When they put their hands out like scales – Journeys

When they put their hands out like scales.

Power, exercised as control, has blighted the reproductive rights of humans worldwide for centuries. National ideals of motherhood and acceptable female behaviour are threaded through anti-choice arguments. To represent the ‘abortion journey’ experience, in effect it becomes the “fulcrum of a much broader ideological struggle in which the very meanings of family, the state, motherhood, and …women’s sexuality are contested”.[1]

The polemic surrounding abortion is bewildering. Ambiguity and conflict are played out in the passing landscapes and impersonal details of the journey to the clinic overseas, echoed by the political bluster and suffocating reality of the legal constrictions. Layers of glass and reflection acknowledge the obfuscatory and morally indignant language used by politicians and anti-choice campaigners. The enforced exile across the sea to the former colonial bosom, shrouded in secrecy and shame, is still one of the few options for women in the island of Ireland.

All of these photographs were made sitting by windows during journeys to abortion clinics in Liverpool and London.

[1] Petchesky, Rosalind. Abortion and Women’s Choice: The State, Sexuality and Reproductive Freedom London: Verso 1986 pp. 69

 

*David Ervine PUP:
We sit here making decisions about their lives without one iota of the pain, sorrow or suffering that whatever decision they make in relation to abortion will blight the rest of their lives as they see it at that time. When they put their hands out like scales and try to make their decision, the moral arguments we create do not help them because there is right and wrong in each hand, or in each side of the balance.

*Quotes from debate held in the Northern Ireland Assembly on 20th June 2000: Motion: that this Assembly is opposed to the extension of the Abortion Act 1967 to Northern Ireland. 


  1. […] photograph is from ‘When They Put Their Hands Out Like Scales’ by Emma Campbell, who will be speaking at the […]

  2. […] photograph is from ‘When They Put Their Hands Out Like Scales’ by Emma Campbell, who will be speaking at the […]

Leave a Reply

When they put their hands out like scales – Journeys When they put their hands out like scales – Journeys When they put their hands out like scales – Journeys When they put their hands out like scales – Journeys When they put their hands out like scales – Journeys When they put their hands out like scales – Journeys When they put their hands out like scales – Journeys When they put their hands out like scales – Journeys When they put their hands out like scales – Journeys When they put their hands out like scales – Journeys
loading..