Many Abortion Images Are Misleading Or Manipulative. These Photos Show The Reality.

"Most people don't know what a fetus looks like. Abortion takes place behind closed doors — for medical privacy and for safety — but I also believe something is gained by creating visuals for this process."

Pia Peterson, BuzzFeed News Photo Editor
Apr 28, 2022

Photographer Glenna Gordon has traveled the world, documenting everything from Nigerian weddings and abandoned oil tankers on the African coast to white supremacist groups and the rise of Donald Trump.

Her work in the United States has focused on the uneasy intersection between personal freedom and government oversight, including access to abortions. Traveling to clinics with a camera, Gordon realized that the graphic images that anti-abortion protesters often display were wildly misleading, and that she didn’t actually know where to go to see accurate photographs of abortions. She set out to make such images herself.

MUVS Photography Competition: Stock Photos on Abortion

MUVS Photography Competition: Stock Photos on Abortion

Dec 28, 2017

Abortion is still a taboo: The topic is annoying, polarizing, stigmatizing, and even criminalizes women. Media coverage on abortion represents a one-sided visual language for a simple reason: Little to no useful stock photo material is available to depict the reality of this part of life. Therefore, MUVS Vienna is reaching out to obtain photographs that illustrate the critical situation of a woman (or couple) with an unwanted pregnancy in a realistic way. Photographers are invited to grapple with the difficult topic of unwanted pregnancy and abortion in a creative way. MUVS wants this competition to contribute in a useful and important way to the further destigmatisation of abortion.

There was a lot of positive, appreciative feedback, and the images submitted illustrate just how heterogeneous the theme is. A four-person jury, from the fields of journalism, photography, art and medicine selected the three main prize winners and awarded an additional three commendation prizes.

The winner of our photo competition, Christina Lag-Schröckenstein, together with her model, Veronika, was presented with her prize in a low-key event at the MUVS. The photographer saw it as a challenge to approach with sensitivity and understanding a competition whose intention it was to objectively illustrate the life circumstances of women affected by unwanted pregnancies, and to thus create a counterpoint to the so far one-sided portrayal of this topic in the media. The photographer made it her goal to depict a self-aware woman who reaches her decisions autonomously and without any outside influence. An undertaking she succeeded in, and which was appreciated by the four people on the jury.

The winning photos and further information can be found at