Every day in the UK and around the world thousands of women make the decision to have an abortion.
Until the Abortion Act was passed in1967, abortion was illegal in Britain and women were unable to terminate unwanted pregnancies safely. The Abortion Act allows for abortion up to 24 weeks when two doctors agree that it would cause less damage to a woman’s physical or mental health (or that of existing children) than continuing with the pregnancy. After 24 weeks an abortion is permitted in very limited circumstances..
Over 50 years on from the legalisation of abortion, and despite it being a common and safe procedure it remains politically controversial, and those experiencing or providing abortion can still be impacted by abortion stigma.
Visit one of our interactive installations, read real stories of abortion choices, or share your own here online as we work to remove the stigma around abortion.
Right now we are collecting stories on abortion experiences during Covid19. We hope these stories may help people affected by abortion now and going forward'. Please submit your ABORTION DURING COVID19 STORY HERE
The experience of people who are not women, who need and use abortion care is often hidden and may be even more taboo and stigmatised than that of cis women. Moreover, their access to reproductive health services is often extremely problematic.
My Body My Life welcomes stories about the abortion experience of trans men, non-binary people, intersex people, and anyone who does not identify with the term ‘woman’. This will enable us to increase visibility and understanding of these experiences.
We have used the terms ‘people’ and ‘women’ in different parts of the text. Where we have chosen to use the word woman this is because:
all participants in the original research identified as women.
the vast majority of people who have abortions identify as women, and a significant proportion of women will have an abortion. Recognising that abortion is a common and ordinary element of women's reproductive life is important if we are to destigmatise it
It is impossible to address abortion stigma without recognising that much of the stigma attached to abortion is underpinned by the systemic oppression of cis women and their bodies.