In June 2016, playwright Emily Steel had a termination at 19 weeks after her baby was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. When she told people about it afterwards she expected them to judge her, but instead they told her stories in return - about abortions they'd had to keep secret, miscarriages they couldn't really talk about, struggles with IVF. This was the inspiration for 19 weeks - telling her story publicly to encourage more openness and understanding.
Some (perhaps surprising) statistics: Up to 1 in 3 Australian women will have an abortion in her lifetime. Up to 1 in 5 confirmed pregnancies ends in miscarriage. 1 in 6 couples in Australia struggle to get pregnant at all. These experiences are common, but they can make you feel very alone.
In the US, there are projects like the 1 in 3 Campaign and the Sea Change Program that work to end the stigma around experiences like abortion, pregnancy loss and infertility by sharing women’s personal stories.
Our hope is that, with 19 weeks, we can help open up this conversation in Australia.
You can read more stories here.