photography, Western Michigan University

Victoria Carter




Victoria Carter
Art 3470 Digital Photography
Digital Prints; 11×17
10 images total

These photos are from a Pro Life standpoint. I read an article with 30-50 women’s stories about the abortions they had been through. I wanted to show the death of innocents, the suffering that follows, blood shed, PTSD, thoughts of suicide, and sarcastic approach toward the ideology of, “my body, my choice.”

The hanger is symbolism from Pro Choice believers, that even abortion was made illegal, women would still perform abortions just in unsafe environments. Because of this, I used the hanger symbolically to blind and strangle the woman depicted here. I titled these photographs, “Abortion, PTSD, Pro Choice, And The Moments That Follow; I Think I Died Inside.”

11 thoughts on “Victoria Carter”

  1. Before I saw the artist statement, I thought that these images were coming from a pro-choice perspective considering the same concerns about mental and physical health presenting in the images, as well as the statement, are concerns that are present in a pro-choice mind.

    For example, I read the first image as “I am pregnant beyond my choice and I am contemplating suicide because I am unable to abort this child.” This same scenario was written about in early feminist literature during the industrialization period, and still happens today.

    The second image is the struggle of having to actually go through with abortion. It’s not something fun to do and can bring about unwarranted feelings of shame as well as going against human instincts.

    The last image is extremely compelling in that, again, I read it from a pro-choice stand point of “I am unable to receive a procedure because of stigmatization or laws in place, so I must revert to a coat-hanger abortion- which is demeaning and almost grizzly…” I thought you were critiquing the stigmatization of abortion, forcing women to revert to almost deadly options of achieving autonomy.

    It may also be important to understand how sensitive this subject is…. It is important to understand how people react to your work in relation to yourself as an artist. If you, the artist are in fact pro-choice, that probably means you haven’t actually gone through with an abortion before- thus portraying a woman who HAS undergone an abortion can be offensive and an inaccurate portrayal of this experience.

    1. Thank you for taking time in looking at my photos and reading my artist statement. I appreciate the feedback. I found it quite interesting to read your interpretation of my photos. That being said, I appreciate you actually reading my statement so you know my direct intent.
      You are correct. I am pro-life, and no I have not received an abortion. I do understand that it may be offensive, however, it is my interpretation and emotional response to some of the stories that I had read of the women who had gone through them. While I am Pro-life, my heart does still go out to the woman who feel regret, and struggle with PTSD and thoughts of suicide. But, I find it offensive that women have abortions for some of the reasons that they do, and with that in mind I intended on this being controversial.
      I’m not sure if you looked at the rest of the series, as that may clear up some of the pro-choice vs pro-life confusion. Also there is a more in depth artist statement posted below the photos. I’ll post the link below. And again thank you for your time in look at my photos.

  2. After reading your artist statement and looking at the images I am still confused if you are saying abortion is murder or you’re pro-choice. Topics and images such as these can be triggering and viewed as offensive by women that have expierenced abortion.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read the artist statement and comment, as I really do appreciate your time. While I am Pro-life, I was trying to depict my interpretation of abortion. Yes I think it’s murder, but my heart still goes out to all the women who have had abortions and end up with PTSD, or thoughts of suicide due to regret. While I understand that it can be viewed as offensive, I constructed the series to be controversial, as I find it offensive that women believe it’s okay to kill unborn babies.
      I’m not sure if you visited my link to see the remainder of my photos in this series but that may help in your decided interpretation of my photos. I’ll post the link below.
      Again, thank you for your time. I do appreciate your feedback and time.

  3. To me, these images show the struggle women go through to protect their body. There is a lot of heavy emotional and mental health issues portrayed in the image that I actually find contradictory to what your goal is. Abortion is a triggering subject and a sarcastic approach can be insensitive.

    1. First off, thank you for looking at my photographs. I do appreciate that. The entire body of work is not sarcastic, as much as the ideology behind the illogical statement, “my body, my choice.” Would you mind explaining the part where you find it contradictory to my original intent, as I would be very interested in your interpretation of the work, and the things that you see. I did intend on the work to be highly controversial.
      Again thank you for your time and comment, I do really appreciate it.

  4. Like most of the comments above, I also was confused about whether you were coming from a pro-choice or a pro-life standpoint. Once I read your artist statement, I understood where your intent was with the photos, but I don’t know if you accomplished your goal. The first and last photos I especially read from a pro-choice standpoint. A pro-life view often comes along with defunding programs such as Planned Parenthood or other women-specific programs. This often leaves women on their own to either find somebody to perform the abortion or to have a child they are unable to support or that will risk their health.

    I read the first image as saying that the woman was out of options and considered suicide her only option out of the pregnancy, relationship, or child. This often occurs when women aren’t provided the mental health support that is necessary to help them through decisions such as having children or having an abortion. Many of these mental health services are provided through women-specific programs which are being defunded. I don’t believe you quite hit on the point you wanted to get across.

  5. Wow! Such a bold and controversial topic. I thought that your statement enhanced the images and I genuinely love the concept here. The “loss of innocence” for not only the woman having the abortion but the baby itself is portrayed beautifully through the second image. I love the use of color, paint, and simple background. Paint is sticky, lasting and spreads easily and I think that conveys the emotional damaged left behind. I know many think that your concept is read pro-choice, but the bloody hands remind me of Macbeth where lady Macbeth goes insane and continues to try and wash the blood off her hands. I see a similar thing here with the paint. Also, the blindfold is amazing how it is as if they are doing an action without necessarily knowing what you are doing (like in the second photo). But then the last photo is also blindfolded and the mouth is covered as if to symbolize the child not having a voice in the matter. I loved this piece and enjoyed reading everyone’s opinions of this piece.

    1. Thank you so much for your opinions and for taking the time to look at these photos. I really appreciate your feedback and thoughts!

  6. These images are very powerful and resonate with me. Fantastic work and I commend you for your bravery as well.

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