University Exhibit Celebrates Abortion as a ‘Life-Sustaining Act’

University of Michigan Credit Andrew HorneANN ARBOR, Mich. — A display at the University of Michigan is raising concern among pro-life groups nationwide as it celebrates abortion as a ‘life-sustaining act’ that its creator believes is a ‘gift from God.’

“‘4000 Years for Choice’ is an exhibition of posters about the age-old practices of abortion and contraception as a means to reclaim reproductive freedom as a deeply personal and life-sustaining act existing throughout all of human history,” a description on the university website outlines.

The display was created by abortion activist Heather Ault, who reportedly was paid $1,000 to provide a lecture on campus surrounding reproduction and erect her art display on the topic.

“Contrary to what they are saying this display is not about pro-choice or even pro-abortion. This is about the history of women learning to control their reproductive system,” an unnamed university representative told Students for Life of America in a telephone conversation. “Heather is trying to get past the hanger and the idea of back alley dirty abortions and celebrate the ways women, and men for that matter, can control their reproductive system through birth control and even by aborting a fetus.”

The display features several posters that celebrate the different methods of contraception and abortion throughout history. Note cards created by Ault, which are not confirmed to be included in the exhibit, also assert that “abortion is a gift from God” and is “pro-family, pro-life, moral and good.”

“In 3000 BCE, ancient Egyptians contained a contraceptive recipe numbered Prescription Number 21,” one poster, entitled Affirm Ancient Contraception, reads. “It was called Recipe Not To Become Pregnant and called for crocodile feces, mixed with fermented dough, and placed in the vagina.”

“Advocated by Emma Goldman and Margaret Sanger, they were sold widely through mail-order catalogues,” another poster, entitled Bless the Diaphragm, reads. “In 1884, Dr. Edward Bliss Foote wrote in his book Medical Common Sense, ‘It places conception entirely under the control of the wife, to whom it naturally belongs; for it is for her to say at what time and under what circumstances, she will become the mother, and the moral, religious, and physical instructress of offspring.'”

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The exhibit, which is displayed in the main lobby of Lane Hall at the Women’s Studies building on campus, is sponsored by the Program for Sexual Rights and Reproductive Justice, the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design.

“Why is the University of Michigan using taxpayer funds that declare that ‘abortion is a gift from God?’ Do they support this message?” asked Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life of America. “Abortion is never safe for women, legal or illegal, and for the University of Michigan to have the audacity to use taxpayer dollars and a taxpayer-funded building to push forth an agenda and human rights violation that the majority of Americans oppose is disgusting.”

Although the exhibit will remain on display until May 29th, Hawkins is calling for pro-life supporters across the nation to ask the university to remove the project from Lane Hall and ensure that only private funding is used in the future.

Photo: Andrew Horne

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