Dreams, Fears and Friendship: An Abortion-and Love Story is a comic that we at Agents of Ishq have created in collaboration with Ibis Reproductive Health, building on their research on self-managed abortions (SMA).
Written by Paromita Vohra and illustrated by Anshumaan Sathe, the comic follows the story of Sapna, who is just starting out in the world when she finds herself pregnant, but not ready to become a mother.
Set in a small town, amid the lives of young people striking out on their own, sharing simple pleasures—from K-drama to gol gappas—the comic traces Sapna’s journey from fear, shame, ignorance and isolation to working out dilemmas and making choices with the support of her partner and friends. Using vibrant art and light, contemporary language, the comic destigmatizes abortion, provides information on self-managed abortions and most of all, shares the deep value of friendship and community in dissolving that stigma, so that abortion is not a lonely journey. Reflecting their lives with warmth and humour, the comic is something young people will be able to make their own.
The Ibis Reproductive Health research, conducted in partnership with RUWSEC, SHRI and FPAI on SMA experiences in India between January and August 2022, found that when people are provided high-quality information and support, self-managed abortion is safe and effective. (This echoes the WHO recommendation that people can self-administer abortion medication without direct supervision of a healthcare provider at up to 12-weeks of gestation).
Scroll below to read the comic here!
You can also check out our earlier materials on abortion here. They include comics, data narratives and explainers.