Human Exceptionalism

Abortion as “Art”–a Hoax

Update: I am not surprised that the story turned out not to be true. From the story:

The story about Aliza Shvarts’ project, published Thursday in the Yale Daily News, swept across blogs and media outlets– including the Drudge Report, Fox News and The Washington Post–before Yale issued a statement saying it investigated and found it all to be a hoax that was Shvarts’ idea of elaborate “performance art.”

“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,” said Yale spokeswoman Helaine Klasky.

I don’t think the art worked as drawing attention “to the ambiguity surrounding the function of a woman’s body,” whatever that means. But it did work as depicting vividly how far we have slipped as a society that such a travesty would be believable. Indeed, like all good hoaxes, it had at least one foot firmly in reality.

Thus, even though the facts of this particular matter are false, I think my reaction remains apt. Thus, I will leave the original entry as I wrote it, which is set forth below.


Please let this be a hoax: According to the Yale newspaper, an “artist” named Aliza Shvarts repeatedly made herself pregnant through artificial insemination and then took abortion drugs and recorded herself expelling the embryo. From the story:

Beginning next Tuesday, Shvarts will be displaying her senior art project, a documentation of a nine-month process during which she artificially inseminated herself “as often as possible” while periodically taking abortifacient drugs to induce miscarriages. Her exhibition will feature video recordings of these forced miscarriages as well as preserved collections of the blood from the process. The goal in creating the art exhibition, Shvarts said, was to spark conversation and debate on the relationship between art and the human body. But her project has already provoked more than just debate, inciting, for instance, outcry at a forum for fellow senior art majors held last week. And when told about Shvarts’ project, students on both ends of the abortion debate have expressed shock–saying the project does everything from violate moral code to trivialize abortion.

But Shvarts insists her concept was not designed for “shock value.””I hope it inspires some sort of discourse,” Shvarts said. “Sure, some people will be upset with the message and will not agree with it, but it’s not the intention of the piece to scandalize anyone.”

I don’t know whether to read too much into this story or too little. The arteest clearly has no concept of the importance of human life or the reproductive function–and the men who donated sperm so she could impregnate herself and abort are no better than Shvarts. But let’s face it: there have always been morally stunted individuals and always will be.

On the other hand, the right to abortion was supposed to be about protecting women’s autonomy rights when she found herself with an unwanted pregnancy. But if this is a true story, the woman in question intentionally impregnated herself so she could abort–repeatedly.

How could we go from there to here? In our dedication to terminal nonjudmentalism, we have refused to hold crucial ethical lines, most particularly the most important one of all; that being human in and of itself is a matter of great moral importance. Tens of millions of abortions have helped lead to this mindset, I fear, although I believe the eugenics movement–whose influence we have never fully escaped–is the root cause.

Making matters worse, the stain of human unexceptionalism is spreading. As I wrote in Consumer’s Guide to a Brave New World, the right to an abortion has been used in bioethics literature as an intellectual springboard for the right to genetically engineer progeny in order not just to have a baby but the kind of baby the parents’ want by any means they desire–leading to sex selection, eugenic terminations, infanticide, and the transhumanist post human species agenda. So intrinsic value takes it in the neck both coming and going.

Whatever the cause: Too many people these days in too many venues sniff at the intrinsic value of human life, to the point that deep ecologists yearn for a worldwide pandemic to wipe out the vermin species afflicting the living planet Gaia. This “art project” is just a symptom of that moral decay.

The woman should be shunned if she really did this. But she won’t be. She will probably land on Larry King.