4000 Years of Choice
I am in love with this project of Heather Ault’s called 4000 years of choice. She has made tons and tons of these posters, teaching about the history of contraception and abortion, going back 400o years. I love the perspective it gives on a debate that we so often view as new, the “traditional” and “old” attacking something “modern.” Birth control has been around since the beginning of time! Ault describes the goals of her project as the following:
1. Produce symbols! The 4000 Years for Choice project seeks to create new icons, symbols, and images about reproductive choice. Since the days of Roe v Wade, the pro-choice movement has presented images of feminists, coat hangers, and dead women to represent reproductive rights. Now is the time for a broader and more dynamic visual campaign!
2. Teach history! This project reframes the current abortion debate through a new lens: the ancient traditions of abortion and contraception from the past 4000 years. Most people believe that reproductive control is recent “invention” or “idea” that developed as a result of the feminist movement, political rights, or medical technology, and therefore, must be “defended” or we will return to the days of “back ally abortions.” Rather, reproductive control is inherent to all human societies and a fundamental human desire.
3. Celebrate clinics! The 4000 Years for Choice project focuses on the most vulnerable spaces in the abortion debate: the clinics in our communities where anti-choice protesters are a daily sight, especially during the 40 Days for Life campaign. 4000 Years for Choice hopes to reclaim clinic spaces in two ways; 1) through a weekly postcard campaign to clinics, and 2) an upcoming grassroots clinic celebration campaign in Summer 2010.