For senior, abortion a medium for art, political discourse

Art major Aliza Shvarts ’08 wants to make a statement.

Beginning next Tuesday, Shvarts will be displaying her senior art project, a documentation of a nine-month process during which she artificially inseminated herself “as often as possible” while periodically taking abortifacient drugs to induce miscarriages. Her exhibition will feature video recordings of these forced miscarriages as well as preserved collections of the blood from the process.

The goal in creating the art exhibition, Shvarts said, was to spark conversation and debate on the relationship between art and the human body. But her project has already provoked more than just debate, inciting, for instance, outcry at a forum for fellow senior art majors held last week. And when told about Shvarts’ project, students on both ends of the abortion debate have expressed shock — saying the project does everything from violate moral code to trivialize abortion.

But Shvarts insists her concept was not designed for “shock value.”

“I hope it inspires some sort of discourse,” Shvarts said. “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.”

The “fabricators,” or donors, of the sperm were not paid for their services, but Shvarts required them to periodically take tests for sexually transmitted diseases. She said she was not concerned about any medical effects the forced miscarriages may have had on her body. The abortifacient drugs she took were legal and herbal, she said, and she did not feel the need to consult a doctor about her repeated miscarriages.

Shvarts declined to specify the number of sperm donors she used, as well as the number of times she inseminated herself.

Art major Juan Castillo ’08 said that although he was intrigued by the creativity and beauty of her senior project, not everyone was as thrilled as he was by the concept and the means by which she attained the result.

“I really loved the idea of this project, but a lot other people didn’t,” Castillo said. “I think that most people were very resistant to thinking about what the project was really about. [The senior-art-project forum] stopped being a conversation on the work itself.”

Although Shvarts said she does not remember the class being quite as hostile as Castillo described, she said she believes it is the nature of her piece to “provoke inquiry.”

“I believe strongly that art should be a medium for politics and ideologies, not just a commodity,” Shvarts said. “I think that I’m creating a project that lives up to the standard of what art is supposed to be.”

The display of Schvarts’ project will feature a large cube suspended from the ceiling of a room in the gallery of Green Hall. Schvarts will wrap hundreds of feet of plastic sheeting around this cube; lined between layers of the sheeting will be the blood from Schvarts’ self-induced miscarriages mixed with Vaseline in order to prevent the blood from drying and to extend the blood throughout the plastic sheeting.

Schvarts will then project recorded videos onto the four sides of the cube. These videos, captured on a VHS camcorder, will show her experiencing miscarriages in her bathrooom tub, she said. Similar videos will be projected onto the walls of the room.

School of Art lecturer Pia Lindman, Schvarts’ senior-project advisor, could not be reached for comment Wednesday night.

Few people outside of Yale’s undergraduate art department have heard about Shvarts’ exhibition. Members of two campus abortion-activist groups — Choose Life at Yale, a pro-life group, and the Reproductive Rights Action League of Yale, a pro-choice group ­— said they were not previously aware of Schvarts’ project.

Alice Buttrick ’10, an officer of RALY, said the group was in no way involved with the art exhibition and had no official opinion on the matter.

Sara Rahman ’09 said, in her opinion, Shvarts is abusing her constitutional right to do what she chooses with her body.

“[Shvarts’ exhibit] turns what is a serious decision for women into an absurdism,” Rahman said. “It discounts the gravity of the situation that is abortion.”

CLAY member Jonathan Serrato ’09 said he does not think CLAY has an official response to Schvarts’ exhibition. But personally, Serrato said he found the concept of the senior art project “surprising” and unethical.

“I feel that she’s manipulating life for the benefit of her art, and I definitely don’t support it,” Serrato said. “I think it’s morally wrong.”

Shvarts emphasized that she is not ashamed of her exhibition, and she has become increasingly comfortable discussing her miscarriage experiences with her peers.

“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.”

The official reception for the Undergraduate Senior Art Show will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on April 25. The exhibition will be on public display from April 22 to May 1. The art exhibition is set to premiere alongside the projects of other art seniors this Tuesday, April 22 at the gallery of Holcombe T. Green Jr. Hall on Chapel Street.


  • goffman

    I am deeply sorry and disturbed by his project. It was wrong for the student to do this, for the department to approve of this and for the school not to know. I am ashamed as a Yale Student. I am also deeply concerned about the mental stability of this student.

  • Molly Clark-Barol SY '08

    way to throw the entire pro-choice movement under the bus.

    i don't care what kind of severely misplaced avant-garde aspiration she has, or how much repeated exposure to art theory may have damaged her brain (which it obviously has). this is repellent on every level:

    physical: this is maybe the most viscerally disgusting thing that i have ever heard of. 'nuff said. the sheer physical danger that she puts herself in by repeatedly inducing miscarriage, not to mention the possibility of STD infection (and yes i know that they got tested, but she was absolutely playing with fire) boggles the mind. you might as well repeatedly induce tumor growth and receive chemotherapy (the analogy carries over into all other ways that i find this insulting).

    intellectual: what kind of advisor approves this? it is hands down the most egregious negligence of responsibility that i have ever heard of. all political implications aside (and, since i doubt this pia character could be in ignorance of them, i can only assume she is as self-indulgent and attention-hungry as her advisee), YOU PUT YOUR STUDENT'S HEALTH AT RISK. i hope this woman is fired, not only for having a hand in this travesty, but for the damage she has done to yale's reputation as an institution of intellectual (not to mention moral) integrity.

    political: as gabe already noted, the timing of this could not be worse. i can not imagine a situation in which this does not get included as a development in the historical context of the continued erosion of the right to choose (not to mention the effect on sex education nationally, and, insofar as the US is responsible for providing or witholding funding for international programs to empower women in sexual decision making, internationally). she says that she hopes to engage people in dialogue about this project (the "connection between art and the human body"), but she obviously crawled out from under a rock if she think that a conversation about the meaning of art is the only "dialogue" that will result. and the results of this dialogue will be damaging to every woman in this country. the only political logic i can imagine for this is that she is a crazed, kamikaze pro-lifer. if that's the case, she couldn't have done better for herself.

    moral: granted, we get into murkier waters here. i am unabashedly pro-choice, if that wasn't already obvious, but this is still arguably the worst offense. congratulations, aliza shvarts '08: you have single-handedly trivialized not only an entire generation and a half's fight to gain and retain the right to choose, through harassment and against massive odds, but also history of women's struggles, not only politically, but with the emotional, moral, and spiritual impacts of the choice to terminate a pregnancy. you also spit upon every couple who has tried, and failed, sometimes repeatedly, to have children. it is the emotional impact of these struggles, emotional impact that you shamelessly exploit, not explore, in your senior project, that informs the disgust i feel on the other three levels already articulated. frankly, the debate about whether or not your project is "art" or not holds absolutely no interest for me. if you, in this act of supreme, at best, thoughtlessness, and, at worst, selfish disregard for good taste, sensitivity, and moral, intellectual, and political responsibility DO manage to become a success in the art world, crowned queen of process-driven concept art, i will think the less of it.

    shame on you.

  • A real feminist

    Wow. I don't want to call her an idiot, but I think people should have more respect for their own bodies. But if this is what she wants to do in the name of art, then I guess it's technically her freedom.

  • omg

    this is going to be a DISASTER

  • Anonymous

    How the hell could a Yale professor have approved this project? Even if you set aside for a moment the utter tastelessness and depravity of it (and this is coming from someone who's pro-choice), isn't repeatedly forcing miscarriages a serious threat to the student's health? Pia Lindman should be fired. This is unconscionable.

  • Anonymous

    This is what passes for a senior project these days? Had I known that I wouldn't have wasted countless hours researching and writing a 45 page paper on Anglo-Spanish trade relations in the 16th and 17th Century Americas. I'd have become an art major and shit on something and call it art. I hope the department fires the professor and fails the student.

  • Anonymous

    This girl called what she did 'miscarriages' , but what she had was abortions..Miscarriages are what happens in nature.

    What she did was an atrocity and a crime against humanity. But I was reading this article, it says she artificially 'inseminated' herself.
    So…that begs the question: where did she get this semen? Did she have sex with a young man, save the condom and after he left, thinking he had 'safe sex' she took a turkey baster and….er.
    you know? And did he consent to her doing this, so she could just then kill the 'products of conception'? Probably not.

    Or did she have friends collects the stuff for her?
    This whole incident is so sleazy, so filthy, so degrading to everything decent and human it makes you ill just to think about it.

  • Anonymous

    This will 'throw the entire pro-choice movement under the bus'???

    Molly…this IS the pro-choice movement in all it's vulgar reality. It is after all HER body…she can do what she wants.

    According to pro-choice….and she has the right to free speech. Had a proffessor dared to question her validity as an artist, the student would have had the politically correct gestapo on his/her case in no time.
    But most likely the proffessor was a liberal pro-choice advocate who thought it was a 'profound and courageous statement.'

  • Anonymous

    Even leaving the moral issues aside (and this pro-choicer personally thinks this is sick), if she really wanted to do something like this she should have waited until she was no longer affiliated with Yale. And I can't believe any adviser would approve a dangerous, purposeless waste of life like this--not only is she wasting the lives of the embryos, she's risking her own life and fertility. As it is, pro-lifers will have a field day and Yale will forever be associated with pro-choice liberalism at its most horrible.

  • Anonymous

    I don't think pro-lifers are looking at this as an opportunity to 'have a Field day…
    You haven't a clue what makes pro-lifers tick obviously.

    This will make pro-lifers weep.

    Tho' I'm glad that at least even avowed pro-choicers are repulsed by this, it is little consolation. Babies still died, and it obviously hasn't really opened your eyes as to how the culture of death (of which the abortion culture is a huge part) has spawned this nightmare.

    In spite of the obvious evil splashed before your eyes in vivid technicolor blood and gore….You're still pro-choice.

    And that's a tragedy.

  • Anonymous

    This shows what a complete JOKE what "art" has become. To define this as art is to put extreme hardcore pornography which includes bestiality and corprophilia on the same level as Sesame Street.

    This student is a SICK, DISTRUBED, TWISTED individual who has no regards for human life. The professor is just as irresponsible for approving such a horrific idea as an "art project."

    I thought only intelligent people could get into Yale. You are a waste of daily maintanance and feeding.

  • Victoria

    As a woman who has made the hard decision of having an abortion, I am appalled by this project. I think it is a mockery of the process in which a woman goes through before, during, and after an abortion. It doesn't provoke discussion or debate, it is purely for shock value.

  • Danny

    What, no pics?

  • Markus

    The only debate she has provoked is over who or what is to blame for creating this ethical frankenstein monster that is her.

    Hopefully her actions have at least rendered her infertile.

  • pippin

    This lady is mentally ill!! How sick can you get!?

  • jkq

    So when is *this* abortion from Yale running for President?

  • Hieronymus

    My reaction to the article and to the comments:

    I am at a loss for the proper adjective.
    Saddened? Deeply.
    Horrified? Yes, and at some fundamental level.

    Let me state: I do not care for some of the issues noted by others: I do not care about what this technically adult person does to her own body; I do not care about her risk of STDs; I do not care about fallout on the pro-abortion movement.

    I do not care about the reaction of G-d or Any Powers That Be (although, if there is some Judeo-Christian god, he is going to be very, very upset).

    And I am not sure I can explain my gut reaction--and gut reactions are often the outcome of both Nature and nurture.

    And my gut says--this is wrong.

    Fundamentally wrong.

    Indeed, a crime against humanity. And I mean that.

    This is offensive to all that is human--even at the secular level.

    Saddam Hussein's sons were similarly self-indulgent, although their crimes also included fully matured humans and not just embryonic potentialities. Theirs were crimes against humanity--and so are Shvarts'.

    And more sadly--she will likely perceive the coming outrage as "good debate" (as if genocide against the Kurds--or the Jews--was simply fodder for the chattering classes).

    For all those that cry out "slippery slope argument!" whenever Conservatives wish to preserve what decency is left humanity, well, now you have proof that such slopes exist.

    Lastly--while I am not necessarily a proponent of "father's rights" (i.e., a movement by would-have-been fathers who now regret their support of their sexual partner's "choice" to abort), one wonders how many of the young people involved will someday regret what they have done.

    I look forward to Dick Levin's response.

  • bugs

    absolutley disgusting

  • L Gigliotti

    This work of "art" is repulsive in many, many ways. I agree with all the other disgusted commenters. I also wanted to say that as a woman who has experienced a real, actual, involuntary miscarriage and the emotional devastation that goes with it, her work is actually anti-woman, anti-feminist, and anti-humanity. It is the most nihilistic action I can remember ever reading about. I have many friends who have experience multiple miscarriages as they try desperately to get pregnant, and the pain is excruciating. All women who have gone through a real miscarriage and lost a much-wanted baby will know how I feel. To mock that pain and suffering is truly reprehensible. This beastly woman does not deserve to be at Yale, for she is clearly an ignorant, ill-educated fool. I just pray she never, never has children of her own. If she lets them live, that is, and doesn't expel them as a sick egomaniacal medical experiment on film.

  • Tim

    A typical dumb-ass, who believes that an elite college diploma means that you are above the rest…a better idea for her project would be to have her stand up against a white bed sheet, and have her take a gun and splatter her brains on the bed sheet, now that would be art, and it would also help clean up the gene pool.

  • Disgusted

    I believe she should be tried for premeditated murder or at least put away in a mental hospital. How can anyone defend this behavior?

  • Mike

    "This will 'throw the entire pro-choice movement under the bus'???

    Molly…this IS the pro-choice movement in all it's vulgar reality. It is after all HER body…she can do what she wants."

    No this is NOT the pro-choice movement. I am pro-choice and I'd like to think I stand with a majority of pro-choice supporters here in saying this this woman doesn’t seem to realize is that a lot of pro-choice supporters don’t think abortions are a good idea for for something to do when your bored.

    I personally don’t know at what point life begins, At this point that is something still between you and your gods. Further in my opinion it technically doesn’t matter. Even if fetus’s are people, they are taking up space inside you still have the right to evict them. There are plenty of debatably good reasons for doing so.

    However doing it to obtain blood for your art project? I honestly would be about as less offended as if you were buying puppies and beheading them in the name of Art.

  • Formerly Pro-Choice voting male

    That this isn't condemmed immediately but is instead embraced by the university (accepted as her senior project and even put on display) shows to me that the supposedly brightest and most educated of our society are not capable of maturely and seriously treating the subject of the unborn. I've always believed life begins at conception but I wasn't ready to take away the ability for a woman to have control over the matter and make what I've always hoped was reponsible personal choices. Our culture has truly 'jumped the shark' if we allow behavior like this to be rationalized as anything other than depraved masochism. She should be institutionalized not celebrated or even tolerated. I'm not religious at all but if there is such a thing as Karma and balance in this world, surely Yale will suffer greatly for tolerating this under the guise of "art".

  • Mitchell

    With Bulldog Days just around the corner, this can't be good news for Yale…

  • Samual

    Crazy leftist death merchant.

  • Old Blue '73

    This is a great example of why a visiting lecturer should not be a project advisor, at least not without senior faculty supervision. What colossally bad judgment this was to permit this to go forward. Bad judgment to allow the student to risk her health. Bad judgment and indifference (hey, she's only going to be there for a year and then off to Berlin, so what does she care?) to the damage this will cause to Yale. If the university allows this to be exhibited in its spaces, it will deserve the protests that should be mounted.

    I don't buy dove's argument that these are babies (that is a post-Roe concoction of the anti-choicers)and I am pro-choice myself. But the grossness of this display isn't really that far removed from a future artist displaying the corpse of her own stillborn baby. Based on Lindman's displays in the past, if she were so unfortunate to lose a child in childbirth, I wouldn't put it past her to do such a thing. I sure hope Yale wouldn't display it.

  • Denise B

    This is just wrong!!! She is insane to do this to herself on purpose. I don't care if she calls it "art"…it is murder. I recently suffered a miscarriage and it was the most traumatic and devastating experience of my life!! She has no regard for human life if she thinks this is normal. There is something terribly wrong with this girl!! It is offensive to me that she is aborting these babies…she is not miscarrying, she is murdering the embryos. Being able to bear children is a gift from God, one that she doesn't deserve, and I seriously hope she is never able to conceive again…for the baby's sake!!! Wake up Yale…this is not right. Do the right thing.

  • Rachel

    This girl is quite possibly psychotic. These were self-induced abortions, not miscarriages (spontaneous abortion). Quite insulting to those of us who have had miscarriages. This "art" could have been created through other means. After 4 years at Yale, does she not have an ounce of creativity?

  • Keaton

    Shvarts successfully scandalized herself: regardless of intention. Allow me to transcend generational stigma and suggest that Shvarts is mentally ill. The undergraduate experience is a wonderful time – to find one self – to explore new caverns, but for Shvarts it should be a time to check herself into a mental institution. Picasso and Leonardo can rest once again in their graves. And Darwin can ready himself for another guest for tea.

  • Anonymous

    well, Ned Fulmer is off the hook.

  • huh?

    I see two potential outcomes:

    1) someone will use her in a SNUFF FILM

    2) she will become a "professor"

    Nasty little piece of work. Roe v. Wade is already on the chopping block. We women who were adults pre '73 spit on you. Now that would make a good art project.

  • Mike

    The comments so far are remarkabaly absent the vehement and vitriol I'd expect, but still absolutely on point and mostly well put as to how absurd, horrific, offesive and depraved this is. As someone who's suffered the difficult situation of going through a miscarriage, I want so much to reach out and shake this person. But on a WTF were they thinking level, did an advisor really approve this? Incredible. Had this not been in the name of art, but instead done in a science program as part of a study involving human subjects, NO WAY would it have gotten approved. Those policies should be broadened from research involving humans to any project involving human trials, even self-inflicted. 15 years ago my application to Yale was rejected…I'm glad not to be a Yale alumnus today.

  • khc

    This is not art. This is a juvenile misinterpretation of what it means to be an artist. This girl clearly hasn't graduated beyond the belief that to truly be an artist means you have to be full of pain and suffering. I'm sure she believes the outcry against this meaningless self-indulgence means that she has succeeded - that she is above us because we clearly don't understand her vision.
    Give me a break. Being shocking isn't being an artist. And if shock is involved in art, then at least display enough maturity and growth as an artist to include a valuable statement.
    And furthermore, shame on her professor for telling her that this was a worthwhile endeavor. Perhaps this woman should be teaching in some insignificant college with an even more insignificant art department, but as a representation of Yale and the integrity of their art department, this woman has failed.

  • '03 alum

    This is astonishingly depraved. The comments at #2 do a fine job pointing out the horridness of the whole event, but I'll throw in.

    I consider myself pro-choice, but not enough to say I'm pro-abortion. I think it's a fair distinction (and one that I've hoped is shared by others who are pro-choice), which is to say: I don't want a government to force a woman to give birth to a child she doesn't want; but I believe much more could be done to prevent unwanted pregnancies, and moral issues are certainly on the line insofar as that, somewhere along the way, you're absolutely dealing with another life. So I can't possibly comprehend how a healthy, sane person would find artistic merit in impregnating herself repeatedly FOR THE EXPRESS PURPOSE OF ABORTING the result. I'm no psychologist, just as I am no art scholar. Still, I must question the mental health of this student, and I think she deserves counseling by an adult other than her mindless "advisor."

    I write mostly to stress that Yale should separate itself from this "display" as quickly and thoroughly as possible. Yale MUST not be employing faculty who are willing to approve of and "advise" a student toying so cavalierly with her own health. Every indication is that the student inseminated herself, apart from any medical supervision. Details need not be known to realize this was just the first unhealthy choice made. We would not approve of an advisor consenting to a student who starved herself so as to document anorexia. Just as we would not approve of an advisor consenting to a student who went on a steroids binge to document physique. And, for the record, I think what this student did was far, far worse than those two examples. This professor must be fired.

    Yale should also not showcase the exhibit. First Amendment protections do not require that a private institution, even one whose goals are to foster the expression of ideas, lend its name to such a production. I think it would be a grave mistake to leave the impression that Yale finds artistic merit in self-insemination and abortion. And I think it would be a step towards acknowledging that the university in no way can support the testing (I would say breaking) of social mores and boundaries when student health is on the line.

  • Anonymous

    Dear Lord,
    Please forgive me of my sins. And Lord, please forgive Aliza and Pia, for this is a corrupt world and they know not what they have done. Bless the souls of those beautiful babies and hold them close. In Christ name I pray. Amen.

  • Bob B

    What we have here is a case of serial murder, committed for sport.

    Everyone who has posted recognized the heinous and depraved nature of this woman's actions. There is little difference, though, between her actions and those of anyone else who has an abortion for convenience, except for numbers.

    The very thought of abortion should be abhorrent to any rational person. The depravity of this woman's actions highlight that fact, but many on Yale's campus, and elsewhere, will fall back on the equally depraved "it's my body" nonsense.

    I hope that the other art students whose presumably worthy work is scheduled to be displayed alongside this mini-holocaust will pull their work from the exhibit in a display of both disgust and freedom of speech.

  • Mrs. Dreibel - Southpark

    Aliza Shvarts !!!! You're in detention!!!!

  • glenn

    lets be clear. the student didnt break any laws. the councilor did not break any laws. 'babies' are not dead. fetuses with no central nervous system or ability to sustain themselves are. there is nothing in the article to suggest that the student was ever in any danger of doing permanent harm to her body. (these were chemical not physical abortions remember). And if the project did cause damage to her future prospects of childbirth, the student is an adult and has the right to make that decision. (people become legal adults at 18 and must be treated as such no matter what your personal conjecture of their maturity level is. it is not your right to dictate how an adult should act - unless they are committing a legal crime). there is nothing in the article to suggest that the fathers of the aborted fetuses were not in the know, so to suggest so without looking up evidence is foolish. she is perfectly clear about having induced the miscarriages, dina's point is a silly argument about semantics in a much wider moral issue - dina makes a lot of conjecture.

    anyone pro-choice who condemns (read: not 'doesnt support') this student is guilty of double standards. It is wrong for this student to terminate multiple births, but not wrong for multiple women to terminate one each? You must decide if you find the act of abortion overall worth standing by. You cant give a liberty and then chose how people use it.

    to those who question the artistic validity of the work i would suggest that it is a subjective matter, and pushing its boundaries is an integral part of art itself.

    in summary, you not approving of it doesnt actually make it wrong.

  • Mike Minardi

    Without even entering into the abortion debate think about this: this student went to her advisor, or whomever, and said "my display will have my blood and other bodily fluids smeared over hundreds of square feet of plastic." How could that have possibly been approved.

    Full disclosure: I am from outside the Yale community and I am pro-life.

  • Bob

    I'm sure her parents are really proud of her. Idiot!!! Ooops, sorry, that might offend her.

  • james

    She should probably abort herself off the planet.

  • Anonymous

    Human Cloning and Human Dignity, The Report of the President's Council on Bioethics, discusses the moral worth of a human embryo in relation to cloning for biomedical research. Their arguments for the value of embryonic moral worth, however, are not limited or specific to cloning for biomedical research, and are applicable to the issue raised by Ms. Shvarts.

    The President's Council on Bioethics does not have a clear consensus on the moral worth of a human embryo at the moment of conception or creation; however, the majority of the members of the council agree that the embryo deserves some sort of "special respect." Even within this majority there is a disagreement on the precise standing of the moral value of a human in this stage of life. They do all agree, however, that it should not be considered equal to any other random individual human cell. The "special respect," the members feel, which is owed to the embryo in its developing stages, must consider the potentiality of that embryonic cell. A conceived cell should be considered to have a developing moral worth because of its potential for "the continued organic development characteristic of human beings."

    The members of the council who argue a moral case against cloning for biomedical research (who have a greater respect for developing human life) feel that creation, use, and the disposing of an embryo is morally wrong, as the developing embryo, should be treated as an individual who has the potential of being "a member of the species Home Sapien" and, "a human life in process." This group argues that an embryo is not simply a structure of cells but an "integrated, self-developing whole" which would develop into a fetus, with an individual identity, if left alone. The fact that this human is in its earliest stage of development, and lacks many differentiable human characteristics does not allow us to deny its human nature. The members who argue against cloning for biomedical research argue that at all stages of human life, from the embryonic stage, to the potential senile state of mankind, a human is a human, and a life should be considered to be invaluable, not negotiable for a greater good.

    This is the position of many members of the President's Council for Biomedical Research on the creation and destruction of embryos for research. What then would the Council (the majority, remember, agree that the embryo deserves some sort of "special respect,") think of someone who does it for the sake of art—in order to incite dialogue in arena already overflowing with heated opinions? What would they think of someone who does it for fun?

    We call an embryo of our species a "human embryo" because we know that it is what we once were. We are and always have been, in every stage of our development, humans. The individual reading this must consider that in his or her life there is some potential for his or her special qualities, skills, or some purpose he or she will fulfill. We cannot place a moral value on individual embryos because we have yet to discover in what way their potential development and life will benefit society. In using human embryonic stem cells for research (or art) we have predetermined the value of these human beings, and essentially forced them into involuntary servitude.

    No individual can claim that these embryos would not develop into human beings sharing many of our same characteristics; for this reason we should not attempt to deny the human nature of these individuals. Instead we should encourage them toward their full development and allow them their freedom to choose to do with their lives as they please. Some claim that the embryos are not developed to be destroyed, but are developed to benefit humanity, and for this reason we should respect them. Inherent within this claim is the gross oversight that we have taken away their right to choose to (or how to) benefit humanity and have created them for imminent destruction. The rationalization that is used to comfort individuals because of the knowledge of potential gains is just that--a rationalization. In order to make it acceptable for us to destroy nascent human life, we devalue them. Life should not be conceived, nor created, to be used without consent, and then destroyed, or to use the far more accurate term, life should not be conceived to be

  • j

    Honestly, it is HER choice to do whatever she wants with her body. She is expressing herself on a completely different level and people are taking this far too personal. Leave her alone - I think she's brave and brilliant as an artist. After all, throughout history artists have always been the forerunners in innovation. If you have a problem with it, don't look.

  • Anonymous

    To: Molly Clark-Barol

    I have been shaking with anger and repulsion trying to find the words to express my thoughts. You have hit the nail on the head. Bravo.

  • Patrick

    If Yale University allows this to happen, they are by default approving this expression of a callous trampling of the sanctity of life. Whether you hold fast to deontology or consequentialism, the reality is Yale has the right and RESPONSIBILITY to govern what is taught and promoted on campus. It is their building and their campus, not this disturbed individual's privately owned dwelling. I hope they act responsibly, and I hope everyone who has payed one dime of tuition or otherwise contributed to Yale's revenue raises cain. This idea would never have been upheld at my undergraduate institution. Don't let it happen at yours!

  • Carrie

    You cannot tell me this wasn't done for shock value. This is not art and the human body. This is a girl harming her own body, screwing with other people's lives and emotions(the boys, her parents, whoever lived with her) to call as much attention to herself without screaming.

  • brin

    Simply put:


  • any girl

    All this self important girl wants is just what we are giving her..attention. We live in a disposable society…obviously this pathetic megalomaniac thinks life is disposable as well. She deserves nothing more than pity. What a lost little girl.

  • ThisisArt?

    How can you get pregnant, video tape yourself aborting the fetus, take the remains smear it on something, then repeat and call it art? What ever happened to actually having a skill and a paint brush and a canvas? This is not art this is morbid. Reguardless of religous or spirtual beliefs, she killed living beings with heartbeats, all in the name of art. This is disgusting and make me sick reading it.

  • Liz

    As a woman who has had three miscarriages this is one more slap in the face.

  • Alum

    There was a moment in the Army-McCarthy hearings in 1954 when Joe McCarthy lost whatever credibility he had by attacking the loyalty of soldiers who had won medals for heroism. The piercing moment came when an old lawyer from Boston, Joseph Welsh, asked McCarthy: "Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you no sense of decency?"

    Aliza: same question (drop the 'sir'). To one who values academic freedom, artistic freedom, freedom of choice, this is appalling. Have you no sense of decency?

    And Yale: abortions for credit? Really?

  • the lerpa

    I think this is a wonderful piece that raises awareness about how beautiful the process of abortion can be.

  • anonymous

    This makes me weep. This poor girl is such a mess - how did she ever get into Yale. Or have the Ivies become so liberal that their students have become little Goebels under their tutelage? I am glad that she had these boys tested so that she would not become ill while she murdered. Some day, when this girl actually wants to have a child, she will realize that she has conditioned her body to spontaneously abort life. This is a tragedy and I agree the art teacher supervising this project needs to be fired.

  • A disgusted mother!!

    This girl should be ashamed of herself!! As a mother of 2 toddler boys and someone who has had a miscarriage, I have to say this girl is pitiful!!! I'll be blunt and if I ever met her I think I'd kick her ass. This isn't art, it's shameful!! She purposely put made her body get rid of the pregnancy, which isn't a miscarriage; it's an abortion!!! I'm pro-choice in certain cases and pro-life in others and this just disgusts me!! Something has to be done so this so-called "art" is not displayed!!! It's totally offensive to people, especially mothers like me who have had a miscarriage. It's a very hard thing to deal with. I was in a deep depression when I had mine. What's she's doing is purposely killing a human life!!!! Something needs to be done about her!!!!

  • Lindsey Faith

    This is the most disgusting thing I've ever heard. The "artist" clearly has no soul or has some type of psychiatric issue. This is a murderous crime against humanity and she is no better than the Nazi "doctors" who experimented on helpless people during the Holocaust and I'm disgusted to see that Yale chooses to support and even showcase this flagrant disregard of the sanctity of human life. It's truly evil.

  • Hiliary Clarke

    I am basically on the fence about pro-life pro-choice but this project has utterly disgusted me. I am completely shocked. I will be surprised if Aliza's advisor is not fired for allowing such a careless attempt at playing god. This is the most repulsive thing I have heard of in a very very long time.
    I just really don't know what to say. I hope Aliza Shvarts is severly repremanded for this pathetic attempt to pass murder off as "art". Anything can be viewed as art but that certainly does not make it okay.

  • Anonymous

    How can a person say that they are in favor of women's choice when it comes to the life of an unborn child and not extend that choice to this young woman? Can you see the contradiction? Taking the life of an unborn child is either right or it's wrong.

  • Mr. Fun Guy

    I hope she shows pictures of her inseminating herself. I would definitely attend the exhibition if she showed that!!! And closeups, too!

  • MOM OF 5


  • Allison

    Okay, okay…since no one else has stepped up to the plate, let me be the first with the gumption to say this chick has a screw loose and so does anyone who approves of this. There, I've said it. I don't care if she wants to hide behind the euphemism of "artistic expression", it's still what it is--twisted. If I tack a bunch of used feminine products up on a posterboard and say it is "art", I doubt I'm going to get more than a wrinkled nose as a reaction--unless I show it to a bunch of twisted people who are desperately trying to find redeeming qualities in anything and everything under the sun, no matter how disgusting, depraved, or devoid of meaning. On the other hand, if I hack off my toe, wrap it in cling wrap, and dangle it from my ceiling for a conversation piece, do you think ANYONE who cares anything about me is going to stand back and seriously contemplate its artistic merit? No…they'll bundle me up and cart me off to the nuthouse, er, psychiatric ward--that, or call upon the courts/legal system to do it for them. Why isn't this chick already under sedation/undergoing therapy, and why does any instructor who approved of this still have a job? I'm pro-choice all the way, but that doesn't matter. The girl is just nuts.

  • Stephanie

    This story/project makes me sick to the stomach. I can't believe anyone could have approved this disgusting showcase of unethical, inhumane behavior, and I truly believe that Yale needs to rethink their boundaries on what constitutes "art" and what is downright immoral and the most awful, pitiful exhibition of one of the darkest sides of mankind.

  • JC

    Take action: write your comments to Yale's President:

    Ask the President to cancel the display and reception. This is deeply disturbing whether you’re a proponent of Choice or Life. I hold Yale accountable for allowing this project to be approved, but going further to display it publicly exacerbates the situation. I hope Yale will have the courage to remove this misfortune from public viewing.

  • Thomas Hawk
  • Timmeh

    To purposely get yourself pregnant just to kill the fetuses for an art project. This person

    is a sicko. I can't even think of anything smart-assed to say about it because it's so

    unbelievably mind-boggling how you can can create a life just to kill it - FOR AN ART

    PROJECT!!! Is this woman insane. But thank God she's practicing her First Amendment Rights!

    Her parent's must be proud?

  • hugh

    Personally, I prefer using Adobe Illustrator.

  • Orlando

    This will be all over the national news in the next days. Stop the maddness now before it becomes an all out trainwreck for Yale.

  • Julie

    This could very well be one of the saddest things that I have heard.

    Someone commented on how sad it is to see this girl harm her body in this way, but so do all abortions. Why do members of the pro-choice movement not recognize that. All abortions are so harmful and leave women scarred

    As a pro-life member, I can't see this as anything other than her choice to kill her own children. The womb used to be the safest place for a baby, it has now become, literally, the most dangerous place. This "art" project has proved my point. What gives a women the right to kill her own child? Then, what's even more sad and twisted, to put her children on display, with a movie that shows herself killing her babies.

    If this doesn't open the eyes of people, I truly don't know what tradgedy will. Just think for a second, what makes you so angry with this "art" project? Try to imagine now, billions of babies in the womb having this same thing happen to them by their mothers.

    I hope you don't think the pro-life movement is out to "win" something with this. That we will have a field day with what she has done. We want to stop the slaughtering of innocent children who don't have a voice. So no, we won't rejoice in this, we will pray for an end and hope that the pro-choice movement will see the harm and danger of a situation like this in order to end all abortion.

    Her babies don't have a voice but you do. Do something about this!

  • JA

    It's consoling to see that people will still post honest reactions balanced with their personal poliical opinions while taking account both sides. Well, except dove. You still see the world in black and white, and fail to see the line between legal choices and freedom mediated by morality. A woman has the right to choose, trusting that she appreciates the gravity and consequences of her choice; that's why this 'art' project is so abhorrent to pro-lifers and pro-choicers; this student doesn't get either side. And neither do you, dove. What a troll.

  • Anonymous

    good lord. if this girl and her professor aren't forcefully removed from the premises, consider my transfer app filed…

  • Tomas

    This is the most revolting and transparent act of self-promotion I have ever heard of. I imagine she thinks of herself as a visionary who is braving the tides of philistinism, but her statement about trying to engage debate is a laughable veil for an ego that requires recognition at any cost to the advancement of humanity.

    The connection between art and the human body? Is she serious?! What about the connection between freedom and responsibility? An artist's voice, when thoughtfully cultivated and deployed, can be a powerful instrument of change, but it seems that the only thing she is interested in changing is her anonymity.

    Yale should hang its head in shame. Aliza may have a head full of art theory, but her concept of art betrays a stunning lack of respect for the human condition. Without that, her work is nothing more than an agent of shock.

    What a self-serving fool. What a sad state of affairs for Yale.

  • Oh, haha

    So this is just some sick publicity stunt?

  • Jason

    Goes to show even educated people can be absolutely ignorant. All readers will think I'm some sort of pig…..but in a different time and a different place I would give this dummy a tremendous s!*t kicking, put her in a box and show a film on the side of it….of me taking a c@*p on her head. Maybe I would be given an honorary Art Degree?

  • Heather

    This woman sounds unstable. I guess Yale has lowered it's standards. She's sickening!

  • Kate Quinn

    Not only is this trivializing abortion (which I will not speak on here, as others so eloquently have - suffice it to say it is disgusting), but she is also the reality that is miscarriage for so many women world wide; as well as the heartache and trauma that it causes! I'm sickened beyond words at this, and ashamed that any professor at ANY university would come close to commending this!

  • Neil LaBute

    I liked it better when she bought Paul Rudd new clothes and fixed his nose.

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    I respect free speech and have a great appreciation for art but neither are embodied by Yale allowing this project to be displayed. This "exhibit" is an abuse of our freedom to chose and a blatant disregard for the creation of human life

  • Unknown Ideal

    The real abortion is Aliza Shvarts's termination of the use of her mind. THAT is the true moral crime.

  • Anonymous

    I am horrified that some advisor approved of this. Creating children to be deliberatly destroyed is murder. I think she should be stripped of her credit and her advisor should be relieved of their tenure. Thank God I never got into Yale if this is what your students are taught is art

  • anon

    The article says she "artificially inseminated herself". I'd like to know whose term this is, the artist's or the reporter's. Either way someone is confused about the definition of the term.

  • Jim

    Yale really has some brilliant ones in attendance….

  • marc

    "I think this is a wonderful piece that raises awareness about how beautiful the process of abortion can be."

    Are you joking?

  • Mike

    Hey #16 - WTF does her being jewish have to do with anything? I assure you, plenty of Jews, secular and religous alike, are absolutely appaled by this, and would like nothing better than to see her and her misguided excuses for advisors reprimanded, fired, ostracized, etc. I don't think what she did was illegal, though may certainly wish it had, and those who favor choice know she's done a huge disservice to the cause. So, I suppose she should not be prosecuted. But one has to be able to interpret Yale's student code as prohibiting this kind of abusive behavior. She should be expelled and have no credit. Any lenders should pull her student loans. No book deal. No TV interview (I'm talking to you Oprah!). No future employment. No government provided health benefits when her unemployed ass experiences complications of her moronic actions. Only future item I want to see on this is Drudge letting us know that the appropriate people were fired or expelled.

  • Mike

    "How can a person say that they are in favor of women's choice when it comes to the life of an unborn child and not extend that choice to this young woman? Can you see the contradiction? Taking the life of an unborn child is either right or it's wrong.

    Certainly it is wrong but it would also be wrong to force a women to have a baby if that pregnancy had a high chance of causing her death.

    So at what point do the wrongnesses balance? 50% risk to life, 25% risk to life? This seems like an issue to be decided by the person who's life is on the line (the mother) not any outside agency. This reason alone is enough for me to want the Government to keep its hands off. I certainly am unwilling to gamble someone elses life.

  • Anonymous


  • JoAnn H

    I am soooo thoroughly offended. I too am a pro-life but believe that each woman should make that decision to live with. I just cannot believe that Yale would allow this. Aliza did not get pregnant due to rape, incest or accidental. This was maliciously pre-meditated over and over… And to call this art? This is murder. This is clearly a crime and people need to look at ways to prosecute this…

  • Anonymous

    It was the most beautiful thing I've ever heard of, and I wish I could see it in person.

  • HS Teacher

    I have only two years left in my career as a teacher. I have written numerous letters of recommendation for current students and graduates of Yale…If this is what passes for art in New Haven, I cannot in good conscience recommend any others.

  • Anonymous

    And to think Yale began as a Divinity School. I am repulsed and completely offended by this "woman". May God have mercy on her soul.

  • anonymous

    I'm struggling for words.

    What we put out into the universe the universe gives back. She will get what is coming to her as a result of this… I won't even call it an "art project" as it is clearly not.

  • adhominem

    The comments thus far have mainly focused on a bunch of arguments: "This isn't art," "This artist is mentally deranged," and of course "Abortion is wrong." We should not conflate these arguments. Body art and performance art has a strong history, a strong precedent, and international renown and respect from major galleries and art critics. These artists have been doing work that relates directly to Aliza's project since the 70s and before: Chris Burden and Matthew Barney, who both are Yale College alumni, Marina Abramovic, Carolee Schneemann, Vito Acconci, Kiki Smith, Cindy Sherman…the list goes on. These artists have all explored the boundaries of violence, abjection, self-scrutiny, self-destruction, nihilism…look at any of these artists’ well-known works and you’ll realize that Aliza’s project is not an “cry for attention from a middle-class spoiled Yalie” (which is an unfounded, insanely misogynistic, comment that has nothing to do with the work!)

    It is not a fair argument to latch on to some element of art and immediately stop trying in any way to understand it, only to criticize the "moral depravity" that the art contains. The argument that "this is not art" is idiotic, short-sighted, and solipsistic: it can be made about anything anybody finds objectionable. People have been making the same argument about art since the 70s. If it’s not art, then what is? What’s the boundary? Are we stuck looking Monet for the rest of our lives? Only pleasant things?

    I understand how somebody can think that abortion is wrong; I don’t think it’s fair in the least to extrapolate anti-abortion sentiment into a personal attack on Aliza, the art she created, or the well-respected tradition of body art/performance art in which she’s operating.

  • Rae

    I agree with comment #41, whatever happened to these art majors having artistic talent?

  • Hieronymus

    One wonders what her parents think.

    Dear Mr. & Mrs. Shvarts:

    Is this what you hoped for when leaving Russia? Britain? And coming to the US? Is this the "freedom" you envisioned?

    Congratulations; you must be very…proud.

    Mr. Shvarts: are you a religious man? Or was any religiosity snuffed by the Party.

    "In Judaism, the easiest way to conceptualize a fetus in halacha is to imagine it as a full-fledged human being -- but not quite. In most circumstances, the fetus is treated like any other "person." Generally, one may not deliberately harm a fetus. But while it would seem obvious that Judaism holds accountable one who purposefully causes a woman to miscarry, sanctions are even placed upon one who strikes a pregnant woman causing an unintentional miscarriage. That is not to say that all rabbinical authorities consider abortion to be murder. The fact that the Torah requires a monetary payment for causing a miscarriage is interpreted by some Rabbis to indicate that abortion is not a capital crime4 and by others as merely indicating that one is not executed for performing an abortion, even though it is a type of murder. There is even disagreement regarding whether the prohibition of abortion is Biblical or Rabbinic. Nevertheless, it is universally agreed that the fetus will become a full-fledged human being and there must be a very compelling reason to allow for abortion."

  • Mysti

    Uno, I just read an article where a man found a starving dog. He tied it up in an art gallery, and let it die. People gawked and saw his version of 'art'.
    I replied to that story, saying something like… this is a travesty, what's next? we kill small children and call it 'art'.

    Boy, I guess I was right.

    This women should be charged with murder of every life she took. And I hope that someday, she wants to have children and can't because she has scarred her body so.

    I have had two miscarriages. I have mourned the loss of two wonderful lives. I have been trying to have another child for over 2 years.

    This women has countless, and voluntarily kills them, then calls it art? I am ashamed to have her attending a college that is supposed to be reputable. I don't just blame her. Her professer, and the administration at Yale is to blame as well, for their obvious disregard for human life.

    A freakin' travesty.

    She will pay for her sins.

  • Anonymous

    Her family must be so proud.

    Yes. I'm being sarcastic.

  • Anonymous

    Wow, where is your human subjects committee? I really hope she gets sued or taken to court!

  • Graduate of a non Ivy League School

    If this is what students are doing in Ivy League Colleges, I am proud of my non Ivy League diploma.

  • Anonymous

    Morally debased, psychologically disturbed, and quite possibly mentally ill. Not to mention the ultimate in attention-seeking self-centeredness. She is to be pitied.

  • Anonymous

    The moral issues of abortion aside, if I were living in New Haven, I would call the Health Department because I have a feeling that this woman's use of the expelled material from her body as a medium for her art project just might violate several public health codes.

    I'm being really neutral here because it was just eleven years ago March 12th that we lost our second child to a real miscarriage. It wasn't a work of art and to treat it as such would be a travesty, but then again, perhaps that's what this girl wanted….

  • Dan Lococo

    No wonder we're getting our asses kicked around the World in education.

  • Law Student in CA

    I really don't know where to begin with this.

    Shock. Horror. Sadness. Amazement. Disgust. Pity.

    Then again, considering the 3000+ abortions that take place each day in this country alone, does "celebrating" it in this way really make it more immoral?

    Can murder be made worse by turning it into "art"?

    Can our cultural pornography of death get much worse?

    God, forgive us.

  • Erin Harpst

    I can understand the concept of wanting to display the human body as a form of art. But I cannot believe that this student seriously thought that such a project was the best, most innovative or original way to do this.

    Human body as art? In 2000 Sebastian Horsley had himself crucified for the sake of his art. I am not suggesting that the student ought to have had herself crucified instead, but it seems it would make just as much sense. At least Horsley was only hurting himself.

    I don't even consider myself religious or pro-life, but this project involves so much moral turpitude it makes my insides writhe. I agree that action ought to be taken against the advisor, and I hope that the student gets psychological help. This is not an art project.

  • Brock Landers

    It was the right thing to do. She HAD to do this.

  • Indychic

    Well, no "babies" have died. She's aborting embryos/fetuses. I think this is a waste of time and energy…and I think she's just trying to get attention.

    This is a slap in the face to those who have worked at maintaining a woman's right to choose. For that reason, it wouldn't surprise me if she was some anti-choice zealot. This makes a mockery of women who make a very personal choice to end a pregnancy. No one pro-choice and who really upholds women's health would at all support GETTING PREGNANT on purpose to have repeated terminations, nor would a pro-choice person even support women using pregnancy termination as a means of birth control. Let alone would a pro-choice person support women using pregnancy termination as a means of art (in my opinion of course).

    This woman is absurd. Her project was absurd. There's no justifying it…art or not.

  • Anonymous

    I personally would not shed a tear if someone aborted this student from this life.

  • Anonymous

    Well, at least it's her children that were aborted.

  • Anonymous

    I don't know why all you pro choice people are upset. You keep saying a fetus is nothing but a bunch of cells that you have a right to kill even if the only reason is that the pregnancy is inconvenient. Maybe this will make you rethink your views. Congrats Yale. You now probably have a very tiny feet, hands, fingernails, eyes, ears and brain tissue smeared on an art project and displayed in one of your halls.

  • Anonymous

    What a sad situation this is. An immature young woman risks her health to promote a grotesque display of "art". All this to "inspire some sort of discourse"…discourse on what exactly?
    To Ms. Shvarts: The only discourse to result from this will be a discussion on exactly what the hell is wrong with you. If the advisor Ms. Lindman was made fully aware of the details of this "project" and sanctioned it, she should be fired. Immediately. At no time should an adult in a position of leadership and guidance allow a kid to risk their health in such a serious manner.

  • Anonymous

    Wanna-be Frida Kahlo

  • etz hayim

    It appears that the art world, academic or otherwise, is in serious trouble, if for no other reason that this realm could "sponsor" such an unfortunate perversion. The student involved sounds like an absurd--and embarrassing--set of "High Art" world cliches. It's twisted competition for shock value. She is taking her own blood, playing with her health as if it were a sport, and, not accidentally, using yards and yards of plastic to "make her point" in her exhibit. The exhibit--and this senior project--is one reflection of a civilization running off the rails.

  • Rev Ric

    If Aliza is dumb enough to think people are gullible enough to believe her when she says it was not done for shock value but to open dialogue on the body a a medium for art blah blah. She has no right to even have a degree from a community college. She fully intended to cause a contraversy nationally to feed her overly bloated ivy leauge ego.
    Admissions should be kicking themselves for letting this mouth breathing pin head into your intitiution.

  • bob

    This is right up there with the Monalisa.

  • Uh OH.

    I am staunchly pro-choice. But I am disturbed by and disagree with the manner in which Aliza decided to convey her perception of what art should mean (which is ambiguous from the article). What is her goal of producing this art - obviously besides promoting discussion? What is her justification?

    I am afraid that Aliza's art will have a backlash on the pro-choice movement and completely justify the cause of the anti-choice movement. The means through which she completed her project -- impregnating herself for the sole purpose of aborting -- only reinforces the stereotype of the irresponsibly sexually active woman that the anti-choice movement feeds upon. Also, people must remember to distinguish pro-choice from pro-abortion.

  • Anonymous

    It is obviously a hoax.

  • Occam

    Anyone thought to actually _check_ the veracity of the claims? Wouldn't be the first time that an artist claimed to have done something shocking solely to elicit a strong reaction.

  • Hieronymus

    Whether or not this turns out to be a hoax (and I, for one, hope it does), Shvarts' actions trivialize a woman's right to choose, and may end up sending on-the-fencers over to the anti-abortion camp.

    As I stated before: Mom & Dad must be so proud.

  • Valkyrie

    If generating a reaction is all that art is about these days, I have a doozy of an idea for a senior project. The subject is bowel movements. I can collect specimens for display of various colors and shapes and even include some non-human samples for variety. In all seriousness, "art" has become a joke for most of the last half of the 20th century and now is beyond farce. Vomiting on your neighbor's laptop will get a reaction, but it is not art. Or am I allowed to say that at all in our postmodern sicko university climate?

  • Anonymous


  • Aidge

    I think her message is awesome… she is not afraid of judgment, she doesn't care if other people can't understand why she did it. I think her political message is profound for not only the pro-choice movement, but for the right-to-die movement that seems to be forever stalled in the U.S. Terry Schiavo was one small step for right-to-die… this could be the next big advancement disguised as controversy. Remember the naysayers who declared heresy when intelligent men dared to say the world was round? How awful! How dare they! Well… it takes a brave, controversial act to take baby steps into the realm of freedom and truth and enlightenment. You may disagree and be appalled by what this lady has done, but could that simply be because you've been brainwashed by the "ethics" of the close-minded elite? This woman needs to be applauded… People are trying to condemn her, and judge her, and stifle her views… and she will become a martyr for taking her freedom to new heights. My body… my control. Don't try to call what she did "gambling with life"… statements like those take away gains of the pro-choice movement. Since when are we back to calling fertilization and the resulting cell mass "life" ?

  • april

    Us women fought for our right to choose and this is just a slap in the face to women everywhere. It's a sad day in America when stuff like this happens just for our entainment. I think this person has gone to far…

  • yale schmale

    I smell a hoax….

  • Anonymous

    Will the Yale administration have the courage not to include this heinous, depraved display in the Senior art exhibit? Will they have the courage to dismiss the advisor and fail the student?

  • Joe

    Grotesque. Horrific. Puerile. I’m sure I can come up with a few more adjectives to describe this purported “project.” There’s a difference between being controversial in order to provoke a meaningful conversation that highlights different points of view and something that’s revolting simply because of the fact that, well, it’s revolting. I certainly hope that Mom and Dad Shvarts are proud of the ghoulish little monster they’ve raised.

  • mc

    This is truly barbaric…to intentionally impregnate yourself and then purposely abort it, this is one sick individual…she should seek psychiatric help. I personally think this should be illegal. At the very least, it is highly immoral…I feel sorry for her parents, they must be horrified.

  • GMA

    THis woman, Shvarts, is clearly in need of serious mental health counseling. Failing that, her next art project should consist of drilling large holes in her head and discuss what, if anything, comes out.

  • DJK2004

    Are you people nuts?!? This is the caliber of people that Yale accepts these days?!

    Shvarts, I will pray for you and any of your dead children. But you're a psycho!

    Who wants to bet that she'll be voting democrat (possibly Obama) in the fall?

  • spleeny

    I think it's really funny how this girl is causing a huge fuss by making videos of herself having her period.

    I don't think any abortion drugs are 100% safe or effective, especially if used that many times. She hasn't consulted a doctor or worried about her health because there is no need to do so. Therefore, there will be no record of the fact that she was never pregnant.

  • anonymous

    thank you #49. Furthermore, I am shocked and appalled that the commenters here can't see beyond their own personal tragedies/dilemmas and can so easily slip into a discourse which advocates violence against this artist. it's you who should be ashamed.

    good grief people. you may not agree with her actions, but this comes down to a *fundamental* - either you agree that a woman has the right to govern her own body under any circumstance or you don't.

  • rex

    Re: Victoria
    "I think it is a mockery of the process in which a woman goes through before, during, and after an abortion."

    but WHY? The important thing is to think hard about WHY you are feeling so disgusted by this. WHERE are your feelings coming from? Your gut reaction is meaningless. Let's talk about why we're appalled so that we can figure out something constructive about ourselves, rather than brush her off as insane.

    "It doesn't provoke discussion or debate"

    There are over a hundred comments on this article posted only a few hours ago. There will doubtless be hundreds more by the end of the week. How is this not provoking discussion?

  • ^

    I would say there is a difference in the circumstances, wouldn't you?

  • IntellectuallyHonest

    I feel like Miss Shvarts is the victim here. Is she not just taking the "truths" of our society and drawing them out to their logical conclusions? She has obviously been told that the following things are true:

    1. She has the right to do what she wants with her body.

    2. Newly conceived human life is only as valuable as its parents say it is (e.g. parents deeply mourn miscarriages of wanted babies, yet unwanted embryos are casually destroyed all the time during in vitro fertilization).

    3. It is neither immoral nor criminal to destroy fetuses.

    Do we accept these things as true, or not? I feel like she is being further victimized by people who insist that the above three things are true yet insist on shaming her for her actions.

  • Orly??

    Not ONE person here thinks the entire thing might be fake? Come on, this is ridiculous. I see an apology and pulling of grant funds for fraud in the near future for this girl.

  • Ana

    This "professor" should be fired, the student should be put in a mental institution asap. This is just utterly sad. Where was the professor in all of this? What were her friends doing? Her parents? Why did no one stop her?!

  • Marlowe

    How is this disgusting art project any different from a artistic display of lampshades made from the skin of Concentration Camp victims?

    Would Yale consider such a disgusting "art" display? If not, then why are they allowing this?

  • Anonymous

    Simple question to all those who decry this as a mockery of art (or something to that effect): what is art? I'm not asking for a dictionary definition or anything absolute necessarily. Rather, I'm suggesting that for someone to be absolutely confident and definitively certain that this is not art because it is obscene, provocative, disturbing, and, quite frankly, shocking, obliges that one to provide a standard by which to deem this not art and thus to say, to some meaningful extent, what art is.

    Secondly, for those so confident that any rationalizing of this art is wrong, what standard are you using? Obviously, many people are having visceral reactions to this piece. Clearly, it touches a chord with many people, but I hardly see any reason why that justifies silencing it. If anyone is against Shvarts rationally explaining (or at least attempting to) her artwork, then I question what reasonable grounds that one has to oppose it. Put simply, if you would implore reason to condemn Shvarts, you must allow her to make a case in her defense and then you must give comprehensive reasons as to why her art is 1) objectionable and 2) should not have been approved or should be silenced (points 1 and 2 are two separate and distinct arguments). Do I find her work disturbing? Yes. Why? Because I think it a flagrant disregard for aesthetics and common decency, but I don't buy the arguments that this constitutes murder (life does not start at conception--there is no brain, heart, nervous system, consciousness, etc. at that point), nor do I see how this warrants a reversal of abortion rights. Furthermore, I see no reason to assume procedure wasn't followed in approving this project, nor do I see why the University ought to have opposed it any point, let alone now.

    Quite frankly, a lot of people are just spouting emotional sentiments and then demanding that everyone subscribe to these same sentiments and reach the same (irrational) conclusions. Unfortunately for these polemicists, the reasoning doesn't fly. Your emotions, no matter how widely shared, do not justify your attempt to control the actions of any others, and if you think they do, consider how well that reasoning could be used against any number of us in response to any unconventional taste any one of us might have. Again, I understand that this artwork is not trivial, but that some people disagree or are appalled seems to be a terribly useless and counterproductive means by which to judge the expediency or power (or right to exist) of art. Also, the argument that the University approving something as a project/club/activity/etc. amounts to an endorsement, tacitly or otherwise, is demonstrably absurd. Clearly, the University sponsors many contradictory projects (e.g. CLAY and RALY) the existence of which cannot possibly imply any coherent University stance on many issues.

    It is unfortunate that so many contributers to this dialog are reckless and/or unrefined in their reasoning, but I nonetheless agree that the dialog promoted by this art supports its existence and approval.

  • Mike

    I think it's pretty sick. The right to choose abortion is not even close to the same thing as this… :-?

    There is a point where something.. even when legal is going way too far.. You can defend yourself when someone swings at you, but if you then procede to beat them unconscious, then keep going until they die, then go beat their children.. then you've gone to far. Yeah, I know it's not the same thing, but what can you compare this too…

    I think she's an idiot that doesn't deserve press she'll get over this.. because that's what she wants. It will be interesting to see if she still wants it when it doesn't turn in her favor, because I don't believe any official group will back this as a smart or good idea.

  • Duh

    You people don't really believe this do you - this is a hoax, so one could do what she says she is doing - what "drugs" is she taking - how did she impregnate herself - get a clue, she just wants to get her 15 minutes of fame - don't fall for it.

  • concerned

    So is this true or not.
    Newsbusters has a blog that says no way is this true

  • Keaton

    After posting and reading other’s comments I am convinced that this is either a joke or that Shvarts’ will announce that her art is just ketchup, plastic wrap, and grainy video; all conjured to illicit a visceral response and breathe life to her art – no pun intended. And if it is neither, get her help.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with the other posters that the artist’s acts were morally repugnant.
    But from an artistic point-of-view, the simultaneous destruction of diametrically opposed arguments on such a compelling issue is a near perfect expression of nihilism.
    On the one hand, by taking a “choice” argument to its logical extreme, she tests anyone’s ability to support “choice” as an absolute value.
    But on the other, any use of this “piece” to advance a “sanctity of life” argument would be self-contradictory as it would require subordinating the lives of the aborted fetuses to the external end.
    I intend it a compliment when I call this carefully-constructed pointlessness.
    Nevertheless, and as I said before, I think this was wrong. As a law student (can you tell?) I’m feeling better about my own morally ambiguous career choices right now . . .

  • Brian

    I'm in awe. I'm an internet junkie. I love viral videos of people injuring themselves in stupid, Darwin-award type ways. Not that I'm looking for major injury, but just to see how dumb and careless people can be given the right circumstances.

    This story shocked me in a way I thought I was desensitized to: How in the world does this happen? And it's in the paper the day the Pope is in the U.S.? Even as a non-Catholic, the irony is not lost on me. This is an offense to God, in whose image mankind was created, and an offense to any human being who has an ounce of good sense, a moral compass that doesn't point straight to Hell, or even a basic respect for life, whether animal, human, plant or whatever.

    Yale doesn't need to pull the project from display: I agree with the earlier poster, who advised all the art students in this display pull their projects in protest. Show solidarity with ACTUAL humans.

  • Anonymous

    Political correctness is responsible for this lunacy. No one is allowed to criticize anything anymore because it might hurt the artist's feelings and without criticism everything becomes art. PC morons think they're enlightened by saying everything is relative and in the process feed both their ego and that of the artist.

    This is more evidence the college one goes to doesn't matter as long as it is moderately respected; It might even be better because you avoid professors thinking they're making progress by doing these outlandish stunts just because they're ivy league.

  • Jodi

    I think some commenters here are missing the point. Obviously I'm guessing here to a certain extent, as I've only read a description of the work and not either viewed it myself or heard the artist address the work herself. But in the current political climate in this country, Shvarts's project could make a profound argument for better sex education and access to reproductive health treatment. I'm not saying that her project isn't unsettling, because of course it is, and I'm not really interested in getting sucked into an argument about right and wrong regarding abortion. But try, for a moment, to put the knee-jerk reactions aside and engage with this work on an intellectual level. Perhaps there's more going on here than attention-getting, and it's unfair to dismiss this artist's intentions outright as some sort of repulsive stunt.

    Further, no professor put a student's health at risk here. The student, an adult, made her own choices. Women have been using herbs to induce miscarriage for thousands of years, so it's doubtful that what the student has done is all that unsafe (although there may be some risk involved in doing so repeatedly in such a short time, I'll admit I'm no expert).

    The lack of reproductive health care forces women to do these things. The lack of adequate birth control options forces women to do these things. It's never an easy or happy choice. Perhaps this is part of what the work is about.

    The French performance artist Orlan undergoes repeated plastic surgeries in order to challenge our perceptions of beauty and the lengths we will go to in order to achieve it. Shvarts's project ought to be viewed in a similar vein if we are to try to make any sense of what she's done.

    Finally, it's disheartening to hear people saying that a project like this only proves the meaninglessness of artists in today's world. The job of artists has always been to question and comment on the society in which they live. In my mind, this artist is doing just that, no matter how gross or disturbing the results are.

  • Bert

    The thing that is most interesting to me is that it appears to show a lack of understanding of how pregnancy works. Possibly by the artist, and certainly by the reaction.

    It takes a bit of luck to get a viable pregnancy in 9 months of trying. 9 periods with or without herbal abortion drugs doesn't mean 9 pregnancies terminated. It probably doesn't mean one pregnancy terminated.

    So, she is most likely just fussing around with menstrual blood, which was pretty pedestrian community-college level shock art 20 years ago. Well trodden territory by now.

    The transgression here is the misrepresentation of biology. Unless the punchline is that Yale art professors didn't pay attention in 8th grade health class either.

  • Anonymous

    Frankly, all this discussion about her moral depravity is beside the point. I don't feel the need to spark anymore discussion about pro-life, pro-choice, blah blah blah. Simply put, this is a terrible work of art. From an aesthetic stanpoint, you might as well throw pig's blood against a white wall. From a "social standpoint", it says nothing. Sure, it's vulgar, but whatever message it is supposed to get across is convoluted and trite. Simply, it's awful.

  • Ozymandias

    If this is art, Jack the Ripper was Da Vinci. Charles manson is Picasso.

    Its the end of the world.

    God is not dead but art surely is.

  • Scott

    This pig of a woman should be exterminated and her body cremated so that there is no trace of her left on this planet. She is vile and disgusting.

  • deek

    This is most likely a hoax.

    If not, it is the reaping of what the feminists have sown.

    Enjoy the world you helped create lefties.

  • Anonymous

    I really hope this is a sick joke that is being played out and not what has been alleged. If not, Yale is in for a public relations NIGhtmare. Good luck

  • hahaha

    this is so corny! "omg guys i totally can do whatever i want to my body whoa!"

  • WTF

    What kind of normal human being would do that??? Did she ever stop to think about all the women who are unable to conceive? For them to hear of someone inseminating themself on purpose just to abort. That is MURDER!!!! She is a horrible person, and I hope she never becomes a mother.

  • Brian

    I wish her severe complications.

  • Mick B

    I am still having trouble believing this is actually real and not some depraved hoax. The problem I have with some who are pro-choice is that they only celebrate the choice to have an abortion. Not the choice to not have an abortion. What this person did was trivialize not only the lives of the children she killed, but the lives of those who have had unwanted miscarriages. One can only hope she did enough damage to her own body that she will be unable to pollute the world further.

  • NM

    Will the exhibit be available for viewing on the Internet?

  • Lawyer

    Ethical considerations aside, her art project is illegal. She should consider herself fortunate that she's white--women of color have been prosecuted in other states for self-induced abortions.

    CT's public health code is only available in Word, but she can download and read it at:

    Here's the relevant section:

    19-13-D54. Abortions

    (a) No abortion shall be performed at any stage of pregnancy except by a person licensed to practice medicine and surgery in the State of Connecticut.

    (b) All induced abortions will be reported within seven days by the physician performing the procedure to the state commissioner of public health who will maintain such reports in a confidential file and use them only for statistical purposes except in cases involving licensure. Such reports will specify date of abortion, place where performed, age of woman and town and state of residence, approximate duration of pregnancy, method of abortion, explanation of any complications, name and address of the physician. The name of the woman will not be given. These records will be destroyed within two years after date of receipt. In addition, a fetal death certificate shall be filed for each fetus born dead which is the result of gestation of not less than twenty weeks, or a live birth certificate shall be filed for each fetus born alive regardless of gestational age, as provided in sections 7-48 and 7-60 of the General Statutes. If a live born fetus subsequently dies, a death certificate shall be filed as provided in section 7-62 of the General Statutes.



  • mj

    Absolutely disgusting. I believe this woman's mental health should be evaluated along with the professor's. She will have to answer to God on this. I am strictly prolife and actually became ill when I read this article. Yale's status is very low in my eyes.

  • Lace

    Art is Art. Deal with it.

    Congrats, Aliza. You did exactly what you wanted… created discussion.

    I'd say it's a success.

  • no one

    screw the pro-life or pro-choice crap. What about the people who really want to have babies and have truly miscarried? How about some consideration to those who have been mentally and physically destroyed by the lose of a WANTED baby. She has done nothing but mock those people who really have expierenced the wrath of mother nature and in the name of art? she makes me sick!

  • Veritas

    What makes this girl any different from Hitler? This is sickening! This is not art! So, the educated elite think that this is art? This shows how demoralized our educational system has become. I pity any child born to her and born to the men who donated sperm for her atrocity.

    This is a slap in the face to women who have had abortions. This is murder for the unborn children.

  • John Smith

    All bow before the alter of humanism, and watch as another bloody sacrifice is brought before the mighty god Molech. I expect that the scent of the sacrifice is a pleasing fragrance wafting to its high throne made up of the tiny bones of all the unborn and recently born children murdered over the centuries.

    Don't fool yourselves, we have a state religion, it just isn't christianity.

  • Joe

    This is what four years at Yale get you? Damn, now I'm glad I go to Southern.

  • xxx

    Any chance this is a hoax?

    "Art" project is actually seeing how much outrage/media coverage can be incited?

  • ann

    im radically pro choice and i think she should be in jail for serial murder.

  • appalled

    I am appalled at this article and the fact that you are allowing her to continue with this very sick project. I truly feel that the school should insist that this woman seeks psychiatric evaluation and possible commitment for treatment. There is nothing scientific about this. She has made a mockery of what women go through. There are plenty of women who want kids and can't have any who would have gladly had the child or adopted her children. She doesn't have the mentality to understand who completely obsurd this is. Her complete lack of compassion for humanity is applaling. She is no better than a serial killer and I feel legally action should be taken against this very sick woman. I also feel that this is not what we want to be expressing as something that is good or is art. Having had two children and raising them and I lost one in between them I know the pain involved and the beauty of my children. It begs the question "What kind of teachers do we have teaching the children of today, and what are they trying to say with this one?"

  • Anonymous

    The main question is, was she ever pregnant? I have to say most likely no. The "turkey baster" method of implanting semen for impregnation is very ineffective, though known to be successful. Sperm does not live for too long once it hits the open air, so implantation would had to have occurred quickly after the issuing of the fluids. So, to assume that this girl had actually impregnated herself is not a good bet. There is no indication that there was any sort of "controls" placed on her efforts at implantation and, since there was never once any medical care, there is no proof that she ever was pregnant at all.

    Secondly, the so-called "drugs" she used to induce the "miscarriages" are not real drugs. To even call them drugs is misleading. The so-called drugs, the abortifacient drugs, are herbal concoctions that have no medicinal value. The makers of these drugs make unsubstantiated claims that their mixtures cause miscarriage but there are no scientific studies of these claims and the FDA does not regulate these fake drugs under law -- meaning the claims are not accepted as scientific fact. So, Shvarts' claim that she took "drugs" to induce miscarriage is built on the false claims of fake these "drugs."

    Then we have the blood. Nine months gives us at the very least 27 days of menstruation. There is little indication that the blood used in this "art" project is anything other than normal flow.

    So, what do we really have here? No proof of any real impregnation, no proof that the "drugs" taken could really induce miscarriage, and no medical tests to buttress any claims. In other words, we have a hoax. If not a hoax, we have a girl who has no idea what she is talking about and too many willing accomplices in the school and the media to just accept her claims as truth without any logic or science to put such claims to the test.

  • Debra S. Gleason

    I wish I could give this woman a piece of my mind. What she has done is reduce choice to performance art. That is truly despicable, and, given the fact that she was also taking abortifacients, also very reckless.

    Not only does this young woman so thoughtlessly make a mockery of choice, but she also highly insensitive to women who are childless and who badly yearn to hold a baby in their arms. This is callous of her, to say the very least.

    Callous, too, in regards to women who find themselves pregnant and facing a difficult decision. Sure, yes, abortion might be a huge relief, but it's rarely entered into lightly. A number of years ago, I set up a discussion thread where women could speak about their choices without fear of recrimination. It's rare for women to use abortion as a form of birth control.

    Frankly, I think the university should take this exhibit down and this woman ought to get a big, fat "F" and also a harsh lesson in ethics and integrity. Performance art that is used for shock value should NOT be promoted NOR should it be encouraged. Who was this woman's professor? Who were the adults in charge? I don't care how brilliant this woman may be. She needs a good talking to. I don't care if someone is pro choice or pro life. This is highly insensitive and morally repugnant. It's neither performance nor art, as far as I am concerned, but merely a cheap stunt and attention getter. Well, she got my attention all right. And I am deeply offended. I think that Yale ought to condemn it and remove this from display. The only point I see here is that one can do anything in the name of art. Unconscionable.

    Debra S. Gleason
    Chicago, IL

  • anonymous

    Obviously, this child is one very sick puppy. But, fear not. Pope Benedict XVI is in the country. He might be able to spend some time with Aliza and help straighten her out. Afterall, he survived the Nazis and I am sure he is not afraid to tackle the liberal left in America.

  • annonymous

    Abortion = dead liberals

  • Anonymous

    Oh the horror. Out of the best and brightest - horror.

    To Lace:

    It's all about being at the center, isn't it? Narcissism masking as art. Decency doesn't apply when the great gaping maws of your generation's egos scream: Feed Me!

  • jASPER

    Is it to late to abort this "Artist"? Consider it a late term abortion. What a PIG.

  • fuulaluuf

    pro-choicers don't like this?

    well, it appears your the chickens have come home to roost after all…

    and to think, when pro-lifers argued that abortion-on-demand would cheapen and make a mockery of life, you protested: "thats just a ridiculous slippery slope argument!"

    I can understand why pro-choice women don't want a bunch of men deciding what they can and can't do with their body - i think that's just fine: so why can't women come together collectively, without men, and at least come up with some ethical/moral standards on the subject? Fine, don't make them legal standards, but lets face it: this fool took you at your word when you said it's her body and she can do whatever she wants with it without considering the morality of abortion.

    Example: many argue that even if a fetus is a human being, a woman should be able to evict the baby at will, without or without a decent reason. This argument is ridiculous - if I stopped at an accident and began rendering aid to a wounded person - by applying pressure on an artery for instance - but then decided that i was in a rush and left the person to die because I really needed to get to my tanning appointment, most people would at least say I was unethical/immoral (note i didn't say it was necessarily illegal.)

    So why can't women get together and at least come up with some ethical/moral guidelines on abortion? For instance, you could say that getting pregnant and aborting it repeatedly is unethical, and then have the moral ground to scorn those who do.

    Instead, you have left a huge chasm of inhumanity on the left-side of your abortion argument just so you can ensure men never have any say over your bodies. Seriously, most of us men are more than happy to not have anything to do with your body (well, at least before and after sex), but you need to at least take some responsibility for teaching the next generation of girls that there are still standards and there is such a thing as an immoral abortion.

  • D.A.N.C.E.

    College is all about poorly thought out art projects by credibility- and attention-starved students, people. This is what happens when you have a bunch of intellectually privileged kids running around thinking about their boundary-questioning greatness.

    This project will get shut down by the Health Department before it even starts. Preserving an abortion with Saran wrap and vaseline? Why don't we stir up some asbestos, too?

    I can't wait to see this student's post-Yale endeavors. Who would take on this hot potato in the working world (or grad program)?

  • cmkath

    YAWN. Another bored and boring rich kid art major.

  • Rich Hill

    It's the 21st century. How about if artists stop making statements and start making art. Show some skill, show some technique show some discernment. This girl doesn't need a degree, she needs therapy. Nobody really cares about artists' statements. Someone should have arborted her.

  • Scott

    If this woman is an artist and her 'work' is art, then humanity not only owes the NAZI's an apology, we msy now celebrate their sickening slaughter as 'art'. Apparently they were all just misunderstood artists of the highest degree…highest Yale dgree that is.

    All heil professors Hitler, Goering, and Himler, true artists and Yale alumnus.

  • Anonymous

    PETA wouldn't allow you to do this to a dog. This is on scale with tribal human sacrifice. Indeed she should be jailed or put in a psych ward.

  • cYn

    This is a heartbreaker. There is one that suffers here and that is the girl that thinks this is art, but with the generation she grew up in that abortion is the norm what do people expect! The so-called not humans(fetuses) that pro-choice put out are wrong, with a term of 9 months this is a baby! Someones niece,nephew,grandson daughter or son!

  • Habitual-miscarriage Mom

    Wow, had I known, I could have provided, Ms. Shvarts with enough blood, hysterics and despair, not to mention a few perfectly formed 15-week-old fetuses to produce an indisputable "work of art," rather than a contrived carnival sideshow.

    For me (a pro-choicer, and a mom to both a biological child and an adopted child), Ms. Shvarts’ project is unfortunate on so many levels (political, moral, evolutionary….) but her art can be excused due to her ignorance and lack of "real-life" experience. Self-indulgence… that is what I think when I read about this art project…pure, unadulterated, self-indulgence.

    I remember, back in college, when my life was still wrapped-up in a tidy box with a pretty bow on top. Keep in mind, that one day Ms. Shvarts’ might be graciously granted a taste of real-life, not some artistic fodder. And, if she does, I hope she records it and shares it. It will be more impactful and inspirational, providing a better translation of the feelings and the vision she is trying to demonstrate with her current piece. It will be a creation of art in its truest form. Disappointingly, instead she produced the opposite of art by succeeding at flaunting destruction.

  • Mike Trenton II

    This is all about the First Amendment. Let's not follow the gov't down the path of censorship. After all, censorship is becoming America's favorite past-time. The US gov't (and their corporate friends), already detain protesters, ban books like "America Deceived" from Amazon and shut down Ron Paul. Free Speech forever (even for this girl).
    Last link (before Google Books caves to pressure and drops the title):

  • that girl

    How anyone can do that to a child is beyond me.

    But I do have a question?

    So I understand that the law doesnt recognize abortion as murder, BUT! Is there a way that she could get into trouble with the law for the disgusting acts that she has committed? I am not in any way saying that abortion is the right thing to do, as almost having an abortion once myself and not being able to go through it. I dont know how someone could do this to themselves.

    I am deeply saddened by this and I hope that this woman gets the help that she needs, as she is horribly disturbed to think that this horrible act is a work of art.
    As for the instructor to approve something like this, she could have stopped all of this right then and there. The health of a student was on the line and she threw it out the window. I hope that she deals with her choice to to let her do this for the rest of her life.

    …God rest the souls of the beautiful babies whose lives were taken in this horrible act. May they play with the angels in heaven. Amen…

  • Ellen

    This is not a surprise. As "pro-choicers" how can many of you be disgusted. If it is done in a sterile room by a doctor, you fully support it as a woman's right to choose. This "woman" has only brought what is done in secret out in the open. I am so thoroughly saddened by the uselessness of her act(s). Children are precious--all of you were precious to someone--a gift. Every child will have his/her own character, personality, future. How could you ever condone ending life under the guise of a woman's right to choose. Her choice came between the sheets. May the ugliness of what abortions supporters advocate sicken you all.

  • Anonymous

    "I think this is a wonderful piece that raises awareness about how beautiful the process of abortion can be."

    That is the most disgusting thing I've ever heard. How can murder be beautiful? Saying that this is beautiful is one step away from walking into the store across the street, shooting someone, and calling it art.

    Just because the baby hasn't been born doesn't mean it's not alive. For anyone who has ever had a child, you would understand how completely repulsive this is. What's the difference between killing an unborn child and killing the one who was born two days ago?

    I hope that this girl has ruined her ability to ever have children. She doesn't deserve them. Who knows what "art" experiments she would perform on them.

  • Anonymous

    Boy. Terrific reporting here. No verification from the authorities responsible, only claims by a student with a controversial subject matter for a senior project.

    Claims. Many of them. Most of them hard to believe at best. (Anyone out there have miscarriage? No? It's not something that normally repeats without any other impact within a nine month period.)

    Where are the positive pregnancy test results in this whole grand scheme of things?

    I call bullshit.

  • US News & World Report

    Uh oh. This will not be good for Yale's "peer assessment" rating in next year's ranking of America's best colleges.

  • James E.

    It is certainly one of the most disrespectful and offensive actions ever to have taken place on that campus. Based on a liberal reading of the school's conduct codes, this conduct might even amount to sexual and/or religious harassment.

    It is apparent that four years of liberal arts education, aimed at imparting some small portion of Yale's three hundred years of human values, have failed miserably and resulted in nothing. The student's degree should be withheld and the advisors and/or professors who approved this should be fired. When the internet gets hold of this story, this will become a lightning rod for controversy and shame for a distinguished university. What a disgrace.

  • Anonymous

    What about it Dr. Levin? We are deeply offended. Where's the counseling and sensitivity session for those affected?

    I say, Yankee Stadium - This Sunday!

  • greg

    Putting the whole abortion issue aside, this behavior is insane…it's lower than that of animals. If Svarts is not completely bankrupt of morals, she will have to come to terms with the consequenses of her desturbed grasp for attention.

  • Concerned

    To do whatever it is you want to your own body, and call it "art", please. Products of conception are not "art" and anyone that is willing to put themselves through that physically has a mental health disorder in my opinion…

  • Ken

    Absolutely diabolical and a reflection of a world wallowing in apple sauce.. Evil splattered in our faces. KZ

  • College Student

    Ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous. I have to agree with the poster that spoke about the slippery slope effect. I find it idiotic when people say it doesn't exist. But I guess there are no more good ideas or good artists anymore. Any woman can get an abortion. Not every woman can paint like Mary Cassatt, or like Georgia O'Keefe, however. It seems that many of today's "artists" are just privileged and mentally insane legacy sons and daughters whose parents obviously didn't pay them enough attention.

  • Linsey Gould

    Original to say the least. However I can understand the moral implications, and the oncoming army of pro lifers knocking on her doorstep. But then again if someone was truly concerned about saving lives, they wouldn't spend time an resources discussing two aborted fetuses.

  • Yale '09

    I find this all very disturbing. The acts and display in question are indecent and disgusting, though I'm sure that that is very much the point.

    The university has not condoned this activity. "The university" does not observe every decision made by every student. Up until today "the university" probably knew nothing of this project. It will be interesting to see the reaction of the administration.

    As a pro-choice person, this situation is difficult. I still believe that women have the right to an abortion.

    The reason (in response to #49's statement "Taking the life of an unborn child is either right or it's wrong.") is that I believe abortions are "wrong", but so are a large variety of situations where abortions might be sought. In much the same way as lying is "wrong" and hurting others is "wrong", but they may sometimes be acceptable as the lesser of two evils or in self-defense.

  • Jack

    I wonder does she sleep well at night… Or can she sleep at all… I can't believe this is reality. I can't believe this is the world I live in. What is happening to this world? Is this something I'm responsible for? Good Lord… The world is going crazy. Or maybe crazy is too weak word for this. Art you say… May Good have mercy on your soul…

  • Anonymous

    I think she is lying for the sake of discussion.

  • Earnan

    Our decadent society is now entering the shallow waters of a large, deep cesspool.

    This is unreal. How could this happen? I'm at a loss for words.

    I guess this is a result of "anything goes" society.

  • Yersinia

    I love how people start calling her names for trying to incite a debate. She has, hasn't she? I, at first, thought that it would be interesting since I'm probably the epitome of morbid biologist. However, as I read on, I felt saddened. Free speech is fine and dandy and she was rather creative, but how can you do that to yourself? I can't see myself forcing miscarriages…I witnessed my mom after she miscarried several times, it's not a pleasant feeling, and to watch someone do it on purpose, that's just wrong.

    I hope she got what she wanted and that it was worth her time and health to do this because if not, that would be a shame. She'll now be known across the US for doing something that everyone is against and she may be shunned for a long time to come. I hope that she can deal with it.

  • Old Blue '73

    I trust the YDN folk monitoring this string will step in if the abortion debate takes it over completely.

    Hillary at #48 you don't sound like you're on the fence at all if you call what she did murder. It was not murder under U.S. law. Disgusting and unwise, yes, but not illegal.

    #49, you can't draw us pro-choicers into your discussion by begging the question, which you do by using the term "unborn child". There is no contradiction in my belief about this woman's actions. She had the perfect right to do what she did, as disgusting and perverted as it may have been. As far as I am concerned she can cut off her finger, but to condone its display as art and as a senior project is gross and improper. Yale should distance itself from this asap. There is not much Yale can do to discipline the advisor Lindman, since it appears she's going to Berlin next academic year.

  • Renae Hardt

    She considers killing an unborn child-- stopping a beating heart--art!?!? She takes lives in the name of her "art." And this is not only okay/legal on this campus (and in this country!?), it is actually going to be put on display and elevated as ART. This young woman is (quite literally) a serial killer…she has calmly and methodically considered the way she murders…how to display her victims in death…all in the name of her "art." Ironically she has proudly maimed and destroyed the truest and purest form of art (human life!) this world has to offer. Truly, this story is extremely disturbing and that an "educational institution" (and her "professors") would condone such a display is a disgrace!

  • Lurker

    Go Yale!!!
    What's next…I am bored

  • Doug

    Normally, I'd be in favor of anything that makes Yale look foolish, but this is ridiculous.

  • It's Fake

    Statement by Helaine S. Klasky — Yale University, Spokesperson
    New Haven, Conn. — April 17, 2008
    Ms. Shvarts is engaged in performance art. Her art project includes visual representations, a press release and other narrative materials. She 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 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.
    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.e

  • kate

    I have never read anything more disturbing in my entire life. As someone who has gone through a pregnancy after it being unexpected, I am absolutely horrified by what this girl is doing. I hope this is a sick, twisted joke because anyone that would do this needs to be mentally evaluated there has to be something wrong with her.

    What are her parents going to say about all this? What is the school going to say? Can't wait to read the letter from the President on this one. That advisor is also one of the dumbest human beings on the planet if he thinks a self-induced ABORTION is good for a project.

    If you think having a baby is a joke or easy, then you need help. That girl should get a mandatory hysterectomy so she can never do this again. Absolutely sick.

  • Merc

    This was proven to be a "performance art" piece and is not actually real. The Daily Yale should be ashamed of itself for not fact-checking this first, as this story has now caused a complete PR disaster for Yale. Bravo!

  • Nony

    #185 - you called it!
    The abortifacient drugs she took were legal and herbal, she said, and she did not feel the need to consult a doctor about her repeated miscarriages.
    Yeah, right! So much for the Yale school of journalism school.

  • Lee Martin, Vanderbilt University, Nashville

    This "art" exhibit is yet another symptom of a sick society, in my humble estimation -- one in which Columbines, BTKs, Virginia Techs, and an ongoing host of travesties are taking place with all-too-increasing frequency. Hopefully, most folks in "the free marketplace of ideas" will see it for what it is and choose to ignore it. Giving attention feeds energy to these displays, these desperate cries for attention, and provokes more of the same in ever-more-bizarre versions. Yes, this girl needs help, and deserves the help she apparently craves. Who knows what would work -- perhaps the guidance of an older, wiser mentor, someone who is compassionate and truly cares, someone who can help channel her creativity into more positive, humane, loving expression. There's more than enough ugliness in the world as it is.

  • Anonymous

    This is without any doubt a hoax. In fact, I've heard it called so from several reliable sources. A hoax meant to jumpstart a debate that has taken the back seat in recent months. Before all of you begin to attack this individual, think of the buzz she has created from this "project", a provocative one to test boundaries and get others thinking.

  • An Alum

    Here's what "Official Yale" has to say about this:
    "Statement by Helaine S. Klasky — Yale University, Spokesperson
    New Haven, Conn. — April 17, 2008

    Ms. Shvarts is engaged in performance art. Her art project includes visual representations, a press release and other narrative materials. She 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 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.

    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."

    Pardon me, but this statement is relativist BS. It should not say "She is an artist…"; it should say "She claims to be an artist and obviously has a lot to learn before she actually becomes one."

  • coral

    I really do not believe her. Herbal abortificants are extremely hard on the body and I doubt that any one could use them more than once without seriously condsidering going to a hospital. It's more likely that she had a bad night at a frat house and decided to make up a big attention-seeking way of self-exploitation for her "art" i.e. getting rid of a little problem. I have looked at the purile and naive attempts that Ms. Shvartz has tried to palm off to the public as high art, and each and everytime her inexperience shines through.

  • Anonymous

    It's not for real, people. It's performance art, of a sort: she tells us this, we fall for it and are shocked.

  • Derek

    a probable HOAX! if this if for real she needs some serious counseling.

  • jessica

    What is wrong with this person? I am pro-life, and belive that abortion should never be used as a form or birth control. IF you think you are responsible to have sex, then you should be held responsible for the possible outcomes. I also belive that pregnancy is a gift- its not to be taken for granted. How can this girl do what she did is unbelievable to me. Another thing- i feel for the would be fathers- as another person has said- how did she "artifically insimate" herself, i wonder if they knew what they were getting themselves into if they had sexual relations with her. One of these days i hope she grows up and hopefully realizes to the full extent of horrible thing she did. I hope that she is never BLESSED with another pregnancy, after this, she doesnt deserve it.

  • Brandie Shadows[

    What is a life anyways?
    When you have an abortion…
    the baby cant feel it.
    at that point in time
    [the time between getting pregnant and when the abortion pills will no longer actually work]
    the baby doesnt have nerve endings…
    so they can have physical feelings..
    and whos to say babies have emotional feelings that early on?
    She is killing something that doesnt really even have a life yet.
    these babies
    are blobs of organs and are only in the process of becoming babies,
    but I do not feel they are truly lives…

    on another note…

    what really is the difference between an abortion
    and a condom or the pill?
    They are all choices we make
    in order to stop ourselves from producing offspring.
    what does it matter, really
    which way out of conceiving a child
    we choose to take?
    In the end…it all results in the same thing.
    No child.

    for the millions of you "proclaimed" pro-lifers who use condoms and the pill…
    your on the same fencepost as the pro-lifers who recieve abortions.
    your both stopping the production of children
    and neither should be condemned for it.

    does noone think?

    in case you cant see up there..
    ill enter my url once more in order to recieve your comments on my comment.


  • Pregedit

    Let me first say, Oops I Shvarted! *blush*

    This is almost definitely not true, but it's an excellent way to check how people really feel about purposefully aborted fetuses. Perhaps that's the project?

    However, some taboos eventually become accepted. Will this one be such when over-population becomes a threat to the well-being of the general good? Look at China.

  • Anonymous

    hmmmmmmmmmm, what did she take to induce the miscarriages so reliably?

  • WOW

    First the crazy boy in Branford who threatened to kill his suitemates (and is now on "medical leave"), then admissions fraud and students with fake identities, now this? Talk about stains on Yale's reputation.

  • Anon

    Oh my god these comments make me ill.

  • ACP

    I don't wish this student harm, the inability to conceive in the future, etc… However, I do wish that we all pray for her mental health, physical health, and for the souls of the children she chose to diminish and put on display in a mockery of human life for the sake of "art."

    As a pro-life woman who has suffered over four miscarriages, this story makes me weep in sadness for the lack of sensitivity shown by this woman and the university. But it seems that they did not think past themselves nor the "thrill" and shock of the moment (said art exhibit). I pray for everyone involved in this sick, pitiful, inhumane display of "art."

    I hope the advisor is fired and the student does not graduate--both severly reprimanded for this event. Let's start there. Then maybe they'll re-evaluate the extent of their thoughtless, barbaric thoughts, choices & acts.

    I'm utterly appalled.

  • musings

    This project would be very easy to pull off as the hoax which I imagine it is.

    What she aims at is not her own experience -- she's going for the effect of controversy.

    Nobody here is in a position to determine whether or not this is a hoax. But it is easy to debate it. We are part of the art's unfolding.

    On the moral level, it is reprehensible.
    On the psychological level, it seems (superficially) to be the work of a borderline psychotic.
    On the medical level, it invites anemia not to speak of possible STD's.
    But on the political level, it has legs.
    Probably, the next step will be a poll to determine if she should be allowed to graduate from Yale.
    People will say "This is Yale. This is elite decadence. When the fascists come for our society, they will point to this exhibit as Exhibit A" and they will say that no matter what you think of them, they at least respect some life, while this woman respected none, not even her own.

    But the point is, I proclaim it a hoax.

  • Tabetha

    After 13 years of feeling bad about not getting into Yale I'm finally over it and thrilled I was not part of any institution which includes a student and faculty that would consider this art.

  • J. Lopez

    Aliza Shvarts should print out every comment on this page and post it on a wall for her senior thesis.

  • Waiting for Confirmation

    Although I am also disturbed by the contents of the article, I think that this girl should be given a column in the YDN to explain her actions. She should at least have the right to voice her motivations a bit more. It would be interesting to hear how someone could justify such extreme measures for the sake of "art."

  • dfd

    How does the YDN keep making the same mistakes?

  • Check this

    You guys did see the statement released by Yale, right? It's all a performance art piece, ie, a sham.

    Ms. Shvarts is engaged in performance art. Her art project includes visual representations, a press release and other narrative materials. She 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 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.

    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.

  • Anonymous

    The author of this article should really check facts before publishing something like this.

    The University Office of Public Affairs just released a statement clarifying everything. Shvarts DID NOT impregnate herself and induce miscarriages. IT IS PURELY FICTION.

  • Warren

    I agree with Dina (at Comment #10), that I don't think pro-life people will "jump on" this - at least I hope not. As some have said, I'm as much saddened as I am disgusted. The loss of life (as we pro-lifers see it), and the self-abasement of this young woman ought to break all of our hearts in compassion and love. Revolting? Yes. But I can't let that get in the way of the brokenheartedness I feel for her and her lost children.
    I hope we do not latch onto this as any sort of "rally cry" simply because she is not indicative of the larger (albeit morally and intellectually bankrupt, IMHO) pro-choice movement.

  • Switcher

    After being a lifelong liberal and pro-choicer - I turned the other cheek today. I am now decidedly pro-life. Thanks for helping to open my eyes.

  • Anonymous

    To me this is largely about self-harm and attention-seeking behavior. Is she seriously telling me that a bright girl could not find another way to creatively comment on the same topic? This was the only way to go? She seems driven to self-injury with a professor that's complicit. Would the faculty allow a student to repeatedly cut herself or to binge and purge as a video project without referral to a mental health professional? Would faculty approve that project? This girl needs psychiatric evaluation. The advisor that approved it needs more than can be summarized here--did she think to review this with the dept chair, the dean, a doctor, a lawyer-anyone at all? Did she feel so nonchalantly that it didn't raise questions for her? Sounds like a student with a dangerous streak was paired with an advisor who was unable to provide her with even a modicum of appropriate boundaries. The University needs to act--this is uncalled for and represents negligence. Her parents must be horrified and alarmed by what their tuition dollars have purchased and also by the violence inherent in their own child's mental state.

  • Jennifer

    I cannot believe how gullible YDN is for printing this story as if it were fact. For example, that this person is inducing miscarriages. You have to be pregnant in order to have a miscarriage and what is the likelihood that she ever got pregnant? So she's artificially inseminating herself, whatever that means. (Does she ever say how she did this?)

    Here you have a disturbed individual inducing her period over and over again and video-taping it. WOW, that's what I call art. It's definitely a good story.

  • NicoleNikki

    What she is doing is not art. It is disgusting and nasty.

  • Anonymous

    Hey guys--looks like a hoax.

    Just released by the Yale Press Office:

    New Haven, Conn. — April 17, 2008

    Ms. Shvarts is engaged in performance art. Her art project includes visual representations, a press release and other narrative materials. She 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 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.

    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.

  • Michael

    As a hopeful father and loving husband who is experiencing the difficulties of having a baby, I feel your "idea" of art is insulting. I am deeply offended by your stupid idea and speaking for all the couples that are struggling with infertility. This is not an "art project" but real life. This has nothing to do with pro choice or whatever so stop with that horsehit of an arguement. You took a beautiful act (which is the miracle of life) and turned it into a show. GO TO HELL!

  • soon2bc

    Shame on you! What a disgrace for Yale. I am sure this is exactly what she wanted, what a loser.

  • Balla

    It is all false.

    Yale statement:

    Statement by Helaine S. Klasky — Yale University, Spokesperson
    New Haven, Conn. — April 17, 2008

    Ms. Shvarts is engaged in performance art. Her art project includes visual representations, a press release and other narrative materials. She 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 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.

    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.

  • Marie

    I don't go to Yale, in fact I don't even live in that area. I am however a college student who is seriously disturbed that the Yale administration would let this "project" go any further and in fact honor the so called artist. What is next, someone dismembering someone and calling it art? Come on people, someone should have known this was not right on many levels. I have had a miscarriage, and for her to mock losing a child in the name of art is immoral and unethical. I thought the Ivy League put out better than this…

  • Yale Office of Public Affairs

    It's a fake!

    "Ms. Shvarts is engaged in performance art. Her art project includes visual representations, a press release and other narrative materials. She 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 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.

    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."

    -Yale Office of Public Affairs

  • Emre Soner

    The NARAL gals will be disappointed that this story is a hoax. They must have been booking bus trips - vibrators in hand - to experience this porn in person.

  • amy

    This makes my heart hurt.

  • Anonymous

    This is not true. See the Washington Post for the story.

  • J

    You all fell for it; apparently it is a scam:

  • anon

    I have serious doubts about the accuracy of this story. But Ms. Shvarts' actions may have many serious consequences, assuming this report is true in the large and in its particulars (very big assumptions).

    What Ms. Shvarts has reportedly done may be a serious blow to the common belief that a decision to have an abortion is one of enormous sadness, significance and importance to the pregnant woman, thereby guaranteeing that such a decision will not be made frivolously, especially if the woman is educated and not under financial, social or other pressure. That commonly held belief and its "guaranty" are important political and legal factors in society's concentrating the right of a woman over her own abortion decisions in the woman herself.

    But Ms. Shvarts is very highly educated and apparently not under financial, social or other pressure. Nevertheless, as reported here, her abortions were quite frivolous and not at all suggestive of personal sadness, significance and importance. If something close to Ms. Shvarts' mindset becomes the standard model in the mind of the public, the arguments for a woman's right to choose will become much weaker.

    And, of course, if a full investigation confirms this report, any Yale faculty member who approved of her actions should be discharged. That would be another serious consequence. It's not hard to think of others.

  • Larry

    The race to the bottom. How low can we go?

  • Prayful Person

    I can only pray this process has left her sterile.

  • Lifesong

    What a myth buster! It is rampantly purported that women agonize over their decision to abort their babies. Many **insist** that no woman 'chooses' abortion but that they are all *forced*, *coerced*, *ignornant* or *under a delusion*' about what they are doing. Yalie Aliza Shvarts proves otherwise. This is a classic example proving that mothers knowingly murder their babies when they have abortions. They know exactly what they are doing & are ruthless. There is mass denial over what the Bible clearly teaches, that people sin on purpose because they have a vile, depraved sin nature. Aborting mothers kill their infants with malice & forethought. Abortion is the sin of premeditated murder, which proceeds out of a heart enslaved by evil. A woman guilty of bloodshed will only be a fugitive until death (& the judgment); let no one support her. (Paraphrased from Proverbs 28:17)

    Repent (confess & forsake all known sin) & turn to the only One who can forgive you, Aliza … the Savior Jesus Christ, who created you & your poor defenseless children. He is the only One who can forgive your sin & cleanse your conscience & make you new.

  • Rachel

    The point isn't about abortion/miscarriages.

    Its artwork challenging what we conceive as real? @185 - There is no "proof" because Alyza is anti the idea of providing proof for anything --challenging our very notion of what is real and what is proof.

    I hope that people stop sending this poor woman death threats, take a deep breath, and realize she's just a student interested in an academic/philosophical discussion.

    Whether or not you find it tasteless gives you no right to damn her to hell.

  • elle

    For the record, senior project advisors just advise, and not necessarily support, approve of or encourage a student's work. The advisor is not responsible for this so-called project, so leave her out of it. It's a shame that such immature stupidity by this kid in an effort to get attention makes us all look bad.

  • yale 09

    ugh, now all the yale bashers are crawling out of the cracks. please, use some sense. she does not reflect the university. her advisor was some random lector, not scully, jeez. combined, that's two crazies out of thousands and thousands of amazing people doing amazing work for the betterment of humankind. and if aliza's considered the extreme of "liberal" then there are definitely many, many people on the extreme of "conservative" to counteract her depravity on this campus. students of virginity and all that. (i'm one of them. gobama though.) now swallow your inferiority complexes and stop seeing this as a chance to take pot-shots at what will always be an incredible, incredible institution.

  • Nadia

    I was a prefrosh at Yale. I'm considering changing schools.

    Wow. I hope to God this behavior and blatant disrespect for life (and art, for that matter) is not representative of ALL of the teachers and students at Yale.

  • randygoatradio

    our research team had to dig at this one….this is what we found…….

    April 17, 2008 ( - The internationally reported art project of a Yale University art major who said she would document a nine-month process during which she artificially inseminated herself "as often as possible" while periodically taking abortifacient drugs, has been revealed as a hoax.

    full link..

  • Old Blue '73

    I am leaning toward hoax also. The creation is this big list of reactions. I expect they will be printed and will be part of the exhibit.

  • AnonymouSss.

    I just received this email:

    "Statement by Helaine S. Klasky — Yale University, Spokesperson

    New Haven, Conn. — April 17, 2008

    Ms. Shvarts is engaged in performance art. Her art project includes visual representations, a press release and other narrative materials. She 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 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.
    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. ("

  • alum '04

    Wow. People thought this was real??

    Link to the Office of Public Affairs for those who don't understand how this was all a hoax:

  • Jennipher

    I think I'm going to hurl. I only wish it could be all over this "woman's" head.

    What a psycho.

  • annon

    If you call this EDUCATION, then you have wasted your money and your parents money. Not only is this wrong, but it is just plan crazy. You and the Professor sould be locked up for about 30 years until the mental side of your actions have been taken care of.

  • Complexity

    I have very serious concerns over this woman's mental health. Only a person suffering from Antisocial Personality Disorder (aka sociopath/psychopath) could intentionally impregnate herself for the sole purpose of aborting the fetus. It does not matter what her reason. This would be unethical even for the purpose of medical science, no less an "art" project!

    I do not see this as an art issue. Nor do I see it as a pro-life or pro-choice issue either. This is an issue of mental health. I cannot even begin to fathom how any human being who is emotionally balanced can possibly stomach the thought of doing such a thing, no less actually doing it with the intention of displaying it to others! Talk about desensitization! I can't even stomach the thought of viewing that much blood for any reason, and I most certainly could not handle seeing it with the knowledge of how it was obtained.

    What would be this woman's post-graduate project be? Mass shooting so she can capture the blood of others? Will she work her way up from fetuses to babies, children, teens, young adults through to senior citizens?

    This has to be criminal. The act of any woman intentionally inseminates themselves for the sole purpose of aborting the fetus to obtain the blood and video footage of the event cannot be legal. It is the INTENT that is unconscionable. Pregnancy and abortion should never be a means to an end as this woman has done.

    I agree fully with others who suggest that the professor who approved this should be fired and the student should be failed. But I believe it should be taken a step further. I believe this should be looked into as a criminal act. This woman needs to be given a full battery of mental health examinations. Something is definitely wrong with her. She appears to be completely absent of any emotional response to what she has done.

    I'm also concerned as to whether the "donors" had any idea she was using their sperm for this purpose. Did she obtain their sperm with their full knowledge and consent of her intentions or did she trick the men into giving her their sperm?

    I am in favor of pro-choice, but this bastardizes abortion in every way possible. I hope she can be charged criminally for what she has done. This woman is very, very sick and needs to be removed from society.

  • She's still a sicko

    "Yale University now reports that the art student’s claim to have artificially inseminated herself and induced miscarriage is “a creative fiction.”

    According to a statement by Helaine S. Klasky, Yale spokesperson, “[The student] is engaged in performance art. Her art project includes visual representations, a press release and other narrative materials. She 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 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. “She is an artist and has the right to express herself through performance art.”

  • CK

    I hope that everyone's caught on to the fact that this is fake. The YDN is really not up to date right now and allowing this thread to continue like it has is absurd.

  • Melissa

    As a pro-choice feminist, I am appalled by this student's decision. I am completely offended, as what she has done not only weakens the pro-choice movement by negating the very fact that women who have abortions WANT them because of a specific need, but also acts AGAINST IT by displaying to the world that pro-choice feminism actually does not value life, at all.

    Many pro-choice feminists are indeed pro-choice because they feel strongly about a life; the woman's life.

    In this student's "art project," all life is completely devalued and spit on.

    To the student; Do not defend your actions by calling it feminism. Feminism teaches me to love my body, to love what it can create, and to love the female experience. You've destroyed the very power your body possesses…. over and over again…

  • Anonymous
  • yale student

    I don't see why this one student's actions should somehow be representative of Yale as an institution, let alone the other students who go to school here.

    I, for one, have never heard of this student prior to today, and don't feel how I should somehow be reprehensible for her rather questionable actions.

    For those who are ascribing the deeds/exploits/fault/lunacy of this one student's artwork onto an entire student body or campus, I ask: do you really expect each and every individual affiliated at Yale to give his or her personal approval on every student project on campus? Let's try to assess the cause-and-effect of this incident in objective proportions. Blame the student, blame her advisor, blame the faculty--heck, blame the event coordinators who didn't think twice about putting this exhibit on display.

    But don't try to put this on all the students who attend Yale; a handful of students do not agree with the premise of her project. The majority of students, such as the average political science major from Davenport, or a PhD student in behavioral economics, probably didn't even know Yale had an art school, let alone cared.

  • Old Blue '73

    I am writing this at 9:45 p.m. on 4/17 and the story is now confirmed by MSM as a hoax, itself a piece of performance art. As I write the last post visible is #203 time stamped at 7:38 p.m. Congratulations, everyone, you are part of the work of art.

    I was sucked in, too, until I echoed others' suspicions of a hoax a half hour or so ago.

  • Oliver

    This woman is a serial killer.

    As an artist I thought about this long and hard and have determined that this is also an artistic failure.

  • OneOfUs

    Choose your enemies wisely for you will become them. I see about 3% positive feedback. The other 97% will become Alizas.

    How quick we are to judge, at the same time our DU disaster creates countless birth defects and spontaneous abortions in Iraq. With that kind of backdrop, calls for justice maybe should be toned down lest they be fulfilled.

  • Dirk Diggler

    Just to confirm, I WAS NOT involved with this project. Since Boogey Nights, I've been slapping meats at Louis' and would never do something like this for yale.

    Who wants fried chicken in the stacks???

  • warren

    Narcissitic Exhibitionism. Femimist Heroism. Self-sacraficing Bafoonery. I wonder which one of these will be the title of her thesis?

  • This Makes Sense

    Statement by Helaine S. Klasky — Yale University, Spokesperson

    New Haven, Conn. — April 17, 2008

    Ms. Shvarts is engaged in performance art. Her art project includes visual representations, a press release and other narrative materials. She 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 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.

    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.

  • anonymous

    I want all of you who are pro choice or are not sure to do something. I want you to have the courage to find this link and take a look at pictures of aborted fetuses in the 1st and second trimester. It seems to me if you are sure of your position you will have the courage to do so. tAbortion Truth .com - Pictures of Abortion, photo gallery of …
    Abortion Truth .com - - 7k -

  • Anonymous

    I suppose we are supposed to breathe a collective sigh of relief now that we're informed that Ms. Sharvts merely created this diabolical fiction to explore the 'ambiguity surrounding form and function of a woman’s body'.

    There's nothing ambiguous about this young woman's form and functioning.

    Her narcissistic drive for attention has shamed her and Yale as it snickered at the ripples of outrage it anticipated.

    The Buckley School has expunged her from their website in the last few hours.

    Before they did - it read, in part:

    "Being able to speak as valedictorian for my class is in a way, acting as a voice to and from posterity, putting into words our ambitions as we enter the world and our intentions for the future. It is a really big responsibility for one person to try to say all of that, but I am very honored and very excited by the challenge," said Shvarts.

    Shvarts will attend Yale University in the fall . . .

    God protect us from her 'intentions for the future.'

  • Sly

    Today Yale. Tomorrow The Jerry Springer Show.

  • NY Sun says it's a hoax

    Yale: Student's Art Project Only 'Creative Fiction'
    By JOSH GERSTEIN, Staff Reporter of the Sun | April 17, 2008
    A Yale student’s bizarre art project in which she claimed to have repeatedly impregnated and induced abortions in herself is a work of "creative fiction," the university said in a statement this afternoon.

    The Yale Daily News reported this morning that Aliza Shvarts’s senior project, set to go on display next week, included video of her bleeding in her bathtub, as well as plastic sheeting layered with a mixture of Vaseline and the post-abortion blood.

    "Ms. Shvarts is engaged in performance art," a Yale spokeswoman, Helaine Klasky, said. "She 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 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."

    Ms. Klasky went on to suggest that Yale would not have permitted a project of the sort described in the student newspaper. "Had these acts been real, they would have violated basic ethical standards and raised serious mental and physical health concerns."

  • anonymous

    In four years at Yale, I still haven't seen anything come out of its art school that even faintly resembles art. The students don't know how to handle a brush and canvas, let alone 'push the boundaries of the medium'. Or maybe I'm thinking of the professors' excuse for work when I write this.

  • Slap in the Face?

    To the pro-choicers who suggest this art (whether real or not) is a slap in the face for women who have suffered miscarriages: How are abortions not a slap in the face to those same women?

  • jack

    I am pro-choice. However, this is the most twisted thing I have ever heard about. I hope this gets national attention, the "artists" is institutionalized and never heard from again, and all prof involved are dismissed and barred from being anywhere new developing minds. What has become of the most prestigous art program in the world?

  • Alayna Staggers (Nurse0

    This girl is neurotic and does not deserve anyone giving her the time of day. Apparently, a few idiots have though. They can make a fool out of themselves along with her and her stupidity. Alayna Staggers (Nurse)
    "Mothers Against Abortion"

  • Michelle Tong

    I'm going to contact WTNH and the New Haven Register so they can enlighten many more people about this disgusting, ridiculous art thesis feces. Just wait till N.O.W. and the A.I.I here about this. You'll have thousands on chapel street and a gigantic angry crowd for this 'art.'

  • Michigan viewer

    Her presentation is a biohazard--hazardous medical waste and should be banned and properly disposed of. It all has to be pretty ripe by the time of the "art" show. What a nut job. Such a perverse project will really detract from the projects of serious, intelligent art students. Doesn't Yale generally have enough bad press without this?

  • Ted MAxwell

    Yawn! Boring.

  • Anonymous

    As an "artist"…I 100% agree with you that "art" / "artist" is a joke. Those terms were once titles that one must earn. With contemporary movements and todays standards, anything and everything/one is an artist. We no longer can use our title as a profession because we have no creditability as an "artist" over an elephant who walks on canvas to someone streaking a fetus across a canvas and calling it "art". I hate the term "art" and "artist" simply because it is not a title of anything. Call it human being…. I use to play the game operation as a child…. can I title myself as a doctor? I find what this girl has done show cases her need for attention. Attention whores constantly feel the need to be recognized and thought of. This girl thought that her act will one day be published in art books and studied like many other ridiculous artist who create "shock art" simply for the sake of attention.

  • Ash

    I myself am an Art major and this is disgusting. I got pregnant this past year and had a miscarriage and had to go through a medical abortion. Not only is she disgracing the field of Art, but she is offending people who have gone through an abortion.

  • JS

    After being very upset for a big part of this evening and finally settling down, I started feeling that it is very likely we are all included in this "art" piece. Maybe she was late starting a more creative project and decided later on that maybe making a hoax with a YDN writer and observing people's reactions to this hoax will be an interesting idea. All in all, getting pregnant isn't easy whatsoever and there is no way that anyone can prove/disprove her pregnancy. However, the thought of a bloody looking piece in an art gallery still disgusts me. If unfortunately this thing (real or hoax) becomes famous in a national newspaper/media, it is definitely a blow to the reputation of Yale. I found a translated version in traditional Chinese already.

    Kids, this grossly designed post-April fools day joke is not that funny.

  • Phil Astine

    Andres Serrano, eat your heart out. I don't know how you top this.

  • Matthew.Graybeal

    Wow. She got what she wanted, now I hope she is prosecuted, on some loophole like the one she used to get away with this.

    If I recall, a foetus will not be aborted in "good faith" in the final trimester under the care of a DR., unless it is a risk to the health of the mother.

    Since she hid this and used shadowy loop-hole law dodging, for her rights over her body, I hope she never has a career in Art.

    If she is capable of violating the spirit of the law for her own controversy, and fame. Then she is no better, than a genocidal dictator, and replace geno with infanto.

    How does she sleep at night?

    "Art imitating life" indeed.

  • Beybey

    Wow what a sick mind to do something like this.. I have had 4 miscarriages unknown infertility. I wanted every baby I had. She is a murderer! She will suffer greatly for this. How come no one is going to do something about this.. SICKNESS OMG. Pray for this woman please.

  • cj

    Yet another example of how 'Higher Education' is anything but. This student - and anyone responsible for this idiocy - is a shining example of pure and total FAIL.

  • B.Y. Stander

    I don't guess she is any flavor of Christian, Muslim, or Buddhist. Gee, I wonder what religious background would place such emphasis on selfish expression at the expense of innocent life? Not even that art lover, Hermann Göring, could dream this masterpiece.

  • Anonymous

    This woman will be severely punished by God. You can count on that! I am so disgusted I don't even have words to express it!! As someone who has been dealing with infertility (I will spell that out for people like this fool of a woman who obviously can't possible grasp this), I have tried for YEARS to become pregnant and birth a healthy baby. What is this world coming to when a person is allowed to do something like this??? I am literally sickened by this.

  • yale art student

    Disregarding the abortion debate, and purely as its merit as an artistic work (also disregarding what it is):

    The project's intention, as claimed by the artist in the YDN, was to facilitate discussion on the creation of art-- not abortion. It is unsuccessful because the real purpose of her work becomes mired in the shock value and moral debate over her subject matter. In short, there are far more tasteful ways to achieve the same purpose that will actually provoke more dialogue on the meaning of art-- her supposedly intended purpose. Shock value is one way to do it, but not the most powerful.

    In terms of the Yale campus, a great majority of students are as sickened by the project as most anyone who commented. However, there is a great deal of hearsay, and also a rumor that while she told the YDN that it was blood from "miscarriages" (and they tend to sensationalize news stories anyway-- look up "Ned Fulmer",the previous shock storm of the week) she actually reported to the administration that it was not blood. In the oncoming media storm, however, the administration will end up investigating, and the truth of what this girl did will come out. In the meantime, I'm ashamed to say I take art classes in the same building.

  • Anonymous

    To #207…

    An issue that has taken a backseat? I really don't think that this "project" really brings anything to our attention except perhaps the idiocy of what we can call 'art' these days. The only discourse I hear around campus is "dude, she's completely crazy." The fact that she created this as a "hoax" makes the very serious and controversial act of abortion even more of a joke.

    I find this offensive on every level, and any amount of "buzz" won't teach the world that shocking = thought provoking. How many people REALLY have to think about whether closely repeated abortions are bad things? How many people REALLY take anything away from this other than a couple minutes of disturbing imagery and a couple moments of outright anger?

    Give me a break with the defense of this "project." Maybe give some press to the actual students who make ART this year.

  • John

    We've seen pieces like this all through art school (in my case, SCAD). People who can't paint must concentrate on concept. And some people will do anything for notoriety in that area. That's why so many concepts are, at best, laughable exploits of expression.
    We're just not fooled anymore. We know BS when we see it, and it's no surprise that most modern art wings are near devoid of attendance… or rational people.

  • erinzdad

    GHOULISH!!! She is a murderer of innocents had no chance and who will be celebrated by progressive fiends. This proves the left's absolute irrational and pathological hatred and disdain for innocence.

    To murder the innocent is bad enough isn't it? But to now call it ART?!!! Not even Hitler would have been so brazen as to call the murder of innocents ART!!!

    We MUST come to our senses! This is a sign it's probably too late. You cannot redeem psychopaths of this caliber!

  • Rabbit

    This is the most depraved and grotesque thing I have read about in a while. I am pro-choice but as others have said, NOT Pro-Abortion. My wife and I many years ago made the very hard choice to abort and between three beautiful children lost another two via miscarriage. These were always serious and painful experiences and the choice to abort should be moderated with some degree of oversight, I don't hear pro-choicers suggesting abortion should be something which should be as easy as taking a dump, which is the level to which this mentally disturbed young woman has taken it.

    I am not surprised by the few who are defending this as being at least legitimate art or that anybody pro-choice who is disgusted is hypocritical. This girl is certainly beyond the boundaries of all decency but she would not have arrived at such a far out way station without support from people like you.

    I condemn this abomination and also Yale for its tolerance of such a disgrace.

  • Loren

    I cannot stop crying… I had a miscarriage about a month ago my precious baby and all my fondest dreams were destroyed. I went from great joy to great despair. I will never be able to hold him to me, or kiss his boo-boo when he skins his knee, or read him a bedtime story.

    What happened to my baby was not art, and I dare anyone to say it was.

    What sort of monster could do such a thing…..? This is an evil unfathomable to me.

  • mary

    i am totally discusted with this. this is not art, this is a travesty of justice, i really can not even begin to imagine what kind of twisted mind would think do do something like this…. sick, i feel sick by this.

  • Jael

    "Freedom of Choice" and "It's My Body, It's My Choice" has taken on a whole new meaning…..

    Ms.Shvarts "artwork" is the expressive outgrowth of thirty five years of "legalized" child murder. When a society becomes entrenched in hedonism and murder, the mind is filled with total and complete depravity. The Chinese have upped one on Ms. Shvarts though, aborted children are routinely cannibalized in that nation.

  • Dutchman

    Even in my country I haven't seen this kind of sick behavior. If this is not a joke, it's really really very sick. Well, the girl got what she wanted: attention. Now she's ready for the next step: serious help!

  • Katie

    First of all, I am blown away that anyone actually believed this. That this young woman would actually be able to successfully artificially inseminate herself AND successfully miscarry not just once - but multiple times - over a 9 month period. I mean REALLY?

    This is a slap in the face to anyone facing infertility and struggling with it on a daily basis. What kind of sick insensative person would make something like this up and dare to hide behind a cover of "performance art"?

    I am shocked beyond belief that an esteemed institution such as Yale would condone such a thing.

  • nails

    Thank God this was "just a hoax" by this still-just-as-deranged girl.,2933,351608,00.html

    So she half made up the story? Does anyone think the Yale Daily News should have maybe verified this a little better first?

    She's still deranged for even coming up with something like this. Unbelievable.
    Oh well, pro-choicers, you get what you want when you say it's a woman's right to choose!

    God Bless.

  • Anonymous

    how sad-
    people like her need our prayers.

  • Anonymous

    As a mother of 1 and a 100% ProLifer, I believe this is absolutely horrific and not to mention totally immoral. It also shows just how incredibly sick our world has become.

  • Stem Cell Researcher

    All those fetuses could have been put to good use for stem cell experiments.

  • jim

    If this does not point out what the typical US citizen has become, then what does? This country is going straight to hell, and it fully deserves it. May the Infinite Creator show absolutely no mercy on you all.

  • nemesis

    the term "serial killer" is what coms to my mind

  • Benjamin MacGowen

    For me, the value of a Yale degree has finished it's slow descent into recycle bin.

    Knowledge is knowing what you can do. Wisdom is doing what you should do.

    Yale has lost wisdom.

  • Tuco

    Ah, just figured it out. The "ambiguity" is between whether the student is a "liar or a lunatic" (see Clearly it's not the latter, she was a student in good standing in Yale's art department.

  • Anonymous class of 87

    I am embarrassed for Yale and for all of the alumni and students who are not crazy. I don't know how a faculty member could have approved this project and her lying about it.



    B I O H A Z A R D

  • Angie

    I really hope this girl gets truly saved and repents of her awful sin. To see if you are a good person go to

  • Eli

    Oh, I see. Yale now calls this a hoax. Why do I not trust the official Yale response. Is it because they were surprised that their students ( both pro-choice AND pro-life) condemned the student and one of their professors? Maybe it's more their fear of legal responsibilities for the actions of that professor.

  • Mayuresh Gaikwad

    I have a video of me sleeping peacefully for eight hours on my bed. The video is suitable for watching by people of all faiths, creeds, genders, ages, socio-economic strata, etc. Will you pay me a million dollars in royalty and project this video on the Berlin wall (the small part which remains) or on the Great wall of China! I think it will stress the importance of sleep in the stressed-out modern world.

  • Catseye

    I think this is a hoax. It is notoriously difficult to induce an abortion with herbs, and as someone else already stated, it would be difficult to squeeze several pregnancies and miscarriages into a 9 month timeframe.

    I think the real art project involves collecting people's responses to the fake project.

  • Student from Alabama

    "the only political logic i can imagine for this is that she is a crazed, kamikaze pro-lifer. if that's the case, she couldn't have done better for herself."

    First off, I don't see how you could think this? Even the most extreme lifers I have come across would never do something this morbid and twisted.

    I attend the University of Alabama..and often times I have talked with my friends about how amazing it would be to go to a school like Harvard or Yale. Today I must say I'm more content with going to a large public university than to an institution that would allow the mockery of life.

    Although I'm pro-life, I can't begin to see how ANYONE would agree with this, including people who are pro-choice. Even if you agree abortion should be legal, you should be able to see that incidents like this do nothing but cripple your arguments and credibility.

    It's sad when the "world's super power" and some of it's most "esteemed learning institutions" celebrates such savage and barbarian methods of murder and call it art.

    I hope that the person who called abortion a beautiful process was kidding. Even if you agree with abortion, you'd hopefully know that there is nothing beautiful about terminating a life (or 'fetus' if you will). Abortion hurts everyone who is involved.

    This is also a slap in the face to people who cannot have children or have tried to start a family and miscarried.

    Yale needs to get on the ball and do something about this or face losing it's credibility and stance as a fine learning institution.

  • A Red Robin

    Is this where we are now at in society -This low and depraved? For shame. And what was supposed to be one of the most honorable establishments for learning actually giving the approval for such a horrific view point and project - for shame. This is not higher learning and enlighted artistic expression. This is the depraved madness of a warped mind. Fools of shame are all those who are involved in this or see no wrong in it - FOR SHAME.

  • Tom & Pam

    Here is proof of what a liberal staffed school breeds, a morally decaying society. God help us…..

  • Matt E.

    This was not just a simple murder, it was MASS MURDER. Unbelievable

  • Tom White

    This is shameful, disgusting, completely lacking in respect, and grotesque in every way. I have two children and think it is obscene that someone would start a life with the sole intention of destroying it before it is even born. I agree that this is basically premeditated murder.

    That this woman would carry out these horrific acts is not 'art' and is completely unnecessary. I am not shocked, just saddened and I think the staff at Yale who knew of and approved of this should be ashamed of themselves. If this is freedom of expression, then it is a waste of that priviledge.

  • Jarrod

    Obviously a hoax, and yet it draws an outpouring of derision from the pro-life community who aren't able to separate reality (performance art) from fiction (self-induced bathtub abortions)….exactly as intended.

    I say it's very creative and compelling.


  • Bekah

    As a woman who has miscarried, I am insulted at the lack of respect this artist has for the pain many women have experience when losing a child.

  • Whatever

    Is this going to be on her resume?

  • NemFX

    Kudos to the girl for doing something that nobody sane would ever thing of, or actually get approval to do.

    That being said, she could have just saved some time by sticking a frag grenade up into her uterus and making it performance art.

    I've been an artist for roughly 10 years now. I've seen a couple of disturbing things, notably one 'artist' that starved animals to death just to make them pose as though they were still alive, but this one, if it's real, takes the cake.

    While, yes, art is always open to interpretation, there are normally a couple of lines we draw. Van Gogh showed us a very long time ago that mutilating yourself for art wasn't cool. In this case, she's mutilating herself and others.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm pro-choice for the most part, but that she intentionally did this makes me honestly wish that someone would surgically remove this lady's ovaries and then slap her with them.

    Here's personally hoping that the next time she's in the news, it's in the obituaries. Death from stupid. A fitting end to miss frag grenade crotch.

    - The internet's NemFX.

  • Jordan

    i think picasso tried this same technique in the earley 40's

  • Mark

    America's best and brightest.

  • Amy

    Glenn: you approving of it doesn't make it right.

  • blarg

    As to whether or not this is a hoax or is true, I don't quite care. Upon reading this, I was not sick in any way. I found it to be quite interesting as blood can be an art form and sadly, I found no pictures on here of it. As to whether or not it is morally correct, I say yes. It is their own body so if they want to do this, then I have no problem with it. I read some comments on how people claimed this was a murder or mass murder. Clearly, one has to observe the blood in order to see the true beauty.

    The only part that I'm not convinced of is having that many pregnancies in only 9 months, and giving abortions (not miscarriages) to all of them. In that time frame, I find it to be unrealistic.

    As for the professor, well, he should have realized the controversy this would have sparked. Perhaps he did consider this and so he may have wanted it, or perhaps he was not thinking about the "big picture".

    I am no psychiatrist but I do not believe this girl is mentally unstable. She has a creative mind and that's simply it.

  • Amanda

    I weeped as I read this article, for the destruction of life and the display of it. I pray for the artist, but most of all I pray for all those small and innocent babies that were killed through "herbal methods." My heart breaks and I weep for them. There are so many missing people in this world that were killed before they had a chance to live. God knows each of them and has them in his arms now.

  • Aussie Girl

    I am definitely Pro-Choice, but this has absolutely NOTHING to do with Pro-Choice.

    I cannot believe that somebody would think of doing this all in the sake of art.

    What gets me is that as humans we seem to be able to get away with more if it's for arts sake.

    How many serial killers think what they do is art? Find beauty in their work?

    As for the beauty of blood, well it didn't have to be obtained this way. It's very sadistic, so to me this girl does have issue's.

  • The Accidental Existentialist

    Ars Gratia Artis

    I don't know too much. All I know is that there are far more intelligent people who can determine what "is" and "is not" art.

    It's a shame so few of them were able to post here.

  • Lighten up

    Nothing here seems to be illegal, which should be of more concern… Sure it's risky but who cares? We are just fueling the fire. If this is so "disgraceful" to everyone then they should just keep their mouths shut about it. It already happened and now it is just gaining popularity. Get over it.

  • Lighten up

    For all you God-folk, maybe your guy in the sky is using her as an eye-opener. It just does not make sense to bring Him into all this. Make a real argument.

  • Alexandra

    That goes against all the rights of humanity! Who would in their sense of mind, if even having the showing of one, would want to waste their intellectual indifference on something associated with fertliation (without medical assistance) and abortion (which is destroying a beautiful life!) Who would even consider to displaying such a thing? In my personal opinion, I believe she is doing this just to draw attention to something she thinks is great, but, though legal for both, is illegal for partial-birth abortion, as signed into law in 2003. Pull the project before the public erupts in even more mutiny, or there could/will be possibly dire consequences!

  • Bertha Fox-Dominguez

    This is a horribly unethical display, and is certainly not art. This is the rantings of a deeply disturbed woman. Further discussion is welcome on my blog:

  • John

    Without God their is no wisdom.

  • Danielle Ondrek

    It says provoke inquiry, but…truly..i feel it was to provoke..period.

    What will society learn or gain from this project? Well aside from the fact i believe my body is a sacred house…mine to do what i please…but sacred none the less. And it's (my) ability to produce, such an amazing gift… i would never be able to let alone be curious about someone that is working on it indifferently just to see how people react.

    I do believe it is her own body, i do believe art is a forum to evoke reaction, but in the end, if it doesn't leave a lasting impression, what it the point? what is the message. Yes most art is obscure and doesn't have a clear message…and yes art is somewhat like journalism…the artist/writer reports what is, and lets you deduce your opinion and reaction…. but in the end…even pro choice people look at this and are confused. Just like your mom said… she can't understand it at all.

    I thinks it's a daredevil attempt at art….not for the greater good…not even evoking strong debate… i mean anyone who would try and talk about this with me with the tagline "the relationship between art and the human body"…this experiment/project being an example… i couldn't see myself getting very far in this conversation before i shrugged my shoulders and walked away…shaking my head and saying to myself…"what a waste". Doesn't even make me want to get riled up…it seems sophomoric, trivial and pointless. unless her point was to get a bunch of pro-lifers and evangelist's panties in a twist. But for intellectual people who truly love the complexity of certain art pieces…this would not be a successful project.
    - Show quoted text -

  • Upset

    Does she not care about the life she is creating and then just taking away?

  • Anonymous

    this is just sick and I hope she never has children.

  • Alexandra

    This is cruelty against alll rights for human life. It is destroying the virgin beauty of a woman's body, which she is supposed to give to her husband once they are married. Also, it is going against the rights of a helpless baby, who has no say in anything that happens or occurs within the environment. What can be done for it? Nothing! I hope she is fairly judged and punished, to an extent that nothing like this will ever happen again in the future.

  • Alexandra

    This is just so sickening. How can an intellectually-gifted student at one of the USA's best schools draw such hideous and life-altering attention to her that could ruin Yale's reputation! More or less, there within involoved are rights that are with the children that were graciously conceived then cruelly murdered! Who or what could behold duch thoughts? If not banned, there could be dire consequences…I can almost assure you!!!

  • Don't tell us to "lighten up"

    I don't see how anyone can stand to do that type of thing. Ever.

  • Andrew

    This is the most horrifyingly disgusting thing I think I have ever heard. When I heard about this, I felt sick to my stomach. What an ATROCITY that was allowed to happen at an institute of "higher learning". This continues the downward spiral of our nation into the worst and most sickening forms of depravity imaginable - and to think that a "professor" allowed this to happen. Utter insanity. This girl murders multiple unborn babies as if they are nothing more than a sack of trash that one would take out to the dumpster every week. Inconceivably evil, depraved, and vile. The university ought to "make a statement" as well by firing the teacher and expelling the student, showing that they have at least some decency and morality, and a conscience for that matter. This student obviously has none. This horrendous act brought great sadness to my heart, not only for the murdered children, but for the unconscionable wickedness in a human heart that would conceive of doing something like this. God's judgment is ever so near, lest one repents of his wicked ways. That this would happen with approval from a "school" says much about the condition of this nation. God, help us.

  • Danny T

    This woman has a sick idea!

    What was she thinking? What does it portray?

    It portrays the sickness of abortion and the sickness of our society in regards to human life. Yes, it's a crime against humanity and against the Creator of humanity. It's a crime against life.

    What about the rest of life on this planet? What about various ideas of terroism that dehumanize life?

    The planet needs help and I'm not just talking about the "green." I'm talking about respect for life and the living protecting the innocent and lifting up living with honor and respect for one another. This planet and the people who live on this planet need to turn to God and learn do to justly, love mercy, and to walk humbly with God.

  • Alexandra

    Though she may have out in a different senior project, that does not exclude her indifference in society for thinking that self-fertilization (without medical assistance) and abortion (which is destroying human life) can begin to say what a cruel and merciless person she is in thinking that this can be displayed as a proud work! What can begin to say how this would have a positive effect on society? I think not!! What could that say about her as a person? She thinks that destroying her body, which is a holy temple in God's eyes, is fine? No. She believes that it is perfectly safe to murder? No matter how it is done, taking the life of a human being, especially that of a precious baby, can be considered just all right? No!!! In the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 ((Public Law 108-105, HR 760, S 3, 18 U.S. Code 1531), signed into law, states that, ruled by the Supreme Court, I say the SUPREME COURT, "that the term "partial-birth abortion" in the act pertains to a procedure that is scientifically called intact dilation and extraction. Under this law, "Any physician who, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, knowingly performs a partial-birth abortion and thereby kills a human fetus shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both." The law was enacted in 2003, and in 2007 its constitutionality was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, in the case of Gonzales v. Carhart." Partial-birth abortion is a late-term abortion, especially one in which a viable fetus is partially delivered through the cervix before being extracted. Whta can be said about that?? It is illegal! I hope that she was given a punishement that would which fit to the needs of her, both physically and pschycologically. There is some ways you can give an interestinfg project, but never in a way that harm or destroy form of human life!

  • Dr C

    One messed-up chick…

    Don't worry: when she holds her first child, all of this will come back to her.

  • Jackie

    Its her choice what she wants to do to her body, leave her alone. What she's done is shown to the world that there is more than one dimension to beautiful. That is art in its purest form.

  • Hieronymus

    to #1

    That is a good way to frame the debate--and requires no call to Any Powers That Be (G-d, D-rwin, G--gle, etc.).

    I have always found it interesting that many vehement Liberals are pro-abortion, so long as it's OTHER people's abortions. Ironically, I more or less hold the same position (i.e., I am ambivalent about other people's abortions but belong to progenitive unit that is unlikely to abort under any circumstances short of a choice between the mother and the offspring), but at least I am honest about my stance, i.e., those capable of aborting their own foetuses are likely not those that I would prefer to hold a voting-bloc majority.

    But more about YOU: 33 million acts that we are unable to definitively state are NOT murder… interesting (btw, I would consider it "killing," which may be a distinction with little difference to you, but killing occurs all the time--death row, wars, etc.--whether or not it is "justified").

    With regard to Levin's comments: I have heard him speak often enough and read enough of his writings to know that he is very, very careful and, so far as I know, NEVER lets his guard down. Without a recording, I would side with him in that his comments were likely distorted or taken out of context.

  • Melissa

    "No individual can claim that these embryos would not develop into human beings sharing many of our same characteristics; for this reason we should not attempt to deny the human nature of these individuals."

    I dont get it when people say stuff like this. every sperm cell would develop into a person but is there a movement against jacking off? It doesnt mean shit if it could be a person.

  • '08

    Articles that go beyond matters of public record (cf. the Hamilton appointment)--witness the original reporting in this one--should carry the bylines of their authors. Almost any reason a reporter would want to avoid a byline is reason enough to include one--up to and including that the reporter is a YDN editor who would prefer to remain anonymous.

  • dirk

    i think it's pretty cool. but will it smell bad?

  • Ariel Fernandez

    Well I guess killing people is now art…

    I'll be back I'm feeling inspired, I
    think I'm gonna go shoot or stab an innocent defensless child

    Now, did that not sound cruel?
    She is doing the exact same thing. . .
    MULTIPLE times
    (I'm only 16 and I understand how sick this is)

  • Sad

    As a woman who has been trying unsuccessfully for over 2 years to have a child, I am horrified by this complete disrespect for human life. My husband and I would have been overjoyed to have any of the pregnancies she terminated. To intentionally create life with the intention of destroying it is sickening. She obviously has no respect for her own body.

  • sonja

    I am appalled at the lengths to which a person could go to try to create an exhibit for a project. Impregnating oneself over and over again and recording the process for the sake of "artistic expression" is horrific, not to mention barbaric and unethical. The pregnancies that were terminated would have resulted in children that could have grown up to change the world, be it through modern invention or something completely different. To take such a casual and light-hearted view towards a subject like child-birth that is , or is supposed to be, filled with serious thought and pondering is mind-blowing and inexplicable to me. The world can only hope that a person who is so rash in her decisions and obviously unfit to be a mother now or ever will never be able to conceive, let alone give birth to another child again.

  • catacomb

    The point of the project was to get people talking, which it obviously did. Obviously, if this chick is going to Yale, she'd know a little more about the process and time it would take to really do suck a project. I don't think she ever intended to really have multiple abortions, I think she wanted to cause controversy and get a message across - success.

    In reality, a project like this - if someone was really devoted, would take a lifetime, or at least a good few years. It would be kind of interesting to see someone going through the abortion process at different stages of development - recording the results and the miscarriages - possibly saving the aborted fetuses/part and using them in some kind of simple display.

    I, obviously, have no problem with abortion related artwork, or death related, or etc…. but others do. And we all have things we're sensitive about… I personally find other things extremely offensive… but you can't make everyone conform to your standards, you can only fight for and speak for yours.

  • Stan Goodman

    The abortion debate has (at least) two sides. Like any debate, it is best handled as a rational discussion, in this case with obvious emotional elements. What is the connection of such a debate with repeated insemination (self or otherwise) and equally repeated termination is extremely obscure, if in fact there is a connection. The "artistic" connection is even far more obscure. If the experiment proves anything, it is that one can be accepted to a prestigious university in spite of having very little sense.

  • Harper

    I suffered a miscarriage in January. I chose to pass my baby naturally rather than undergo a d&c, so I have a pretty good idea of what this student went through in pursuit of her "art." It is a painful experience. Other women I know who have endured the same describe it as worse than childbirth.

    Of course, it can also be dangerous. If the Rh blood type is negative, for instance, the woman will not be able to stop bleeding properly; and regardless of bloodtype, excessive bleeding is always a risk. Moreover, women really need an ultrasound afterward to make sure everything cleared out properly, if they want to avoid infection. Doing this without medical supervision is just plain dumb.

    That said, as a woman and as the sufferer of a miscarriage (and I think the comparison is apt, since the student engaged in an abortive process that involved more than just a couple hours), I am completely offended at the trivialization of my experience in the name of art. Moreover, I am offended on behalf of all women who have difficulty conceiving or carrying to term (5% in the US)that this woman would repeatedly and intentionally do what so many women cannot just to ruin it.

    I have mixed views on the issue of abortion. I believe it should be legal, but I also believe it should be used with caution. It's long been known that women who use it as a form of birth control are more prone to certain cancers than the general population.

    In my opinion, this girl has only proven that she views her own body, and perhaps those of all women, simply as reproductive machines capable of unlimited "assembly."

  • akmeow

    My questions for the artist are purely formal. I'm interested in knowing why she has chosen a geometric shape to project images upon? Suspended in the middle of a room, also a cube more or less, suggests the space being filled is organic (the heart or womb, the meat of the installation). And why Vaseline and plastic wrap? Why not linseed oil and denture dams? I am not trying to be clever here, I really feel that this could be a very powerful piece but I am not convinced that the artist has thought much beyond making a piece that is more than commodity and one which will generate political and intellectual art criticism. Why is it important? Would love to read some feedback.

  • Disgusted

    Ms. Shvartz ought to be ashamed of herself, to say the least. Disgusting, distasteful, and immoral--this kind of "art" gives the pro-choice community a bad name. I hope her decision to make light of abortion, and all the ethical complexity that surrounds it, haunts her for the rest of her life. No matter one's stance on the legality of abortion, the vast majority of the world can agree what she did was wrong in countless ways.

  • Jagdeep Kaur

    Hey body, her choice. Grow up people!!

  • Alli

    Well, even if it is her body, why would she do such a thing? Tell me that…!

  • Victoria

    In this hoax, the artist has managed to do an interesting thing:

    She has managed to get pro-choice and pro-life people to agree on something regarding abortion.

    She has even managed to get pro-choice people to conclude that there is a boundary regarding the right of a woman to chose.

    For myself, I am both pro-life and pro-choice: I would not have an abortion, but I do not have the right to make that decision for someone else.

    This student caused a major controversy with her hoax, and that controversy had very interesting results.

    I hope she shares her findings with a sociology student.

  • Gregory Becker

    This person is NOT an artist! Art is about creating something. She is destroying something. This shows how void of real talent she is. If her motivation is empathy. Then she could've shown a weeping mother with her arms poised to hold a child that isn't there. She has not created beauty but rather horror. Her work should memorialize those lost by this not adding to them. The lost would even be horrified. Where is her empathy for them. This idea reminds me of a person with a limited vocabulary who uses expletives every other word to make a point because they lack a real voice. This is not intelligent art, this is simply someone who is afraid of being forgotten or afaid that she may have never been. She needs therapy.

  • EELLIS4500

    I think this is hillarious, if woman think they can do anything with their body than why couldn't they do this. I know girls who basicly toy around with abortions like this in their actual lives. They just go do whatever they want to do and know that they can get an abortion in the end. What is the difference between having tons of sex and getting abortions and impregnating yourself and enducing a miscarriage. Oh, one is more fun than the other and woman don't want to be told what to do because they think they are all "good" people and can make decisions for themselves. If you want to keep toying with the words in the constitution and take them further than they were meant to go than somebody is bound to go to far. Or maybe its all too far?

  • Impy

    Any abortion isn't right, you're killing a person, straight and simple. That's it, murder in the first degree. Yet people find this an art? She actually got pregnant on purpose, many times, killing many children, if I were religious, I'd be happy to know she'll burn in Hell. Killing children, who do these people think they are? If you're pro choice, the baby should have a choice.

  • Dee

    This is her way of expressing herself through art. This isn't the first artist we are shocked by. Freedom, do we still have it? It is her body to do what she wants. Millions of people have had abortions, she isn't the first, nor will she be the last. Get over it!

  • humphrey

    i want to punch her square in the face.

  • Lucy

    I know this controversy has since passed but…
    As someone who has actually had a medical abortion (yes, a real induced miscarriage) from a real pregnancy I have to say that this project is incredibly offensive and cheap. It degrades all of us who have actually suffered from our abortions, who actually understand that choosing to have an abortion is a decision that is riddled with pain. As a fellow art student and as a feminist I do not agree or appreciate any of Aliza's work or her so called theory behind it. Allow me to educate you, Aliza, an egg takes three weeks to be fertilized (21 days after conception) and in order for there to be an embryo to abort a woman must be aprox. 5 weeks into her pregnancy. Because you "abort" at 28 days or less, you have no embryo making your project a sick joke and a degradation to contemporary art. Nobody wants to see you have your period in a bathtub. I can't believe Yale tolerates you, you are insulting to women, art and the art community.

  • Jon K. ' 78 (BK)

    Ick !

    (not sure if any of the 361 comments before this have already said the same thing)

    Jon K. ' 78 (BK)

  • ReadyToPuke

    This woman should be sterilized. How many children did she MURDER?
    Thats what it is MURDER. How evil sick and twisted a time we live in when some couples are dying to have a child, and others kill those children for "art". This woman should be put in prison with a life sentence for each child she MURDERED. Totally sick.

  • lee

    thats disgusting

  • Jamie

    I would now not attend Yale specifically because of this event. I'm pro-choice, but this crosses the line, and I would not want to be affiliated with an institution that condoned such ugliness. This is not art, this is just someone thinking up the best way to stir controversy.

  • Ashley

    All political comments aside, this is wrong. I am a firm pro-lifer, however, this goes beyond the pro-life/pro-choice debate. While I understand a "woman's right to do what she wishes with her own body", when she becomes pregnant, it is no longer her life that she is making decisions about. This "art project" has nothing to do with a woman's rights. It is sick and immoral. This student intentionally created life and ended it for the sake of art/publicity/a statement/whatever. How could anyone support this? Yes, art is subjective, but not at the expense of human life. Murder is never art, no matter what. I hope that this student can come to realize the horrific things she has done. I pray that she will understand the gravity of this project and pray that she will ask God for forgiveness. I also pray for all of the unborn life that was lost for the sake of "art".

  • Laura

    Wow. I had also based my degree show on the subject of emotions that follow abortion. After making a difficult choice, I wanted to make a tribute and offer a form of guidence to others who suffer emotional difficulties as i felt i had little. I would never wish to purposely go through it intensely. ]

    It is upsetting, value of life out the window. so many other people will find this difficult. shame.

    I searched the net to find founding bodies to help put my work out there to help others, and found work is out there risking others mentality.

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  • Pingback: Controversy Over Abortion Art | BSGE TOK Site

  • Pingback: Paper #2: Aliza Shvarts’ Abortion Art | Lucy's Blog