2020 Photo Contest, Portraits, Stories, 2nd Prize

Between Right and Shame

Photographer

Tatsiana Tkachova

15 August, 2018

Tatjana (49) has had three abortions, each time because her husband was being unfaithful to her, and she did not want another child with him. She said she felt shame at having an abortion as a married woman, and was worried what her mother-in-law would think. 

Belarus abortion laws allow termination on request up to 12 weeks of pregnancy, and in certain medical or social circumstances up to 28 weeks, which places them among the most liberal in Europe. Nevertheless, abortion is still a taboo for many women, and many are reluctant to admit they have had a termination. ‘No abortion week’ campaigns are held annually, and the decision to have a termination is often accompanied by a sense of shame. In this project, Belarusian women who have considered or undergone abortion tell their stories. The women had a range of concerns behind their decisions surrounding abortion—from contamination after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster to fear of poverty, not wanting to be a single parent, or a background of sexual abuse. As their decisions were often made with difficulty, in this story they did not want to show their faces and their names have been changed.

About the photographer

Tatsiana Tkachova

Tatsiana Tkachova is a photographer based in Minsk, Belarus. Tkachova graduated from the Belarusian State University of Culture and Arts with a Culturology Degree in 2014, and...

Technical information

Shutter Speed
1/60
ISO
800
Camera
Fujifilm X100T

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