New documentary to explore landmark contraception case

New documentary to explore landmark contraception case

Pictured: May and Séamus McGee

A new documentary exploring the 1970s court case which paved the way for the legalisation of contraception in the State is to be broadcast on TG4 next week.

May and Séamus McGee approached a solicitor in 1972 to raise concerns about a banned contraceptive. At the time, women could obtain the pill through their own GP but all retail sale of contraceptive products was prohibited.

Mrs McGee had suffered severe medical complications during her first three pregnancies, and her doctor unequivocally warned that another pregnancy could prove to be fatal. In response, May attempted to import a spermicidal jelly, but it was seized and the young mother was threatened with jail.

The couple boldly challenged the law in the High Court, which ruled against them, but later won their case on appeal at the Supreme Court in 1973. Six years later, contraception was legalised.

In the one-hour documentary to be broadcast on TG4 on Wednesday 4 October 2023, 9.30pm, the Skerries couple share memories from McGee v Attorney General, along with contributions from family members, prominent historians and human rights activists.

The documentary was produced by Midas Productions and is directed by Martin Danneels.

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