Until October 2019, Northern Ireland, was the only part of the UK, where terminating a pregnancy was illegal, in almost all circumstances. This included pregnancy resulting from rape, incest and fatal foetal abnormalities, where survival outside the womb is impossible.
The Offences Against The Person Act 1861 regulated the provision of abortions in Northern Ireland. The Abortion Act 1967 was never extended to Northern Ireland. The ambiguous legislation meant that medical professionals were reluctant to provide advice and information with regard to terminating pregnancy. There was a maximum penalty of life imprisonment for any person who underwent an abortion and for anyone providing assistance. Medical professionals were not willing to take the risk of facing legal proceedings.
The Book Concept
‘It Starts With Silence’ is about living in the political landscape of Northern Ireland, a place to which Denise was desperate to return, a place that I am still seeking to understand.
I try to communicate the complexities of my emotions, while reflecting upon state sanctioned violence, forced birth, baby loss and lack of access to compassionate healthcare.
Texts by Richard Gosnold
Designed by Richard Gosnold and Loreen Lampe.
Hardcover, 16.5 x 22cm
142 pages plus gatefold
82 colour and b/w images
Galaxi Art Supermat (FSC) 150 & 90gsm