It is estimated that every year in Brazil there are between 500 thousand and 1.2 million abortions. According to the Brazilian Ministry of Health, around 250 thousand women are hospitalized per year because of complications derived from abortion. In 2016, the last year for which there are official figures, 203 women died due to clandestine abortions and poorly done procedures. These numbers are just a small percent of the actual situation.

Women of middle and upper class have a safer access to abortions because they can travel abroad or go to trained medical professionals who are willing to perform them. According to public defenders, poor women represent a disproportionately high percentage of those who die, fall ill or face criminal charges when trying to interrupt a pregnancy.

In Brazil, where Congress has become more conservative in recent years and the political power of evangelicals has grown, lawmakers have introduced measures to completely ban abortion. There are few policies that advocate legalization or decriminalization. Those activists who do so frequently are threatened or socially repudiated.

Penalization is the most powerful current legal practice in the social construction of a limited conception of women, which is not consistent with the values of democratic ethics.

The social consequence of this legal prohibition is that this type of feminine subjectivity is imposed as a normative parameter not only on the woman who aborts, but on all women.

The penalty instrumentalizes, silences, domesticates and humiliates women, questioning our decision-making capacity, organizing our body, imposing us motherhood and restricting our life project.

The image represents what remains, the emptiness in the face of the loss of every woman who has been confronted with the need of provoking a clandestine abortion. The hanger on which the dress hangs symbolizes a daily stinging element, as it can be a knitting needle, instruments with which domestic abortions continue to be carried out. The dress has no end, it continues below the building and it will keep going until this law does not change.

 

Photos by @area.de.servicio