It’s a genuinely unsettling and frightening time to have ever had a uterus in the United States. Reproductive rights are fiercely under attack, with some states proposing criminal charges for anyone even using many kinds of birth control (like the IUD I currently have that expires next March).
When a government works so hard to remove the agency of its people in deciding whether and when to procreate (and how to treat other medical conditions!), that government is immoral. It’s a violation of human rights — quite literally, according to the United Nations. And it’s certainly not a land of the free. (Not that we ever were.)
I was raised as a very sincere right-wing conservative Christian, with all the political and moral beliefs that upbringing entailed. You can imagine my opinions on abortion, then — especially when you consider that my mom volunteered at a crisis pregnancy center for a little chunk of my youth.
But, as the apostle Paul once said, when I was a child, I spoke and thought as a child. But when I became an adult, I put away some childish things.
As I began college, I started to listen to people who weren’t like me. After all, I was to be able to give a defense for my beliefs — how could I defend my beliefs against something I didn’t understand? My reasoning was that God cannot lie, therefore there was nothing dangerous in learning facts. So I spent a lot of time reading, researching, learning, processing, and listening.
At the end, I emerged a secular humanist — and I am ever-emerging, ever-growing, ever-changing. As I learn better, I try to do and be better.
More articulate people than I have explained (in more depth than the above) how someone can go from a forced-birth worldview to a pro-choice one, so I won’t expend any more energy or words on that process here. I highly recommend everything Libby Anne has written on the topic, particularly this article in which she detailed how she made that same journey.
Right now? I feel hopeless and helpless. It’s overwhelming, confusing, frightening, and enraging to watch state after state try to pass legislation criminalizing abortion and even birth control. Especially when battling a host of mental and physical illnesses and pain that prohibit me from being able to be as involved in resistance as I would like to be.
So I’ve been thinking a lot about how I grew and changed over the years, from a right-wing conservative Christian to a leftist secular humanist. The journey itself is easy to follow, but what sparked it? What even opened my mind to begin to question it?
Awareness. Exposure to people and opinions that weren’t like me or mine. Education. Listening. Visibility.
And that’s something I can contribute — providing art to help initiate change and bolster those of us who need reminded that access to abortion is access to medical care. Access to abortion is a human right.
Pro-Choice and Proud
This design will be available for purchase in my Etsy shop on Friday, June 28. As always, 8.5x11in prints are $10 + shipping, and 11x14in are $20 + shipping. All prints will be mailed in poster tubes to prevent damage from the mailing process.
If you’re a Patron, you can pre-order prints for a reduced price before the final release. Patrons will be able to buy 8.5x11in prints for $7 with free shipping, or 11×14 prints for $15 with free shipping. If you would rather pay full price before June 28, you’ll still get free shipping — and I’ll include a random button or sticker in your package.
Not a patron already? No problem! Sign up before June 28, and the pre-order will be open to you, as well! Be sure to check out the Fat Girl Fan Perks before you settle on a price. You can pledge as little as $1/mo, but if you pledge $3 or more, you’ll get a welcome package as thanks for your support. Details can be found in the perks section on my main Patreon page.
To pre-order, email firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know how many of which size you want, along with a mailing address. I’ll invoice you via PayPal and ship all prints by mid-July.
This design was created in Procreate on an iPad Pro, using an Apple Pencil and brushes I’ve customized for my lettering and illustration work.
Initially, I wasn’t sure how I wanted to approach the design. My first 2 sketches were a softer cursive approach, then a rough grungy lettering style. After sitting on it for a little bit, I settled on the more gentle approach. We often think of abortion as this prickly topic, something to be ashamed to experience or even support. What I really wanted to underscore, though, is that abortion itself is amoral. It is a medical procedure. It is healthcare. So the softer, methodical cursive won out.
I debated whether I wanted to include a graphic element with the lettering or not, then debated what kind of graphic element to include. Initially, I thought about adding a uterus. I was hesitant for a couple of reasons. First, I have another design in the works featuring a uterus, and I wasn’t certain that I wanted all of my reproductive rights designs to focus around biology. Secondly, and supported by the trans and non-binary friends I consulted, I didn’t want to hint at bio-essentialism or have folks who might otherwise want to support the message of the design feel uncomfortable doing so because of the organ.
So the question became: an ultrasound wand, or a stethoscope? I settled on the stethoscope because of the potentially triggering nature of an ultrasound wand. As I worked on depicting a simplified version of the stethoscope, I was delighted to stumble upon the infinity symbol that could be formed by the twisting cable. I like how that symbols underscores the idea of human rights being immutable. Abortion is a human right, and it always will be, no matter what others may claim.
The last thing to determine was the color scheme. I’d originally thought about using the Planned Parenthood pink color, but settled on teal for a more gender-neutral application. I used a 2-tone approach to be able to emphasize hierarchy, lead the viewers’ eyes through the piece, and underscore more subtle messages. Including the ear pieces of the stethoscope in the more prominent color helps emphasize the idea of listening to people, rather than simply reacting.