Archived by: Lotte Brewer
Creator: Video of Lotte Brewer, Filmed by Michelle Fikrig
Date: April 19th, 2016
Location: Civil Liberties and Public Policy Conference at Hampshire College
Context: This is an image from a video of me practicing a manual vacuum abortion on a papaya at the first reproductive justice conference i ever went to. The workshop was meant to illustrate how abortions actually work and debunk the idea that abortions are violent, dangerous, invasive surgeries. When done safely they have the lowest complication rate of all surgeries, and take no longer than five minutes to perform. Papayas are used by physicians to practice abortions on because they have the same elasticity as a uterus and you can tell if the procedure was successful or not by whether or not seeds came out of the vacuum.
Potential Relevance: This workshop and that conference was one of the most amazing experiences I ever had learning about reproductive health care and how stigmatized abortion is in our society. Students United for Reproductive Freedom, a group i’m greatly involved with on campus has since co opted the symbol of the papaya and sold stickers with papaya illustrations on it to benefit a local abortion clinic, Preterm.