September 13, 2013

#2: Her Right to Kill

Three women. Three pairs of lives. And one common, relevant socio-political and ethical dilemma connecting them all. Based on true incidents, "Her Right to Kill" is an Irish film that successfully and powerfully questions a woman's right to abort her unborn child, for her own survival. The film tells three interconnected stories, each having a woman protagonist:

The first story is set in 1992. A 14-year old girl is raped by her neighbour and gets pregnant. She starts suffering from severe depression and suicidal tendencies and the family decides to travel to Britain to have an abortion (as abortion is illegal in Ireland). However, they get involved in a traumatic legal battle demanding the girl's right to abort the baby, who is clearly unwanted, in more ways than one.

The second story is set in 2002. A 20-year old girl lives with her boyfriend in a garage where he works. The couple are not well-educated, and whatever little the boy earns they spend on drugs and adrenaline trips. Their life comes to a standstill when they realise that the girl is pregnant. The only way out is to illegally travel out of the country to get the abortion done. With neither the money, nor any kind of support, they decide to take this trip and manage to move out of the country.

The third story is in 2012. A 31-year old Indian woman, working in Ireland as a dentist is happily married and expecting a child. In the fourth month of pregnancy she has a miscarriage. The doctors realise that if the foetus is not removed, it might pose a fatal risk to the woman. But they can not conduct the abortion as although the foetus is now non-viable, its heart-beats are intact. She, being an educated, modern woman understands the situation and repeatedly requests for abortion, which under the laws of the "Catholic country", is illegal. Seven days later the woman dies.

The first story is a court-room battle, the second almost a road trip for survival, and the third a tragedy inside a well-equipped hospital. The archaic laws of the country have turned these women into worse victims of their respective situations.

As the three stories head toward their intertwined climax, the first girl undergoes a miscarriage under mysterious circumstances. The second girl, with her boyfriend, manages to get the abortion done after lots of struggle. And the death of the Indian woman sparks a nationwide protest against the law, with a strong reaction from the Church, as well as from a large section of the public actually holding demonstrations in support of the law.

The film ends with the titles:

The man who had raped the girl was imprisoned for three years. On being released he sexually assaulted another teenaged girl and was sentenced for another three years...

The young couple separated a few months after the incident and the girl now lives as a wife and a mother of three in a suburb...

The widespread protests against the law after the death of the Indian woman eventually led to a law being passed in Ireland in 2013 allowing abortion in circumstances where the woman's life is at risk, including from suicide...

P.S. "Her Right to Kill" is a film yet-to-be-made and this post is only a suggestion of the possibility of a film like this.

1 comment:

  1. Wow this a the kind of film I would have loved to produce if I was a producer!