Between Right and Shame
Two years ago, I found out that my mother had an abortion. I started to ask questions. Mom spoke unwillingly, almost whispering. Abortion is a taboo word for many in Belarus. They try either not to pronounce it or replace it with another word. Almost no one would share details or even acknowledge that she had such an experience.
Abortion is not forbidden in Belarus, however out of every 100 births - 23.5 are abortions. Approximately 40% of women interrupt pregnancy for economic reasons.
"Between right and shame" is a story about women who had an abortion for different reasons. "Do not show my face; you can take a picture of my back." - One of the participant's condition. Almost no one wanted to show their faces. The abortion topic is not only about choosing whether to give birth or not, but it is about the relationship between man and woman. It is about womanhood in a Belarus community.
Natalia had an abortion after the Chernobyl tragedy. She was afraid to have an unhealthy child.
Alexandra had her first abortion after having sex with her boss. She was afraid to say "no" because she needed that job. The second time she had an abortion while she was pregnant by her husband.
When the doctor found out that Inna already has a one-year-old child, he told her to come a week later and, if the pregnancy is confirmed, get a vacuum aspiration.
For the first time, Valeria got pregnant by a drug addict. She decided to have an abortion. After marriage and the birth of a child, Valeria made three abortions. Valeria has diabetes.
Victoria survived a severe operation in her childhood. After childbirth, Victoria lay with the child many times in the hospital. "I got pregnant two more times and both times interrupted pregnancy."
Maria got pregnant when she was very young. She had an abortion because she was not ready to have a child.
Alina lived with her husband, who raped her for several years. She was afraid to report to the police. It was easier for her to agree to sex and lie down like a log. Alina had three abortions.
When Kseniya got pregnant, she felt that she did not want to give birth. She had an abortion for medical reasons because she had a cervical pregnancy. After she gained weight caused by the stress.
When Katya became pregnant, she realized that two guys could be a possible father of her baby. She had an abortion at 20. Katya still has not spoken about this with her mother.
Tamara got pregnant by a student from Morocco. Meeting a student from another country was indecent. Tamara has an abortion. She was scared of her father's opinion.
Tatiana is divorced and lives in the same house with her husband; she has three children and got three abortions. She made an abortion each time she found out her husband cheated on her.
Diana had an abortion after WWII. After found out about the pregnancy, the man she met said she was an inferior woman because she did not have one leg. Diana had a leg amputated during WWII.