From antiquity until the Renaissance, women cultivated a relationship with the natural world. The intimate knowledge of plants, medicinal herbs in particular, was passed down to enable future generations of women “to regulate fertility” and “function with some measure of independence in respect to reproduction” (John M. Riddle). From the 13th century on, however, women’s control over their bodies and reproductive knowledge has been increasingly criminalized. Women have been punished and terrorized, their bodies burned, and their teachings obliterated through church-led inquisitions and in civil courts. The pursuit to govern reproductive know-how and rights with impunity is an attack on practices of care, women’s rights, health, socio-economic freedom, and knowledge itself.
In the United States today, new compounded efforts by pro-life activists to criminalize abortions and prevent women from having access to reproductive health care are being backed by the federal government and legislators. In 2011, there was one attempt to outlaw abortions in Ohio; in 2019, there were 39—including moves to pass the heartbeat bill in Missouri, South Carolina, Kentucky, Florida, Mississippi, Minnesota, Tennessee, Maryland, Texas, West Virginia, New York, Ohio, Illinois, Georgia, Louisiana, and Michigan.
For some foundation, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 2542 in 1969, proclaiming the Declaration on Social Progress and Human Rights, which states: All couples and individuals have the basic right to decide freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children and to have the information, education and means to do so; the responsibility of couples and individuals in the exercise of this right takes into account the needs of their living and future children, and their responsibilities toward the community.
In 1973, U.S. Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade affirmed that access to safe and legal abortion is a constitutional right.
While the pro-life movement promotes the heartbeat bill, the Trump administration has nominated over 150 conservative federal judges and two Supreme Court justices, gaining further support for these measures. And as of March 4th, 2020, Title X, which has provided federal funding for family planning and women’s health clinics throughout the country since 1970, will be under “Gag Rule,” effectively curtailing aid to women: Clinics that receive funds from the federal family-planning grant program Title X will no longer be able to perform abortions in the same space where they see other patients. Abortion and other health-care services will be required to be physically and financially separate entities. Title X participants will also no longer be able to refer patients to abortion providers, though they can mention abortion to their patients. (Planned Parenthood report)
The intrinsic connection between spatial design and human rights reconfigures the spatial typology of women’s health and family planning clinics, the report continues: “about 20 percent of Title X providers would potentially have to renovate their clinics to meet the new guidelines. . . . It will likely cost each of these providers $20,000 to $40,000 to come into compliance with the physical-separation element of the new rule.”
Heartbeat ban attempt to outlaw abortions. FAST, 2019
Women on Waves
A Portable Abortion Clinic. Installation, 2001
Women on Waves sail a ship to countries where abortion is illegal, so that early medical abortions can be provided safely, professionally, and legally. National penal legislation, and thus also of abortion law, extends only to territorial waters; outside that 12-mile radius Dutch law applies, rendering Women on Waves’ activities legal. Millions of women worldwide have used mifepristone and misoprostol to terminate pregnancy with impressive safety and efficacy.
The medicines have been on the World Health Organization (WHO) Model List of Essential Medicines since 2005. Women on Waves has already created enormous public interest in its efforts and completed successful campaigns in Mexico (2017), Guatemala (2017), Morocco (2012), Spain (2008), Portugal (2004), Poland (2003), and Ireland (2001). Women on Waves’ mobile treatment room, designed by artist Joep van Lieshout and funded by Mondriaan Fund, was first presented in Playuse, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, in 2000, appearing the following year in the 49th Venice Biennale and various art magazines.
Women on Web
Abortion Drones. Installation, 2019
The drones fly abortion pills from one country to women in another. Drawing attention to differing regulations, women’s realities in countries where abortion is restricted are made visible by creating access.
Diana Whitten. Film, 2014
This documentary film written and directed by Diana Whitten on the work of Women on Waves, a Dutch pro-choice organization founded by Dutch physician Rebecca Gomperts in 1999, follows Gomperts as she sails a ship around the world and provides abortions at sea for women who have no legal alternative. She trains women to give themselves abortions using WHO-researched protocols with pills and creates an underground network of empowered activists who trust women to handle abortion themselves. The film’s world premiere took place at SXSW in Texas on March 9th, 2014 and is distributed by FilmBuff since 2015.
Reproductive rights and the heartbeat bill.
Informative papers and diagrams. FAST, 2019
Selection of news items, legislation, and information about reproductive rights and access to safe abortions in the US are packaged as a series of diagrams and broadsheet-sized tabloid handouts.TABLOID-01-Heartbeat-Ban_LR
Lori Brown. Don’t Mess with Texas.
Essay and maps, 2018
Texas is willing to drastically limit women’s access to reproductive health care with little to no regard for the consequences for millions of women. The state’s antiabortion policies have been copied by Missouri and Iowa, and the Trump administration is working to expand similar policies internationally by refusing to provide American aid to any international organization that discusses abortion. Many other states are following their lead. Texas serves as a frightening wake-up call to the rest of the country on so many levels: high rates of poverty, incarceration, immigration, and deportation — and extremely progun rights. Its assault on social services and reproductive health care leaves many women with little choice but to travel long distances to access abortion services. Should the situation continue, it will go from very bad to much worse.
Love in a Mist Seeds
Love in a Mist or Nigella sativa is a purple flower with black seeds. The seeds are known for their diverse health benefits for the heart, brain, and liver. It is also said that in ancient times they were used to help regulate fertility or induce contraction of the womb and abortions.
Love in a Mist Mix is also known as wild fennel, ragged lady, spiders legs, jack in prison, lady in the green, love entangled, love in a tangle, love in a puzzle, love in the shade, our lady in the shade, devil in a bush, lady in a bower, garden black seed, hair of Venus, black caraway, and Damascus black cumin.
Love in a Mist needs full sun and cultivated soil. Sow the seeds outside in spring. Work up the soil thoroughly, break up all masses, and gently smooth flat, water, sprinkle on the seeds, lightly cover them with a layer of fine compost, and then gently firm with a flat hoe. It sprouts in two weeks at room temperature. Set 6”/15cm apart. Site them in full sun. The plant gets 24”/60 cm tall and produces pink, white, mauve, purple, and blue flowers and maroon-striped Cthulhu pods.
Feminized Seed Spray
Product information: “Use 1oz bottle to spray one branch once a day for a few weeks, to produce female pollen. The pollen is then delivered to the flowers of a dioecious plant, which in turn will produce 100% feminized seeds. Tiresias Mist Spray is Safe, Natural, Non-Toxic, Non-Allergenic and Harmless to Growers, Plants and Pets.
Additional Benefits: Effectively produces all female seeds, no guesswork involved. A tap root from a seed will produce higher yields. Able to store seeds for future use and crop timing. It’s easier to transport seeds versus seedlings or clones. Create your own genetic strains and be able to save them.
“Now you can produce your own feminized seeds at your own leisure, experiment and have fun”