This summer's hot baby gift? Funds for abortion rights

Sonja Sharp, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Political News

For many, using their own wanted pregnancy to fight the loss of reproductive freedom has been a way to reclaim power in a moment of both physical and political vulnerability.

“It was our way of coping, because we feel so hopeless and powerless,” said Taylor Ecker, a Pennsylvania-based photographer who specializes in maternity and newborn portraits.

She described a recent maternity shoot that transformed into an impromptu photo protest when her client produced a black Crayola washable marker from her purse and asked Ecker to write abortion-rights slogans on her belly.

Motherhood should be a choice. Meanwhile our shelves are empty. In the USA there are 400,000+ kids in foster care.

The client posed in tall grass, wearing her cream, floral robe open to show her belly. In one image, the slogan “Bans off our bodies” is framed to include a tattoo on her thigh of Casper the Friendly Ghost flipping the bird.

“I told her, ‘If we’re going to do this, it’s going to be a faceless shot, because I want to protect you,’” Ecker said. “We literally cried together doing this. For her to think her daughter would be born into a world with less rights on her body than her mom was born into — that was a very heavy burden on her heart.”


Still, many women said they were nervous to protest, even as they felt compelled to speak out.

“Is someone going to attack me in a way that’s also attacking my unborn child?” asked Riley Moos, 28, an attorney in Tacoma, Wash., who in June posted an abortion rights photo of her pregnant body. “Is someone going to say I’m a bad mother or a bad person?”

Moos worried she might offend her own mother, an adoptee from Costa Rica who the family believes was the product of sexual assault.

“But it’s my body right now. Anytime I post a picture, the bump’s going to be in it,” Moos said. “People want you to think that I’m not my own person [being pregnant] right now. That’s exactly why I need to make this post.”

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