We Need to Normalize Abortion

We Need to Normalize Abortion

by Savannah Hardman

As women's access to reproductive care is dwindling across areas of the US, a group of A-list artists is joining forces to combat the increasingly restrictive legislation surrounding abortion. According to Artnet News, Rebecca Pauline Jampol, co-director of the Newark-based arts nonprofit Project for Empty Space, began to conceptualize the show when the state of Alabama released a bill to ban abortions in 2019.

Jampol and her colleague Jasmine Wahi then tapped Marilyn Minter, Gina Nanni, Laurie Simmons, and Sandy Tait to co-organize the multi-part exhibition, "Abortion Is Normal."

The exhibition's title comes from the urgent need to dismantle the stigmas surrounding abortion. The timing is pivotal –– just last week, more than 200 members of Congress urged the Supreme Court to reconsider Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, according to Gothamist. As many anti-choice politicians continue to attempt to reverse these laws, "Abortion Is Normal" aims to "create an inclusive and empathetic entry point to this conversation."

The exhibition features the work of 40 influential female-identifying artists, such as Nan Goldin, Barbara Kruger, Catherine Opie, Cindy Sherman and Viva Ruiz, whose Thank God For Abortion project hosted the first-ever abortion-themed float during 2018's New York Pride parade. Several male-identifying artists are included in the show as well, to demonstrate that the issue of reproductive rights ultimately affects everyone. For a full list of participating artists, click here.

The first "Abortion Is Normal" show opened last year at Project for Empty Space. It returns again this year in two-parts in Manhattan: on view at Eva Presenhuber, 39 Great Jones Street, New York, January 9-18, 2020; and Arsenal Contemporary, 214 Bowery, New York, January 21-February 1, 2020. All proceeds from "Abortion Is Normal"will benefit Planned Parenthood and Downtown for Democracy.

Photo via Marilyn Minter/Instagram