Friday, April 18, 2008

What really happened

Ethical Questions Remain After Yale Administrators Reveal Student Fiction‏

Yale University now reports that the art student’s claim to have artificially inseminated herself and induced miscarriage is “a creative fiction.”

According to a statement by Helaine S. Klasky, Yale spokesperson, “[The student] is engaged in performance art. Her art project includes visual representations, a press release and other narrative materials. She stated to three senior Yale University officials today, including two deans, that she did not impregnate herself and that she did not induce any miscarriages. The entire project is an art piece, a creative fiction designed to draw attention to the ambiguity surrounding form and function of a woman’s body. “She is an artist and has the right to express herself through performance art.”

Though many on both sides of the abortion issue accepted the reports at face value, Feminists for Life was suspicious and careful to qualify comments about “the art student’s alleged actions.” FFL also declined to print the student’s name.

“Had these acts been real, they would have violated basic ethical standards and raised serious mental and physical health concerns,” Yale spokesperson Klasky said.

FFL President Serrin Foster expressed relief that the student did not harm herself in this way but said that “ethical questions remain about displaying this student's art project and the impact the story may have on women who have experienced miscarriage and abortions.”

Other “performances” on the Yale campus, including the mock abortions by Yale Medical Students for Choice, “illustrate a callous disregard for women, their bodies’ and their children,” Foster added.

Recognizing that some on each side of the abortion debate rely on shock tactics and graphic images to make their respective points, “Feminists for Life prefers to focus on addressing the unmet needs of women,” Foster said.

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