My Body My Life
Although one in three British women will have an abortion during their lifetime, the decision to terminate a pregnancy continues to be stigmatised. Many women who have an abortion will internalise that stigma, and experience isolation and shame as a result. This may explain some of the negative aspects of abortion experiences, and why some people wish to conceal it. ‘My Body My Life’ is a public engagement project that seeks to address this stigma around abortion by bringing real stories of abortion into the open. These stories show how an unplanned pregnancy is a part of so many people’s lives, how different people have made their decision about having an abortion, and what the process was like for them. Our hope is that by creating a space in which everyone can share their stories, the project will contribute to opening up conversations about real experiences of abortion – positive and negative – to enable us all to speak, to listen, and to understand without judgment.
On the My Body My Life website, visitors can read people’s stories of abortion in their own words. Originally collected as part of Open University (OU) research into women’s experiences of abortion, this research has grown into a broad public engagement project co-led by OU and the University of Oxford. It now includes a website, a travelling multi-media exhibition and a booklet of abortion stories that is available at BPAS clinics across the country.