Galway Pro-Choice is launching the ‘Everyday Stories’ exhibition in the Galway Arts Centre today, Friday 16 March. at 7pm.
The exhibition will be launched by Mary McDermott, who co-founded the project with Caoimhe Anglin in 2017.
Everyday Stories is a project featuring real-life stories of women and families impacted by the Eighth Amendment.
Mary McDermot, a native of Roscommon, said that when she got involved in the Repeal campaign some years ago, what struck her most was the number of people who have been affected by the Eighth Amendment.
“Many of the people I’ve met have been very open about their stories and it was these stories which revealed the complexities of this law to me and how it can affect women and their pregnancies,” she said.
“The idea behind Everyday Stories was to give a platform to these stories and I felt that if more people knew the realities of the Eighth Amendment, there would be greater understanding and compassion towards the issue.”
Caoimhe Anglin’s personal account features in the ‘Everyday Stories’ exhibition alongside the stories of seven other women and their families. She was forced to travel to Manchester in 2016 to access an abortion.
“Through this exhibition and the accompanying website, we are revealing the humanity of complex lives, considered decisions and difficult journeys,” she said. “We hope ‘Everyday Stories’ will bring perspective, compassion and understanding to often divisive and difficult public debates, and will help us find common ground.
“In 2016, I experienced a crisis pregnancy. I was on the pill and my boyfriend and I always use condoms. When we realised I was pregnant, both of us knew there was no way we could afford to bring a child into the world.
“I travelled to Manchester for a surgical abortion. I was accessing a normal healthcare service but – to do so – I was subjected to needless hardship: I had to travel abroad, stay in a hotel, find the money to cover all these expenses, and get time off work. And I had to do all this under a cloud of secrecy because of the Eighth Amendment and the restrictions it has caused.
“I am sharing my story because abortion happens and will continue to happen for Irish women. Ten Irish women made the trip to England to access abortion every day last year – I was just one of them.”
The exhibition runs until the 29th March in the Galway Arts Centre and is available online at www.everydaystories.org.