A woman has on average one abortion during her lifetime, statistically speaking. This means that abortion is a common female experience. Still, personal experiences with abortion are rarely spoken of. The project’s goal is to change this.
In this web exhibition we present 57 personal stories about abortion, and the history of the abortion legislation of all 23 countries featured in the stories. All the material has been collected by the project partners, mainly through the International Association of Women’s Museums.
SHHH! Stories about abortion and sexuality is a project that was started in January 2020 and concluded June 2022. The project was initiated and managed by the Women’s Museum Norway. The project is twofold: a physical exhibition and this web exhibition. The physical exhibition opened June 2021 at the Women’s Museum Norway. The web exhibition was launched internationally July 2022.
The topics we deal with in this project and the statistics we refer to are related to induced abortions. We have not collected stories about miscarriages.
The aim of this project is to tell women’s own stories about abortion, as well as highlighting how laws on abortion affect women’s lives. Women have always found ways to terminate unwanted pregnancies, and they always will. History shows that when abortion is inaccessible or against the law, women will still have illegal abortions. In some cases, with their lives at stake. With SHHH! we want to break the silence, crush some myths and make room for the universal experience that abortion is.
Abortion is a universal female experience. Yet no abortion is alike. How do women speak about these experiences in their own words? Here you will find personal abortion stories from women, and some men, from all over the world.