Two academics are calling upon women in Iceland to share with them their personal experiences with abortion, with the aim of compiling them into a book.
About 1,000 abortions are performed in Iceland each year. Political scientist Silja Bára Ómarsdóttir and gender studies expert Steinunn Rögnvaldsdóttir, in an article published on the feminist blog Knúz, are asking for women in Iceland who have had an abortion to share their stories. They assure full confidentiality, and plan to compile these experiences into a book.
“What we are trying to do is provide an accessible book for women and girls who are faced with the choice of having a child or ending a pregnancy,” Silja told the Grapevine. “It is fairly easy to get basic information about abortions in Iceland on the practical and clinical side, but very limited information on what you can expect. Nonetheless, this is an experience so many women go through that it seems odd that they all have to deal with it by themselves. As with so many experiences in women’s lives, these stories are marginalized and hidden. We want to make their voices heard, bring this issue to the surface to try and make it less of a taboo.”
Those interested can have a questionaire sent to them, or they can be met in person. They emphasise that the strictest confidentiality will be ensured, with names only used if the interviewee insists upon it.
“We are able to send the questionnaire and information out in English if that would help anyone to share her story,” Silja added. “We can also meet women and record their stories in person, and we will do our best to have stories in other languages translated. It would certainly add another dimension to our project to hear from immigrant women and see if their experiences differ in any way from those of native born Icelandic women.”
Silja and Steinunn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.