Creative dissent 

The Norman resident wanted to increase awareness of the bill, which passed the state Senate last month, so she invited friends to participate in a photography sitting to combine art and activism.

The resulting photographs are part of a larger artistic reaction borne of anger and resistance to the legislation.
“I feel deeply fortunate to have this opportunity and completely devastated at the same time,” said Fallen. “[The legislation is] a horrible injustice to women everywhere.”

Creative protest also emerged at a Feb. 28 rally against the Personhood bill, when protesters organized a public art installation to express opposition.

Members of a coalition called Oklahomans Against the Personhood Act donned aprons and assembled donated shoes on the Capitol steps to represent the slogan, “Barefoot and pregnant is my choice, not your decision.” 

Protesters shared personal stories using the PA system. Some speakers were in tears, others spirited, but all appeared encouraged by supportive applause from the crowd. Celebrated performance poet Lauren Zuniga read a piece she wrote for the rally. “See, I think that most Oklahomans believe that legislators are hired to make laws that help the persons that already exist.”

Students from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine Mary Asal and Jim Ghaznavi joined the rally with worries of what Personhood may mean for the future of Oklahoma’s doctors.

“We have a shortage of doctors in this state, but when you have bills like this being passed, those good quality OB-GYNs, those doctors that believe in your health, are going to go to other states where we can practice,” Asal said. “Where we can have the tools to help the people in front of us and be allowed to use them.”

“You’re taking a nuanced issue and you’re forcing it to be black-and-white, Ghaznavi said. “People are going to suffer and die because of it. The preservation of life now, I think, supersedes the potential of life.”

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