This book was made in honor of the many women who have lost their lives due to desperate attempts to end a pregnancy when abortion was made illegal, a fate women will once again face. A wire hanger perforates the binding, puncturing a hole all the way through the spine of this book. Processed pages are embossed by the hanger as they become saturated with red; the odor of bleach used to clean the blood loss is unmistakable. Many different types of objects have been used to end a pregnancy, all of which were dangerous and could easily lead to infection, or worse, a perforated uterus which can cause a woman to hemorrhage and die. A wire hanger is just one of those objects commonly associated with very risky at-home abortion.
Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade women’s healthcare and abortion rights has been political fodder. Many states enacted trigger laws banning abortion in anticipation of this landmark decision which quickly went into law that would have to be fought in court to reverse. Many of these bans include medically necessary abortions bringing to question the motives behind the so-called pro-life movement as the life of the mother does not come into consideration. Ironically, during the Covid-19 mask madates in 2020 many of these same advocates of the pro-life movement adopted the pro-choice slogan “”my body my choice”” in protest of the simple act of wearing a mask. Once mask mandates were lifted these same people quickly turned their backs on the women they stole those words from. A clean, unused mask accompanies the book, boasting in irony.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Erin K. Schmidt is a book artist working and living outside of Detroit, Michigan. She has her BFA from Michigan State University and her MA in Book Arts from University of the Arts London. Much of her work is influenced by notions of identity created by personal histories, memories and perception. Her work has been exhibited internationally and can be found in private and public collections including Tate Britain, London, UK; Saison Poetry Library, London, UK; RISD; and the University of California San Diego among others.
© Erin K. Schmidt