Yale Student Aliza Shvarts Prevented From Displaying "Abortion Art"
by Steven Ertelt
April 22, 2008
New Haven, CT (LifeNews.com) — Yale art major Aliza Shvarts will not have her senior art project displayed along with her classmates because she refuses to sign a statement admitting her "abortion art" project is fake. Yale officials demanded she sign the statement for the display to go up but Shvarts remained silent.
Shvarts caused national controversy last week saying she supposedly impregnated herself repeatedly over a nine-month period and had several abortions with medicinal herbs.
The Undergraduate Art Senior Project Show started today and continues through May 1, but Shvarts’ project won’t be included.
According to the Yale Daily News, as of Monday night, officials had yet to decide.
A determination has not yet been made, Yale spokeswoman Helaine Klasky, told the student newspaper.
But the paper reported later on Monday that Yale officials prevented Shvarts from displaying the project because she had not met the university’s demands.
The paper indicated Shvarts has not issued any additional public comments beyond a Friday admission that she can’t confirm whether she ever was pregnant or had an abortion and that the blood may have been from her normal menstrual cycle.
Yale authorities eventually declared the project a hoax but Shvarts insisted she attempted to impregnate herself even though she admits she can’t prove whether she was ever pregnant or had abortions.
The art project, consisting of plastic sheets filled with her dried blood in-between televisions showing videotape of the supposed abortions, is slated to appear along with other senior art projects at a presentation on Tuesday.
Yesterday, LifeNews.com indicated Yale officials will not allow her to show the project unless she signs a statement admitting the project is fake.
The university also announced on Monday that it has disciplined two faculty members for allowing Shvarts to engage in the ruse.
Yale College Dean Peter Salovey and School of Art Dean Robert Storr both condemned the project in separate statements and both told the student newspaper they found serious errors in judgment on the part of the two instructors.
The professors were not named but are likely School of Art lecturer Pia Lindman and School of Art Director of Undergraduate Studies Henk van Assen. Both were involved in the project before it received national scrutiny.
In one case, the instructor responsible for the senior project should not have allowed it to go forward, Salovey told the Daily News. In the other, an adviser should have interceded and consulted others when first given information about the project.
Meanwhile, Salovey said Sunday night that he wants Shvarts to produce a written confession that her project was a hoax and did not involve the pregnancies and abortions that she first indicated had occurred.
Shvarts must also promise that no human blood will be displayed in the project for it to be shown Tuesday.
The newspaper indicated Shvarts told it last week that she would find an alternative venue to display her artwork if the university will not allow her to display it along with her classmates.
As LifeNews.com previously reported, pro-life groups say the art project was a disservice to women and to those who have suffered from miscarriages and abortions.
Feminists for Life president Serrin Foster told LifeNews.com the art incident "illustrates a callous disregard for women, their bodies and their children."