‘Abortion Is Normal’ Exhibition Opens in NYC to Benefit Planned Parenthood

Viva Ruiz from "Thank God For Abortion" takes part in an abortion rights rally in front of the Middle Collegiate Church in the East Village of New York on May 21, 2019. - Demonstrations were planned across the US on Tuesday in defense of abortion rights, which activists see as …
TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images

An “emergency” exhibition titled “Abortion Is Normal” has opened at the Eva Presenhuber gallery in New York City, the proceeds of which will benefit Planned Parenthood’s political action efforts.

Downtown for Democracy, an organization that states on its website it has “transformed our community’s cultural influence into political power,” has produced the exhibition and will use some of the proceeds for voter education regarding reproductive rights.

The exhibition is co-curated by feminist activists Jasmine Wahi and Rebecca Pauline Jampol and organized by artists Marilyn Minter, Gina Nanni, co-founder of Downtown for Democracy, Laurie Simmons, and Sandy Tait. All the exhibition’s art pieces will be sold online through art marketplace Artsy.

Helen Holmes wrote at Observer, the “Abortion Is Normal” show, “perhaps predictably, features a true murderers’ row of incredible artwork for sale.”

The show is billed at Artsy as “an EMERGENCY exhibition organized by a collective of cultural practitioners as an urgent call-to-action exhibition to raise both awareness and funding in support of accessible, safe, and legal abortion.”

“Abortion Is Normal” features a variety of artworks, including a portrayal of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (“RBG”) by Jane Kaplowitz – listed by Artsy as “sold”; a letter to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh by Judith Hudson, titled “Leave Us Alone,” that states, “Dear Judge Kavanaugh, If you don’t like abortions don’t get one” ($3,500); a “Stitch n’ Bitch” cross-stitch, by Katrina Majkut, that depicts the words, “Abortion is Normal” ($50); and a piece called “Control” by Minter ($11,000).

“A big overarching message from the project and all of this work that we do is that people have to get involved in the political process,” said Nanni, according to Gothamist. “Sometimes just voting isn’t enough.”

According to the exhibition’s description at Artsy, the show “comes at a time when legal abortion is under acute attack throughout the United States, with fifty-eight restrictive laws passed in the United States since January 2019 alone.”

“Simultaneously, the 1973 landmark ruling, Roe vs. Wade, which federally sanction[s] the right to choose, is in jeopardy of being reversed,” the description states.

“This show is about reproductive rights, and more expansively about our right to own our own bodies,” said Wahi in a statement, according to Artsy. “Many of the artists have not physically gone through an abortion procedure, but have a shared understanding that safe, accessible reproductive rights are absolutely necessary.”

Laura McQuade, president of Planned Parenthood Greater New York Votes PAC, said her organization “is laser focused on electing leaders who will protect and advance sexual and reproductive health care for all New Yorkers.”

“That mission will always include expanding access to abortion,” she added. “Abortion is a vital part of comprehensive health care. We are proud to have the support of talented artists who unapologetically use their gift to tell beautiful stories and humanize abortion care.”

In advance of the 2020 elections, Downtown for Democracy says it plans to use funds made from its efforts “to rally progressives to combat the Trump administration’s destructive anti-democratic agenda and put the power of creative expression to work for our democracy.”

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