For more than half a century, any woman in the UK with an unwanted pregnancy has been legally entitled to ask for a termination – except in Northern Ireland.
As Northern Ireland faces a potential change to its law on abortion, BBC One announces a new drama based on real-life stories.
When It Happens To You is made by the producers of Three Girls, the BBC’s multi-award winning account of the grooming scandal in Rochdale. Its writer Gwyneth Hughes explores the emotive issues around abortion in Northern Ireland and the experience of families and their loved ones whose lives have been profoundly affected by it.
Executive Producer, Susan Hogg, says: “Growing up in Northern Ireland I was always aware of the heated debate surrounding the issue of abortion, and this is a story I’ve wanted to tell for many years. Terminations are illegal even when doctors agree that the foetus has no chance of survival or where a pregnancy has been the result of rape or incest. We will go behind the headlines and tell the true stories of women and girls and their families who have been deeply affected by the law.”
Writer, Gwyneth Hughes, says: “I knew the law was different, but I had no idea what that really meant until I went to Northern Ireland and met some of the families involved. I’ve been deeply moved by their experiences and feel honoured to be asked to share their stories.”
Piers Wenger, Controller of BBC Drama, says: “Abortion is a complex and emotive subject, and it continues to divide opinion in Northern Ireland and elsewhere. Following months of detailed research, Gwyneth and the Studio Lambert team will help audiences get an insight into how abortion law has affected many different women and their families. Their stories are powerful, personal and memorable.”