“Abortion is illegal in Jamaica under the Offences Against the Person Act of 1864, which is based on the 1861 English Act of the same title. Under the Act, any person who, intending to procure a miscarriage, regardless of whether the woman is with child, unlawfully administers to her any poison or noxious thing or unlawfully uses any instrument or other means to the same end is subject to life imprisonment, with or without hard labour. A pregnant woman who acts in the same way with respect to her own pregnancy is subject to the same penalty.”
In January 2014, I was able to obtain a safe but illegal abortion while my daughter and I spent some time in Jamaica, W.I., the home country of my mother and father, my most immediate diaspora land. My own financial privilege and access to resources, made this possible in a country where unsafe abortion complications are the 3rd leading cause of maternal death.
This self-portrait series is both an internal and external exploration of my process as I made my choice. This is a silent dialogue with my mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, and the many generations of birthing people that come before me. It is an homage to all who have lost their lives in pursuit of self-definition, and all those who crafted lives out of the remnants of selves. This body of work is a legacy for my daughter. This work is for me; a map and testimony of my personal migration.