These 7 images beautifully explain why reproductive justice affects all of us.

Why talking about abortion access also means talking about parenting, unique families, and domestic violence.

In 2011, an artist and activist named Megan Smith launched the Repeal Hyde Art Project.

"I had been working in abortion access and I wanted to try and find a way to create more dialogue around unaffordable and inaccessible abortion care,” Megan told Upworthy. "In addition to that, as an artist, I was searching for related feminist images but couldn't find any that mirrored the resistance and resilience of people who overcome barriers to care everyday."

Megan's images appear all over the Internet, for free. They're used here with her permission.


The Hyde Amendment is a little-known law that bans the government from using federal funds to cover abortion. Passed in 1976, it's a provision on the annual appropriations bill, not a permanent law. This means that every year, there’s an opportunity to not include the Hyde Amendment. But every year, it gets passed again. Combining her art with some activism seemed to make sense.

The Hyde Amendment has the biggest effect on low-income families, Megan explained, many of whom use Medicaid health insurance.

If someone on Medicaid becomes pregnant and decides to terminate the pregnancy, for example, they won’t have insurance coverage for the procedure because of the Hyde Amendment.

"For each barrier that politicians put in place, there are hundreds of people fighting past them,” Megan said. "I wanted to have that conversation and to honor those experiences.”

Megan's art isn't just about abortion access though. And there's a reason for that.

Her art also tackles issues like mental illness, sexuality, and immigration and how they affect our reproductive lives.

"We can't talk about abortion access without talking about poverty, or violence, or food security, or who is deemed by society ‘fit’ and ‘unfit’ parents. When someone makes a decision to have an abortion, there are so many other factors in their lives, factors that are influenced by structural forces, that come into play.”

Intersectional oppression is the idea that forms of oppression are linked and influence each other. This is central to reproductive justice, and to the Repeal Hyde Art Project. In many cases, the struggle to access abortion and the struggle to parent on one’s own terms go hand-in-hand.

"It's because of feminists of color like Audre Lorde, bell hooks, Kimberlé Crenshaw, and Patricia Hill Collins, among many others, that we are talking about how issues are related instead of siloing ourselves. We owe them a great deal,” Megan said.

Megan's art is meant to remind us that reproductive justice affects all of us. It includes environmental justice.

It includes paid family leave.

It includes respecting the parenting decisions of other parents, no matter their gender, situation, abilities, or age.


Reproductive justice is also about feeling safe from racial violence.

Megan’s art is shareable for a reason.

She posts it for free on Facebook to help create new conversations about reproductive justice, and she even encourages people to make their own art for the Repeal Hyde Art Project.

To help spread the word about the project, she also created a bird template, symbolizing self-determination and resilience, so that the message to Repeal Hyde can be publicly visible all over the world.

Since its creation, Megan's project has grown and spread, creating more awareness about the Hyde Amendment’s effects on low-income communities.

"I've continued to experiment with different ways to spur conversation around abortion access and interconnected issues using art as a tool,” Megan said.

And while the Project will continue to evolve, Megan said that one thing remains at the heart of every image that she makes:

"I create each image and message to mirror a person back to themselves, to let them know that they are beautiful, worthy, and seen.”

More
Twitter / The Hollywood Reporter

Actress Michelle Williams earned a standing ovation for her acceptance speech at the 2019 Emmy Awards, both in the Microsoft Theater in L.A. and among viewers online.

As she accepted her first Emmy award for Lead Actress in a Limited Series/Movie for her role in FX's "Fosse/Verdon," she praised the studios who produced the show for supporting her in everything she needed for the role—including making sure she was paid equitably.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture
'Good Morning America'

Over 35 million people have donated their marrow worldwide, according to the World Marrow Donor Day, which took place September 21. That's 35,295,060 who've selflessly given a part of themselves so another person can have a shot at life. World Marrow Donor Day celebrates and thanks those millions of people who have donated cells for blood stem cells or marrow transplants. But how do you really say thank you to someone who saved your life?

Eighteen-year-old Jack Santos wasn't aware that he was sick."I was getting a lot of nosebleeds but I didn't really think I felt anything wrong," Jack told ABC news. During his yearly checkup, his bloodwork revealed that he had aplastic anemia, a rare non-cancerous blood disease in which there are not enough stem cells in the bone marrow for it to make new blood cells. There are 300 to 900 new cases of aplastic anemia in America each year. It is believed that aplastic anemia is an auto-immune disorder, but in 75% of cases, the cause of the disease is unknown.

It wasn't easy for his family to see him struggle with the illness. "I didn't want to see him go through something like this," Shelby, his older sister, said. "It was terrifying, but we were ready for whatever brought with it at the time."

Keep Reading Show less
Family

Someday, future Americans will look back on this era of school shootings in bafflement and disbelief—not only over the fact that it happened, but over how long it took us to enact significant legislation to try to stop it.

Five people die from vaping, and the government talks about banning vaping devices. Hundreds of American children have been shot to death in their classrooms, sometimes a dozen or so at a time, and the government has done practically nothing. It's unconscionable.

Keep Reading Show less
Education & Information

After over a hundred days protests and demonstrations over basic freedoms in Hong Kong, the city has been ground down both emotionally and economically. So, the government there is looking for leading PR firms to rehabilitate its somewhat authoritarian image with the rest of the world. Only one problem, they're all saying no.

Keep Reading Show less
Democracy