An anonymous woman who posted photos of her recent abortion to counteract the often graphic fetus photos carried by pro-life protesters spoke with Lean Forward recently to further explain her Thisismyabortion.com project.
“Jane,” who wishes to remain anonymous, answered questions via email. The interview is below.
LF: What initially prompted you to photograph your abortion? I know you mention several factors, including your mom's experience, as well as your friend's but if you could encapsulate it here.
Jane: I find photography to be a powerful tool. It is powerful in what it brings to an audience. As a tool for the photographer, it can be used to connect you to a moment or disconnect you. With this experience, it connected me deeper to my moment.
LF: Were you sure you would publish the images?
Jane: No. I knew that I wanted to capture the images, but did not decide until later that I wanted to make the images public.
LF: Why did you choose to remain anonymous?
Jane: I have my own security concerns. It’s no secret that threats have been made to those that support a woman’s right to choose. Primarily, I have chosen to be anonymous because I don’t believe that this is about me. This is about all of us. My story is one in millions. We all have more in common than we think.
LF: You mentioned the power of images. What is your hope that these images are projecting?
Jane: It is my hope that these images are contributing another perspective to what an abortion can look like. In my opinion, there is a saturation of images that depict full-term terminations or miscarriages. It’s difficult to access what an abortion can look like in the very early stages. I believe that the public deserves as much information as possible to make educated decisions for themselves. It is my hope that these images can add to the information that is available.
LF: Were you surprised by the public reaction to your post?
Jane: Yes and no. I know that the issue is contentious and that folks feel strongly in either direction. I have been surprised over and over by how many women and men have shared with me their very private, heartening stories. It’s been an honor.
LF: Do you expect to expand the site, so other women can share photos, too?
Jane: I had not thought of that. It is an interesting idea.