ART WITCH #144

By : Jenn Stanley

2 min read




The national conversations around abortion rights and sexual assault have changed drastically in the last decade. The internet has connected and allowed us to share experiences in ways that chip away at the shame and silence on which the patriarchy thrives. The days of Hillary Clinton’s “safe, legal, and rare,” mantra and the Democratic Party’s enabling of her husband’s predatory sexual behavior have been – at least performatively – ushered out of liberal and progressive talking points by social media campaigns like #shoutyourabortion and #metoo.


While these slogans raise awareness and represent a shift in cultural consciousness, they’ve been unsuccessful in preserving the legal right to an abortion free from undue burden in the U.S. or keeping predators out of the county’s top positions of power. States have enacted more than 1,300 abortion restrictions in the past 50 years, 44 percent of which were passed in the last decade, according to the Guttmacher Institute. More than 100 abortion restrictions were passed in 2021 alone. One of the afformentioned predators, former President Donald Trump, vowed to stock the courts with judges who would rule in favor of ending legal abortion, and one of his appointees and fellow sexual predator, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, will be one of the few voices to decide whether Americans have the right to choose whether or not to give birth.


Shout Your Abortion (SYA) started as a viral Twitter hashtag in 2015 in response to legislative efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and is now a full-fledged movement working to normalize abortion through art, media and community events. Its response to the Supreme Court’s current partisan attack on abortion rights is to help artists and activists get the word out about the availability of abortion pills by mail and telemedicine for those in states where they are difficult or illegal to obtain. Those looking to collaborate with SYA on these efforts can find more information at shareabortionpill.info:


“Sharing info about abortion pills is instantly, extremely impactful: simply by raising awareness of the fact that abortion pills are safe, effective, and widely available by mail, we are saving lives. Most people don't know that this option exists, and it's very satisfying to watch that change in real time…Please let us know if you have an idea to distribute materials—we're down to share these things with folks who have concrete ideas and follow through. If that's you, drop us a line at shoutyourabortion@gmail.com.”


Anyway, if you read last week’s column you know that I just had a kid and a lot of people think that means I’ve toned down my message. I’m happy to report that we’ve survived the first three months of parenthood – smitten, sleep deprived, and still totally horrified by forced birth.


—Jenn Stanley


* Originally published in-print in Boston Compass Newspaper #144 March 2022


 

Check out all the art and columns of March's Boston Compass at www.issuu.com/bostoncccompass