These pastels of mothers killing their sons and daughters were completed by Paula Rego in 1999. As a feminist on a social justice crusade against the laws that protected prenatal children in Portugal, Paula was instrumental in stripping away the human rights of Portuguese children living in the womb.
Just eight years after these images were released, the people of Portugal began legally aborting their babies by the tens of thousands.
In a 2002 interview, Paula had this to say about her depiction of abortion:
What Paula seems to forget, or likely dismiss, is that the true violence isn’t expecting a pregnant mother to care for and protect her child, it’s the brutal killing of that child.
Sympathy is always misplaced for any mother who willfully acts to kill her baby, no matter where that baby happens to live. If a mother killed her newborn or toddler, she would receive no solace. Somehow, when she kills that same child while cradled in her womb, many in society hold her up as an example of courage and defiance.
Abortion is anything but courageous. In fact, it’s the ultimate act of cowardice.
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