Three Families is based on true stories (Picture: BBC)BBC One’s Three Families is a two-part series about Northern Ireland’s strict abortion laws.
Based on true stores, it follows three separate families who plan to terminate their pregnancies for different reasons.
However, in Northern Ireland abortion laws are some of the strictest in Europe.
It is set in the years running up to the decriminalisation of abortion in Northern Ireland in 2019, with the families setting out the ‘emotional background’ to the change in law.
What is Three Families about?
This BBC drama follows three Northern Irish families who are impacted by the Abortion Act of 1967 which legalised abortion in the UK but not Northern Ireland.
Genevieve O’Reilly plays Rosie in Three Families (Picture: BBC/Studio Lambert/Steffan Hill)The two-part series looks at the background to a campaign which sought to change the law in Northern Ireland in 2019 which meant that abortion was decriminalised and neither healthcare workers nor people who seek abortions can be prosecuted.
The three families featured are all based on real people whose names have been changed but who spoke to screenwriter Gwyneth Hughes, with most of the events taking place before abortion was decriminalised.
The character Theresa, played by Sinead Keenan, is based on a woman who found herself at the centre of a real life court case in which she was found not guilty of buying abortion pills for her teenage daughter.
In episode two, pregnant Rosie, played by Genevieve O’Reilly, is expecting a child who has been diagnosed with Edward’s Syndrome, a chromosomal abnormality which often causes the baby to die during or soon after birth.
Rosie has a history of mental illness which could mean she would be allowed an abortion but it is denied by her doctor.
Who is in the cast of Three Families?
Sinead Keenan (plays Theresa)
Sinead Keenan plays Theresa in Three Families (Picture: BBC)Theresa is a religious mother whose teenage daughter gets pregnant. Her experience is based on a real-life court case.
Amy James-Kelly (plays Hannah)
Amy James-Kelly plays Hannah in Three Families (Picture: BBC)Hannah is a married woman who is desperate for a child but her first pregnancy ends in tragedy.
Genevieve O’Reilly (plays Rosie)
Genevieve O’Reilly plays Rosie in Three Families (Picture: BBC)Affluent Rosie has a history of mental health problems which may mean she can have an abortion. However, she is denied by her doctor.
Lola Petticrew (plays Orla)
Lola Petticrew plays Orla in Three Families (Picture: BBC)At 15, Orla is a schoolgirl who wants to terminate her pregnancy with the help of her mother but is unable to.
Colin Morgan (plays Jonathan)
Colin Morgan plays Jonathan in Three Families (Picture: BBC)Jonathan is the supportive husband of Hannah whose lives are torn apart by Hannah’s tragic pregnancy.
Prasanna Puwanarajah (plays David)
Prasanna Puwanarajah plays David in Three Families (Picture: BBC)David is not from Northern Ireland but plays the husband of his wife Rosie who is denied an abortion by her doctor.
Owen McDonnell (plays Mark)
Owen is Theresa’s parntner and step-father to teen Orla.
Kerry Quinn (plays Louise)
Kerry is Theresa’s best friend who is pro-life and in disagreement with her friend about her wish for an abortion.
Three Families begins on BBC One at 9pm on May 20 2021.
MORE : Tipping Point player breaks record but viewers are distracted by new layout
MORE : American Idol: Chris Martin urges contestant to add ‘sl*t bang’ to his look