for Late night art on 2nd June in Belfast made possible because of Inroads Alliance for Choice and Array Studios
Both colour photography and the laws against abortion in Ireland were first formed in 1861, an era of emerging modernity that also saw the growing suffragette movement. Butterfly collecting was often seen as the appropriate hobby for unmarried ladies. Whilst butterflies are often regarded as symbols of femininity, freedom and change by many cultures, their capture and collection can reflect the harsh and sometimes fatal consequences of trying to pin down sexual behaviour and confine people to rigid gender stereotypes.
This piece is a work in progress by Alliance for Choice activist and artist Emma Campbell. Featuring abortion activists from Ireland and around the world, including Siobhán and Melissa, Emma wishes to re-insert the image of women and allies into visual representations of abortion that has been so often missing or misrepresented.
When finished, it will present a swarm of passport photo butterflies featuring activists who can represent the women, trans men and non-binary people who are still forced to travel outside of their home countries for abortion healthcare or who are under surveillance for accessing abortion pills to take abortion care into their own hands. It is hoped that this project will ultimately show that despite the enduring restrictions on abortion, feminism has also endured and is still fighting back against state misogyny and violence. This set of portraits was made whilst Emma was in Bangkok with Inroads for a global meeting of abortion activists, advocates and providers. Bravely showing their faces, each one of these photographic subjects is proudly oppositional to the stigmatizing discourse in each of their environments, with gratitude, Emma has transformed the often invisible activists into passport butterfly specimens, subverting femininity and slowly building a swarm of activists to replace the missing faces from the stories of abortion.
Activists are invited to have your portrait included in this artwork. Please contact Emma Campbell at firstname.lastname@example.org