Yale Student’s Self-Induced Abortion Art Display an Elaborate Hoax

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 17, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Yale Student’s Self-Induced Abortion Art Display an Elaborate Hoax

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
April 17
, 2008

New Haven CT (LifeNews.com) — Officials at Yale University have admitted that a senior art major’s graphic and sensational art display featuring pictures and blood from self-inducted abortions is an elaborate hoax. The story of Aliza Shvarts’ supposed display became an Internet phenomenon on Thursday.

Shvarts caused a national controversy with her senior art project that supposedly revolved around self-induced abortions.

Shvarts claimed she artificially inseminated herself “as often as possible" in order to become pregnant and reportedly used herbs to cause abortions.

Afterwards, she allegedly saved her blood and the blood from each of the babies she killed to create an art display. The art project supposedly consisted of video footage she took of the miscarriages on either side and a canvas in the middle with paintings created from the blood.

After media outlets across the globe reported the display, Yale University officials finally released a statement indicating the news story was a ruse.

The college said Shvarts "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 art project apparently exists but is nothing like Shvarts described in an interview with the Yale student newspaper that caused the original stir.

"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," Yale said.

The university defended Shvarts despite the controversy she started.

"She is an artist and has the right to express herself through performance art. Had these acts been real, they would have violated basic ethical standards and raised serious mental and physical health concerns," the university added.

In the original article in the student newspaper, Shvarts said she did not intend the project to have "shock value" or to generate controversy.

"I hope it inspires some sort of disclosure. 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,” she said.

"It was a private and personal endeavor, but also a transparent one for the most part," Shvarts said. "This isn’t something I’ve been hiding."

Laura Echevarria, an editorial columnist for LifeNews.com, responded to the original story saying, "Abortion is the deliberate destruction of human life. Putting that destruction on display as so-called art crosses a line and Yale should respond by pulling this project."

Though Shvarts contended otherwise, Echevarria insists Shvarts likely created the project to receive attention.

"It is a gruesome and macabre display that, contrary to the artist’s assertion, was likely contrived because of its shock value," Echevarria said.

Those contentions now appear true given Yale’s admission the project is a hoax.

Echevarria said Shvarts’ project is also offensive to women who have had miscarriages and suffered the loss of a child they desperately wanted.