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Artwork depicts the politics behind the abortion debate

Many presentations about abortions are presented as giving both sides through literature and science, but Jeannie Ludlow showed both sides through artwork and analysis.

Last night at Hanna Hall, lecturer for the Women’s Studies Program, Jeannie Ludlow, hosted a program called “Saving the Unborn, Saving Women: Art and Abortion in the U.S.”

This program presented both sides of abortion – pro-life and pro-choice – through art work.

“The artwork that I will show you identify with politics of the U.S. about abortion,” Ludlow said. “By displaying this artwork you will see how both sides must be shown.”

Ludlow said the theory of destruction argues whenever there are two opposites both must exist in order to reinforce the other side.

“Pro-life and pro-choice are both complex and troubling and when one starts to think about it they get themselves in a rut,” Ludlow said.

Ludlow showed many slides of artwork and gave her own interpretation of it.

One piece of artwork Ludlow showed was by Lisa Link and her piece was called “Ashcroft.”

This artwork, comprised of the Statue of Liberty, with a woman’s reflection in the face of the statue along with phrases all around saying ‘Doctor-patient privacy.’

“This artwork represents what women must go through in order to get liberty,” Ludlow said.

Another significant art piece by artist, Kate Obering, called “Wake up little Susie,” was a chess board, in which the pawns represented young black and white women who were pregnant but weren’t accepted.

“The black pawns represented the black women and the white pawns represented white women,” Ludlow said. “The white castles represented the clinics in which the white women went to and the black castles represented the ghetto, in which they would keep their child because of the neighborhood embracing them.”

Ludlow has prior experience with dealing with abortion cases.

“I spent 10 years at an abortion clinic,” Ludlow said. “But I have seen some change.”

Ludlow said in the past, when she worked in the abortion clinic, they couldn’t say the word ‘baby’ but refer to it as removing the tissue.

“Now I have seen that the word ‘baby’ can be said in order for them to comfort the mothers and understand their real feelings so that we can help them,” Ludlow said.

In addition Ludlow explains how abortions have binaries that keep society from addressing the women’s experience.

“The binaries under pro-choice is woman, mother, rights and science,” Ludlow said. “Under pro-life is fetus, child, mortality and religion.”

Ludlow said under pro-choice the people don’t speak of grief a mother goes through, but they tend to feel uncomfortable when talking about babies and murder.

Ludlow also explains that under pro-life the people don’t pay attention to how the mother feels.

“These binaries allow us to lose sight of what is important,” Ludlow said.

Some people that attended really were impressed by the way abortion was presented.

“I’m a feminist, so I am pro-choice,” said Vanessa Garlock, senior. “I only saw it through activism not art, but now I see abortion in a broader perspective because art opens up a lot of things.”

Others agreed with Garlock, by agreeing how Ludlow presented abortion through art.

“I really didn’t know how abortion was expressed through art until now,” said Erin Wethern, junior. “I really liked how Jeannie explain deconstruction theory through art; it was amazing.”

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