Will St Leger’s Out of the Shadows art project hopes to raise awareness for the women who must travel to the UK to access abortion services
To bring attention to the high numbers of women who must travel to the UK to access abortion services, Will St Leger has created an art project entitled Out of the Shadows.
Out of the Shadows, which is supported by the Abortion Rights Campaign and Amnesty International Ireland, is a touring art project which will visit six counties in Ireland draw attention to the women who travel to the UK for an abortion.
To draw attention to the number of women who travel abroad to avail of abortion services, Tipperary artist and activist Will St Leger has placed life size silhouettes across the country.
— Will St Leger (@WillStLeger) January 8, 2017
“Many women who travel to the UK for an abortion describe the journey as traumatic and upsetting,” St Leger said.
“The Irish state and health service effectively turns its back on them, forcing them to bear the psychological, physical and financial burden alone. Women forced to travel feel [a] sense of exclusion from their health care system, the stigma of traveling, and the burden of secrecy, shame and fear that comes with knowing they are doing something that is a criminal offence at home.
“This project is designed to bring these women out of the shadows so that we can stand in solidarity with them.”
Take a look at the photos taken by St Leger and featured as part of his Out of the Shadows project below.
Amnesty International Ireland indicated that at least four thousand women travel outside of Ireland every year to access abortion, a figure which doesn’t account for those who purchase abortion pills online.
Amnesty International Ireland’s Executive Director, Colm O’Gorman highlighted the Irish laws surrounding abortion which affect some women more than others.
“Ireland’s abortion laws do not stop women and girls from having or needing abortions, it simply forces them to travel abroad,” O’Gorman said.
— Aungier Danger (@AungierDanger) January 9, 2017
“The law, which is one of the most restrictive in the world, disproportionally affects certain women and girls, including minors, survivors of sexual violence, asylum seekers, women with health problems or those who are otherwise unable to travel.
“Travelling abroad for abortion is expensive (costing at least €1,000) which further limits abortion to those who can afford to travel.”
Tarry Gleason, an Abortion Rights Campaign spokesperson, explained that women in rural areas are presented with even more challenges.
“Women in rural areas face additional obstacles when travelling for an abortion, such as infrequent public transport and longer journeys,” she said.
“ARC regional groups have engaged with these communities to break down the culture of stigma, shame, and fear that has pervaded the issue of abortion for too long.
“This project will build on the progress made by Abortion Rights Campaign regional groups and other local and community groups. It will continue expanding the dialogue on the urgent need for a referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment,” Gleason said.
This Friday Mother presents Dance For Choice in association with District 8 / Hidden Agenda and the Repeal Project to raise funds for the Coalition to Repeal the 8th.
© 2017 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.