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Fundraising stories 5,353 views Feb 11, 2019
Using Music to Highlight Reproductive Rights

As an organisation who work on abortion rights, which is still considered controversial in Northern Ireland, we were delighted when Isobel Anderson approached us to collaborate on a music video project. Isobel wrote a song in 2015, “4284_ / I'm A Life” using the words of one woman’s journey to England to access an abortion she should have been able to get here. We felt that suddenly this gave us an opportunity to speak to people who may not normally engage with political posts on social media or may not be aware of what the situation is still in Northern Ireland.

Isobel has worked closely with Alliance for Choice since September last year and has high hopes for the music video, she explains,

“I had wanted to write about the abuse of reproductive rights in Northern Ireland since I had moved to Belfast in 2009, but I found it difficult to know exactly how without misrepresenting people’s lived experience of the issue. Then, more and more people started sharing their stories online, and when I read Janet’s incredibly moving account, the song came together”

Having had a number of successful appeals on Localgiving already, we knew it would be a great place to host our music video appeal. If we can raise our £5K target by 2nd March, we will launch the video live at a Queer Feminist Activist-run space in Belfast, with live music from local acts.

We saw the power of stories with the referendum campaign in the Republic of Ireland, so we know how much more people can empathise when they can picture themselves in someone else’s shoes. Alliance for Choice have worked on a variety of education projects over the years and witnessed the incredible power of creating a space where people feel comfortable talking about their experiences of abortion, sex education, pregnancy and all of those stigmas. Reaching our target means we can make many more of these workshops and events happen.

We are so proud of the video and so delighted that the song is so beautiful.

Janet, whose incredible words are used for the song told us when she watched the video;

“I cried. The opening line had me catch my breath, and the next thing I knew I was crying. They were complex tears, of surprise, tinged with sadness & then of joy. When I shared my story 4 years ago, I had no idea of the impact it would have, I am deeply honoured to hear some of my words in Isobel's song and I hope it had a profound effect on people as it did me.

All of the people in the video have been involved one way or another, some people have travelled for abortion care, some people have helped others access it in Northern Ireland, others have been campaigning on the issue since the 1970s, there’s a whole range of activists and abortion seekers present in the video.



Emma Campbell is Co-Chair of Alliance for Choice, mother of Luca (nearly 2!) and a practising photographic artist.

Alliance for Choice won the Liberty Long Walk to Freedom award with London Irish Abortion Rights Campaign and the FPA in 2017 and the Political Studies Association Campaign of the Year Award of 2018 for our work aiding the Repeal referendum in Ireland and the continuing work in NI