“At-Home Abortion Kits” have popped up in pharmacies across America part of a massive act of guerrilla activism.
Plastic Jesus, the American street artist, created the project in response to the tough abortion laws recently passed in Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana and Kentucky. The “At-Home Abortion Kits”, simply wire coat hangers, aim to raise awareness of the significant dangers many women will face due to these laws.
Over June 8 – 9, kits were placed in pharmacies across 50 states in total, part of a huge act of guerrilla activism.
The kits are a grim reminder of the time before Roe v. Wade, the 1973 court battle that ended with the US Supreme Court legalising the constitutional right of a woman to abort pregnancy. Forty-seven years ago, coat hanger abortions were far from being unheard of, safe abortion was only available for the rich, who were able to afford to fly out of the country to have the procedure. For everyone else there were two options, carry the pregnancy to term or have an illegal, potentially life-threatening, procedure. Thousands died as a consequence and many more nearly died due to complications.
On his website, Plastic Jesus wrote: “Women should be free to make their own choices about their health, these rights are protected by the constitution under Roe v Wade. However, old wealthy white (men), driven by their misguided belief in ‘God’ seem to think they know what is best for women.”
“The states are turning back the clock on progress, healthcare and rights by decades.” He continued.
One of the participants of the project, Jess Wiercz from Oregon, also said on Plastic Jesus’s website: “I feel scared knowing that I am losing the legal right to make decisions regarding my own body. I am livid knowing that the bans on abortion are being passed primarily by men who have the privilege of never needing to have access to abortions, (necessary healthcare; a life-saving procedure). I am both scared and angry knowing that there are women with a platform for influence who are supporting these decisions to dissolve their own human rights. Plastic Jesus’ project reminds us that despite the bans women WILL get abortions, but they will now have to risk their health and risk being criminalized to do so. It’s hard to know what to do to make a change as an individual, but this has been an opportunity for me to make a statement”.
Plastic Jesus is not shy of publicly criticising the American government. Across his oeuvre, the artist has consistently commented on Donald Trump, America’s capitalist society and various bills passed by the government. For example, last year he was in the press for building a mini concrete wall around Donald Trump’s Hollywood star, to comment on the president’s controversial plans to build a wall between America and Mexico.
12 June 2019