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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Abortion Performance and Politics

Creative Commons 'BY-NC-ND' version 3.0 license

“Performing abortion” typically refers to what health care providers do in clinics, private offices, and (rarely) hospitals 1.21 million times per year,every year, in the United States. At the same time, the phrase indicates what performance artists, choreographers, and activists have been doing on stages, in galleries, and on the streets for decades. Candelario is intrigued by this double meaning that invites us to take seriously what abortion means at this political and historical moment, but also what performance, activism, and the concerted actions of bodies can do. This article offers some introductory thoughts on these intertwined issues, and represents the beginning of a larger project Candelario is conducting. “Performing Abortion: FeministCultural Production after Roe v. Wade” wasconceived with the premise that the examination of performances of and about abortion by feminist artists and activists may reveal productive strategies for reframing the abortion debate in the United States.

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