Abortion: Normal and Vital

Aborto: Normal e Vital

New Law Against Abortion in the State of Texas

One of the most radical abortion laws in the United States of America entered into force this Wednesday. The Supreme Court decided not to suspend a law in the state of Texas that prohibits abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, even in cases of rape or incest. In a statement, President Joe Biden denounced a law that "violates the constitutional right established by the Roe Wade decision of 1973," which recognized women's right to abortion throughout the United States. The law, signed in May by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, took effect on Wednesday. It prohibits the termination of any pregnancy as soon as the heartbeat of the embryo is detected, something that happens after approximately six weeks of pregnancy. In Texas, nearly half of the state's voters support a six-week abortion ban.

In a dissenting opinion, Liberal Minister Sonia Sotomayor wrote that the court order was "stunning". On Wednesday, September 1, 2021, President Joe Biden condemned the law, calling it "extreme" and warning that it would "significantly harm" women's access to health care, she reported to the BBC. It is the strictest law against abortion rights in the United States since the Roe V. Wade high court decision in 1973 and part of an effort by Republicans to impose new restrictions on abortion across the country. At least 12 other states have enacted bans on early pregnancy, but all have been barred from taking effect.

The Texas version is new in that it is intentionally designed to protect government officials from law enforcement, so it makes legal challenges harder to protect. The law encourages any citizen of the United States to file a civil action against anyone who provides voluntary termination of pregnancy services or anyone who “helps or encourages” the procedure.

The Fight Against Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy

Nearly half (25 million) of the approximately 56 million abortions that occur worldwide each year are performed in unsafe conditions, in countries where abortion is illegal or highly restricted. These unsafe abortions are a major cause of maternal death and disability. Most of them are in developing countries. It is estimated that unsafe abortion results in the death of 22 to 31,000 women each year. Preventable deaths through safe, legal abortion.

Many artists have been working on the theme of abortion to inform the community. In 1998, a referendum to legalize abortion in Portugal failed and in response, Portuguese artist Paula Rego created the Aborto Series (1988). These paintings created in pastel shades draw attention to the dangers of illegal abortion. The series ended up helping to influence public opinion to create a second referendum in 2007.

Paula Rego | P55 Magazine | P55 - The Platform of Art

Paula Rego's Abortion Series

In Cindy Sherman's “Untitled” (2019), a pregnant woman stares the viewer in the eye while clutching her stomach. This work reminds us of how the experience of pregnancy is personal. "Mommy was here: she equally acceptable" (2019) by Dominique Duroseau draws attention to racial inequalities in reproduction and child care rooted in the history of slavery.

Cindy Sherman | P55 Magazine | P55 - The Platform of Art

Untitled” (2019) by Cindy Sherman

Christen Clifford's installation "I Want Your Blood" is comprised of miniature perfume bottles filled with blood donated by menstruating people of all genders. The blood used in Clifford's work, as well as in Portia Munson's “Menstrual Prints” series (1993) highlights the arbitrary framing of abortion as the end of life, as each menstrual period involves the elimination of an egg that could have been fertilized and led to pregnancy.

Restricting women's access to abortion does not prevent abortion, but simply leads to more unsafe abortions. The liberality of abortion laws around the world is essential for safe abortion, but it is necessary to be accompanied by health policies that support the implementation of the law and work to remove the stigma of abortion in society through education.

Christen Clifford | P55 Magazine | P55 - The Platform of Art

"I Want Your Blood" from Christen Clifford

Sources: Observer, The Guardian, Euronews

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