Right to give birth

Shortlist 2021

Alyona Kochetkova

Russian freelance photographer and educator. She was born in 1988 in Kaluga, Russia. Her works have been published in TIME magazine, La Vanguardia, Folha De S.Paulo, Russian reporter magazine, Lenta.ru. Alyona is 3rd Prize Winner of World Press Photo 2019, 3rd Prize Winner of Px3 Paris Photography Prize, Honorable Mention of IPA, Grand Prix & 1st Prize winner of The Andrei Stenin International Press Photo Contest, Grand Prix Winner The Young People In The XXI Century International Contest (Lithuania), finalist of The Circle Of Life contest 2019 (Lithuania).

The Compromise

Right to give birth

Women's rights have drawn much attention all around the world lately. While many people protest against the exclusion of abortion coverage from health insurance, there are many people whose ability to give birth is a precious yet hardly-achievable dream. Cancer surviving women of childbearing age are significantly less likely to get pregnant. The chance to regain fertility depends on the type and duration of treatment and the patient's age. I was at a high risk as a former cancer patient. I was diagnosed with breast cancer on my 29th birthday. After few years of infertility and completing the treatment, my doctor told me that I probably would not conceive a child anymore. I was depressed, and then the COVID-19 lockdown hit. I had to cut off most of my face-to-face contacts and became a prisoner in my own house. After two months of isolation, my husband and I found out that I was pregnant. So a new phase of my life started, joyful yet disturbing. The anxiety grew as my closest relatives became ill. After nine months full of hope and worries, I gave birth to a boy.