Portfolio > Original artwork - Matters of Conscience series

pro-choice abortion supreme court Roe v. Wade right to choose
Portrait of Defiance (A Woman's Right to Choose)
Acrylic spraypaint and marker on canvas
48"H x 36"W

Forty-three years after the Supreme Court defended woman’s right to choose, that right is under assault again. On March 2 2016, oral arguments in Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole will be heard at the Supreme Court. The petitioners claim a Texas law enacted in 2013 would force about 75 percent of the state’s abortion services to close. Two provisions in the law require that doctors at clinics have hospital admitting privileges within 30 miles of the clinics and that clinics have facilities equal to those of an outpatient surgical center. Texas officials believe the provisions protect the health of women seeking abortions by guaranteeing better care. The Court will decide two issues: if the appeals court properly handled a question about if the new restrictions would actually work to protect the health of women; and, if the law imposes an undue burden on women who seek abortions. The Court last ruled on this question in the 1992 decision, Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, which reaffirmed the Roe v. Wade decision of 1973. * Update * The Court ruled the Texas law unconstitutional and also recently rejected a similar law being pursued by the state of Louisiana. The primary figure in this artwork is from Edward Burne-Jones’ painting entitled Sidonia Von Bork (1860-61). Sidonia, an historical figure (but also fictionalized in literature), was known for her rebellion against the religious puritanism and social conservatism prevalent in her lifetime.