Focus on Abortion: Americans Share Their Storiesintroduces the often-missing and most important voices in the abortion conversation: the voices of those who have experienced abortion. This projectprovides a platform for these voices to be heard.
Sixty-two individuals are featured. They have had an abortion or are close to the abortion experience, including partners, friends, relatives, counselors, and professionals who provide abortion care. Each person is represented by a photographic portrait and a first-person narrative.
The storytellers come from diverse socio-economic backgrounds and generations. They live in urban, suburban and rural areas throughout America. Together they will provide a broad, complex and poignant picture of abortion in our country.
These nuanced stories have the potential to mitigate the profound stigma that surrounds abortion. Few people talk about their abortions so many will be surprised to learn that one out of four women in the US will have an abortion during their reproductive years.
These narratives touch on the complex circumstances leading up to the decision to end a pregnancy, the person's ability to access healthcare, and life after having had an abortion.
Most importantly, these stories have the potential to widen public understanding of abortion. We learned from the Civil Rights and Gay Rights movements that deep-seated beliefs can evolve once people give voice to their personal stories.
About the Author
Roslyn Banish, after receiving a Master's degree in Photography at the Institute of Design, Chicago, has documented human issues, using photographs and first-person narratives. Published works include Focus on Living: Portraits of Americans with HIV/AIDS. She has taught photography and exhibited her work in England and the United States. She lives in San Francisco, California.