..life begins as rape?

When it comes to education, poverty, and human rights – Alabamians have long thanked Mississippi for holding a firm grip on last place.  An upcoming ballot measure in the state, initiative 26, if passed, would be the most draconian attack on women’s reproductive rights spawned sense the 2010 Tea Party Republican election sweep.

Not only are voters being asked to define embryos as people, this amendment will also outlaw the most common types of birth control and in vitro fertilization and will open the door for criminal investigation of miscarriages. Mississippi, already home to some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country, will now make it nearly impossible for women and their doctors to make informed and sound decisions.

Initiative 26, if passed, will be one of the most damaging intrusions into women’s reproductive health we’ve seen, even in a year marked by restrictive anti-choice bills. It will make it possible for mothers and doctors to be charged with murder if they have an abortion – even in the case of rape or incest. A number of forms of birth control could be considered murder.



About Morgan Sanders

My work addresses collective identity – how it is created and performed – and currently, the contradictions that become apparent in political posturing. I am interested in the tensions between political power and moral authority, and how they are often masked by a devotion to legislating matters of the body. The Family, a Christian fundamentalist organization whose members include U.S. Senators and Congressmen, is territory where we see the inconstancy of the masked figure. A platform of family values clashes with scandals of infidelity, and benevolent proselytizing blends with incendiary rhetoric. The Family's work has catalyzed anti-gay legislation in the Ugandan parliament that calls for executing the HIV positive population. Political members of The Family exploit Christian texts and morality in an attempt to govern the body, while at the same time, the news is saturated with extramarital affairs and other transgressions by these same politicians, most notably Senator John Ensign and Governor Mark Sanford. I am currently using my blood to render the politicians who are Family members, binding them to their notions of the abject and base, as well as the source of their anxieties – gay blood. Imbued with the stigma of disease, I use blood to render narratives of violence and to interrogate the formal neutrality of political portraiture. As the work expands, I have begun to inhabit the identities of these political figures by creating masks, which allow performances of their contradictory behavior – playfully pornographic tableaus that puncture images of authority.
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One Response to ..life begins as rape?

  1. Jennifer says:

    There is not one scrap reasoning behind this legislation (not even a fucked up twisted one). Not only is the cost going to the local gov., but it does not require approval from the local gov. (based on the fact that this bill fits an exception in an amendment). It is taxation without representation and, moreover, NO stated justification. So, now our backwards red state will get away with another damaging ordinance towards humankind.

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