I think we need to stand up and be counted. I am not ashamed and I think we need to be seen- a diverse group of women from all ages, cultures and walks of life who have had an abortion. Abortion was not legal and it was a terrifying experience. When I didn’t heal well […]
Every woman has the right to a timely abortion on demand, no questions asked.
No woman should be made to feel fearful or ashamed for having exercised her right to reproductive freedom.
The silence surrounding women’s abortion experiences must end.
In 2007, in response to an article in The Ottawa Citizen about the lengthy wait times faced by many women seeking abortions, Kathryn Palmateer and Martha Solomon founded arts4choice. The goal of arts4choice was to kick-start discussion about women’s real experiences of abortion in Canada. We wanted to show Canadians that women who have had abortions are their neighbours, sisters, mothers and friends.
It seemed to us that photographic portraits and personal stories would be the most bold and potentially transformative path to take. Apparently, we were right! The response to the project has been overwhelming! The arts4choice photos and stories have been part of two Toronto exhibits, have been featured in the Globe and Mail, and were awarded a Multi-Arts Grant in 2008 from the Ontario Arts Council.
Due to this positive response, we are now creating a book, due to be released in the spring of 2014 by Three O’Clock Press, based on the arts4choice collection of portraits and stories. We are, once again, looking for Canadian women who have had abortions to participate--women young and old, of different backgrounds, ethnicities, language groups, cultures and geographic locations. Please peruse our website. Read the stories, view the portraits and consider being a part of this important and timely project.
Help us ensure legal, safe and accessible abortion for all women in Canada!
Please be part of our project. Share your abortion story.
Fill out our questionnaire online. Send us your story via email.
Join our Facebook and Twitter communities online.
Kathryn Palmateer is a Toronto based photographer, activist and co-founder of Arts4Choice. Her work is currently focused on exploring women’s stories and reproductive lives. She is working on a series of portraits of midwives, as well as continuing the Arts4Choice project. She also shoots a lot of maternity and breastfeeding portraiture. She lives in Toronto with the two loves of her life, Shawn and Beatrice.
Martha Solomon has an MA in Women’s Studies and History from the University of Toronto and has worked as a professor at Dickinson College and Sheridan College and as the Assistant Status of Women Officer at the University of Toronto. She is passionate about documenting women's life experiences. Her documentary film about pro-choice activists was screened at the Arts4Choice 'Choice Out Loud' event.