These Photos Of Women Affected By Illegal Abortion Are Deeply Moving (NSFW)
Last Updated November 15, 2019
Scotland-based photographer Camila Cavalcante spent the last three years working on a project to push the conversation about abortion and scream for all women to have autonomy over their own bodies, regardless of their circumstances.
In Brazil where she grew up, abortion is only legal if it endangers the mother’s life, if the foetus’ brain doesn’t develop in the womb or in rape cases. Updates to abortion law and the fight for reproductive rights continue all over the world while women are still forced to take dangerous avenues to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. Between 2016 and 2019, Camila photographed herself with 50 women from different backgrounds with different stories, all united by having been affected by illegal abortions. The result is an incredibly moving photobook, For The Lives Of All Women, which combines the personal and the political, documenting their individual experiences and why things so desperately need to change for everyone.
CHINA – One Child Nation: documentary film
by International Campaign for Women's Right to Safe Abortion
Nov 8, 2019
Filmmakers Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang provide a very personal history of China’s one-child policy and how several generations of parents and children have been affected by the enforced policy of one-child families from 1979 to 2015. This powerful and controversial documentary, in English and Mandarin, shows the policy to be a cruel and tragic experiment in big-government meddling in the composition of families by the state whose after-effects persist. Women were forced to have abortions, there were forced sterilisations, babies were abandoned, but at the same time government policy aimed to reduce population growth in a country dealing with extreme poverty among a quarter of the world’s population. ‘We are fighting a population war’ was a common slogan used by the government during that period. Part of how the policy was promoted was through a propaganda culture created around an idealised one-child family: on playing cards, stickers, posters and in travelling opera performances. Nanfu Wang returns to her natal village to interview members of her own family and neighbours about how the policy affected them personally.
SOURCES: Official Trailer ; National Public Radio USA, 17 August 2019 ; Guardian, by Peter Bradshaw, 25 September 2019 ; Human Rights Watch
‘Personhood’ Film Shows the Cost of the Push for Fetal Rights
“If [the personhood movement] succeeds, the people who get pregnant are going to lose their fundamental rights… to privacy, to equality, to due process of law.”
Nov 7, 2019
Elizabeth Dawes Gay
Premiering this week, Personhood is the latest film highlighting the state of reproductive rights in the United States and how efforts to undermine the constitutional right to abortion cause unnecessary harm. In addition to exposing how fetal “personhood”—or the anti-abortion idea of legal protection for fetuses—immediately threatens the lives and well-being of pregnant people, the documentary film covers important issues concerning what the future could hold if state and federal policy continues in this trajectory. Personhood serves as a reminder that more organizing and political activism are needed to meet the challenges ahead.
Book excerpt: Unhelpful Arguments That Downplay the Importance of Abortion on Demand
Sept 30, 2019
The first shot in the feminist abortion wars was fired in 1969 in a New York City Health Department auditorium, where a panel of male psychologists, doctors, clergy, and lawyers (and one woman, a Sister Mary Patricia) debated exceptions to New York’s law forbidding abortion. They were discussing whether a woman should be allowed to have an abortion if her health was in danger, or if she had been raped, or if she had already given birth to four children.
A shout came up from a woman in the audience: “Now let’s hear from the real experts on abortion!” Then, “Repeal the abortion law, instead of wasting more time talking about these stupid reforms!” Then, “We’ve waited and waited while you have held one hearing after another. Meanwhile, the baby I didn’t want is two years old!” More women stood to object and testify. “Why are fourteen men and only one woman on your list of speakers—and she a nun?” The committee members “stared over their microphones in amazement,” wrote Edith Evans Asbury in the New York Times. The chair tried to shush the women, arguing that everyone was really on the same side: “You’re only hurting your own case.”
Art exhibition highlights abortion stigma
27th September 2019
The Voices and Choices exhibition will put a spotlight on issues of abortion and reproductive justice in the country, as part of the #MybodyMychoice coalition campaign.
South Africans from different organisations and communities are expected to have a unique experience surrounding conversations about the stigma associated with abortion. The multimedia Voices and Choices exhibition is a collaboration of South African female artists under the curatorship of Mmabatho Montsho.
Planned Parenthood Goes to Hollywood
The group is winning in L.A., even as it’s losing in D.C. Can entertainment ultimately make a difference in the abortion wars?
Story by Nora Caplan-Bricker
September 23, 2019
It’s 10 a.m. on a Tuesday at Planned Parenthood’s New York headquarters, and I’m watching TV. Specifically, I’m watching a series of scenes clipped from movies and TV shows, all of which have two things in common: The woman beside me, Caren Spruch, had a hand in them, and each one features an abortion.
Spruch and I began our viewing session with her most recent such project, the Hulu series “Shrill.” Now, seated at a table in a white-walled conference room, we’re watching the first movie she worked on, 2014’s “Obvious Child.” Spruch is petite and animated, with a long face and dark bangs, like a more pixie-ish Anjelica Huston. She calls “Obvious Child” — a romantic comedy about an unemployed 20-something who finds herself pregnant after a one-night stand — “the one that changed the world,” setting a new standard for stories about abortion. She has seen it, she estimates, more than 25 times.
City-based artist Indu Harikumar talks about illustrating for a social media project that aims to normalise conversations surrounding abortion.
THE ASIAN AGE
Published : Aug 31, 2019
A girl sits crouched in a turbulent ocean. A huge wave, reminiscent of Katsushika Hokusai’s The Great Wave Off Kanagawa, looms behind her, threatening to crush and drown her. But the girl cannot scream for help, because her lips have been zipped shut. A closer look at the picture reveals the cause for this enforced silence – an ultrasound image peeking out from under the current. The illustration is accompanied by a woman’s haunting words that reveal her abortion ordeal and is part of a crowd-sourced project titled #MyAbortionStory. The project, started by My Body, My Choice India — a social media campaign working towards ending the stigma surrounding abortion —invites people to share their abortion experiences and kick-start a conversation around the medical procedure.
Breaking the Silence Around Abortion
August 12, 2019
American discourse has changed radically in the past decade around a number of social issues.
And yet, there is one topic that, while high on the list of divisive issues that get people riled up, remains shrouded in shame and secrecy. When it comes to reproductive rights, and specifically abortion, conversations, when they happen, typically exist on a theoretical plane. The reasons women (and other people capable of getting pregnant) don't disclose their abortions are in many ways obvious: it's a highly personal medical decision loaded with cultural baggage, and sharing that you had one can lead to dire consequences. It's relatively rare for women to tell even each other about their abortions. This of course isn't true for everyone — some people are more open than others. But the social stigma remains, and whether in deeply conservative communities or supposedly woke circles, talking about your abortion is taboo.
What You Need To Know About The Controversial Abortion Method Featured In OITNB
July 27, 2019
The seventh and final season of Orange Is The New Black is live on Netflix, and considering many people will be binge-watching it this weekend, we need to talk about the abortion plot in episode 11. (Spoilers ahead.)
In that episode towards the end of the season, Chaj, a Guatemalan woman in Litchfield's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) holding pen, is desperately trying to communicate, but no one understands Ki'che, the indigenous language she speaks. She eventually ends up in the medical unit sobbing, with severe abdominal pain and period spotting, where she's finally granted a translator. It's revealed then that she was raped, so she drank an herbal tea made with parsley in an attempt to have an abortion.
Panorama, America’s Abortion War: A nuanced look at both sides of the debate
Review: A documentary on the fights to keep and outlaw abortion in the US south
July 23, 2019
It’s just over a year since the Eighth Amendment was repealed and the Republic began catching up with most of the rest of the world in terms of access to abortion. Panorama, America’s Abortion War (BBC One) is a reminder of the tumult we have left behind.
Hilary Andersson’s documentary avoids the obvious pitfall of smug Europeans lecturing Bible-thumping Americans on how to run their affairs. Instead, this is a nuanced overview of an issue that serves as a prism for the US’s culture wars. Campaigners on both sides obviously regard abortion as a matter of black and white. Andersson’s mission is to interrogate the myriad of greys she discerns in the middle.