The Daily Bork

January 27, 2005

Just plain chilling

I would ordinarily count myself on the more liberal side of the abortion debate, however this article in the free newspaper Metro (Göteborg edition) is quite frankly chilling...

I JOANNA Rytels smyckesserie ”Glada abortbarn” möts konst, design och politik. Hennes örhängen, broscher, halsband och ringar, formade i modelleringslera som aborterade foster, tar ställning för abort. Smyckeidén kan sägas vara en förlängning av hennes projekt ”Abortkyrkogard. se” på nätet. Där har många berättat om den skuld de känt efter att ha gjort en abort. – Jag funderade på varför det var så, och jag tror att det är samhället som lägger på skulden, speciellt på tjejer. Jag ville göra något emot det.

Art, design and politics meet in Joanna Rytel's jewellery collection "Happy abortion-children". Her earrings, brooches, necklaces and rings formed as aborted foetuses, takes a stand for abortion. The idea can be said to be a continuation of her project "" on the internet. There many have told of the guilt they have felt after having an abortion. "I wondered about why this was and I believe that it is society that induces the guilt, particularly for girls. I want to do something about it."

Art meets politics indeed. Society's fault for the guilt? In some case I guess, but surely guilt would be a rather expected emotion regardless of all else? The referenced website doesn't exist, but does (abort kyrkogård means, literally, abortion cemetery). It has minimal text but is described as

En plats för ett farväl från en mamma/pappa som inte kunde bli det just nu...

A place for a farewell from a mother/father who couldn't be that right now...

There are farewells from various people, many obviously guilty and outright regretfull. The tone of most doesn't suggest a problem with society. One reads "you would have been welcome, and I would have tried to be the worlds best father". Somehow, I don't think this jewellery is going to make these people feel a whole lot better.

The article continues...

JOANNA RYTEL HAR själv gjort en abort, men kände ingen skuld. – Fast det är ändå lite sorgligt att ha gjort abort. Men man gör ju det för barnets skull. Det hade inte varit bra att föda ett barn halvhjärtat. De har det mycket bättre i himlen än om de hade fötts. – Jag tänkte att det skulle passa bra att göra smycken, för då kan man bära med sig sitt glada abortbarn, säger hon.

Joanna Rytel has herself had an abortion, but felt no guilt. "Despite that it is a little sad to have an abortion. But one does it for the child's sake. It would not have been good to have a child half-heartedly. They have it much better in heaven than if they hade been born. I thought that it would be good to make jewellery, because then people can carry their happy abortion-children with them," she says.

Oh dear. I think even for most people who support abortion would have trouble with transferring the benefits of the action to the foetus. For one thing it goes beyond the "where does life begin" debate and acknowledges outright that it is a child and then attempts weak justifications for killing the child. I'd say here that I wouldn't attempt to define the boundary of life but predicate any abortions on other matters. It is certainly more than distasteful to invoke the image of happy abortion kids living in heaven, with mother wearing some tacky jewellery to "carry the child with her".

Is the woman serious or not? I don't know, it could of course be nothing more than an "artistic" poke at society to gain a few minutes of attention using the guilt and regret of others. Then again she might be seriously messed up.

Oh there is a picture of the jewellery as well, which looks plain creepy. Her t-shirt reads "I have also had an abortion".


  • This woman needs help.

    It isn't society that induces the guilt over abortion. The guilt, I'm afraid, comes from the unchangeable historical fact that the girl killed her baby.

    Is guilt still guilt when it's justified?

    "It would not have been good to have a child halfheartedly. They love it much better in heaven than if they had been born."

    Psychotic. Might as well kill anybody who has problems.. wouldn't it be better to just be in heaven?

    I'm very glad my mother, who was 16 years old, decided to have me halfheartedly.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:54 am  

  • Well I mean it isn't every day a woman gets to kill her child is it? she should have something to celebrate the great event. Why not gold plate the skull and use it as an an ashtray or as an aornament? Such sensitivie caring folks.

    By Blogger Thomas J. Jackson, at 11:01 am  

  • "For one thing it goes beyond the "where does life begin" debate and acknowledges outright that it is a child...."

    I don't think so. The mere use of the word 'child' isn't enough to prove that she thinks of the fetus as a person. It could just be a convention of language, y'know?

    As for the necklace: at first glance a little odd, perhaps, but mourning what could've been really isn't such an odd reaction, nor is it unique to this woman. In Japan, for example, there's a pretty developed set of rituals and beliefs re: the aborted (or "water children", the literal translation).

    By Blogger jpe, at 5:11 pm  

  • Where's the actual jewelry? And yeah, this is really bizarre. Kinda reminds me of the MO of certain murderers, who do a kindness to the corpse afterward.

    By Blogger GrannyGrump, at 11:35 am  

  • The jewellery can be seen in a picture if you follow the link to the article in Metro and scroll down to page 16 (it's a PDF file). You can't miss it.

    By Blogger Chefen, at 11:42 am  

  • Joanna Rytel rox! Hahaha, go girl.

    By Blogger fwgrwgrwg, at 2:52 pm  

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