A still from Amnesty International’s pro-choice PSA. Image Source.
The stigma surrounding abortion is very real and you don’t have to look far for evidence of this. The procedure is illegal in NSW and some shocking anti-abortion laws have been introduced this year in America. In Ireland, pregnant women’s bodies are strictly policed by the Eighth Amendment — an act that outlaws abortion in all cases unless the mother’s life is in immediate danger. Rape, incest and many serious health risks are not considered legitimate justifications for the procedure. This means that thousands of Irish women travel to other countries to obtain abortions every year.
Amnesty International shared an advertisement aimed at increasing awareness around the Eighth Amendment this week and it’s essential watching. The ad frames the law as something that effects all pregnant women who value their ability to make decisions about their own bodies. Called ’25 annoying things about being pregnant’ it starts off with women airing grievances about pregnancy like “cankles” and “strangers coming up to touch your bump”. It then takes a turn for the serious when one woman says “when you’re forced to carry a baby that can’t survive out of the womb”. What follows is an important look at all the ways in which the Eighth Amendment oppresses women.
“A huge percentage of my work, whether commercial or personal, centres around telling women’s stories, so this felt like a very natural project to be aligned with,” Kathryn Ferguson, the clip’s director, told AdFreak. “I have also been researching and shooting my own documentary about women’s reproductive rights in Ireland and Northern Ireland for the past two years.”
Of the 21 women she interviewed for the Amnesty PSA, Ferguson said, “I was completely dumbstruck by each woman’s bravery and strength in coming forward and sharing their truths.”
Watch the PSA below.
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