In April 2016, a 21 year old Belfast woman was given a three-month jail sentence, suspended for two years, after admitting procuring her own abortion via pills she bought online. What would happen in the next few months would stir a debate: Northern Ireland is the only province of the UK where the 1967 Act, which secures the right to an abortion, does not apply.
While abortion is legal in cases where the mother’s life would be at risk, it is not comprehensive enough for most cases. In 2015, 833 women traveled to England for an abortion. 73% of procedures occurred within the first 9-weeks of gestation (source).
This is about the 322 mile journey from Belfast to London. It is about the complexity of the decision, isolation, and exile. The first opening minutes set up the innovative structure of the work, in which the intimacy of radio is used to its full power as the listener becomes a character in the documentary.
I am seeking permission from all participants to release this online; once I receive their consent, the complete documentary will be made available.