We Heart: The Giant Abortion Pill Snow Drawing at Sundance, Celebrating Reproductive Autonomy

“Elevating public awareness of abortion pills is the best way that we currently have to expand abortion access.”

“Art activation” depicting mifepristone (left) and misoprostol (right). (Kylie Fly)

In honor of the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade on Sunday, Jan. 22, artist Michele Pred created a 50-foot snow drawing of the abortion pills mifepristone and misoprostol in a park nearby the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, where the film Plan C about abortion pills premiered the next day.

“I want to draw attention to the fight for abortion as healthcare and access for all,” said Pred, a Swedish American conceptual artist whose practice includes sculpture, assemblage and performance. “Despite the vast majority of the U.S. population being in favor of legal abortion, access is currently restricted or banned in 18 states. It is endangered in many more. In the U.S., access and awareness of pills is more important than ever—not only in mitigating harm from bans and providing an option for necessary healthcare but in moving rightful abortion agency to the individual while we work to restore our rights.”

Pred collaborated with the organizations Plan C and Wisp. Plan C provides up-to-date information on how people in the U.S. are accessing abortion pill options online for safe self-managed abortion in all 50 states. Wisp is the largest U.S. provider of sexual and reproductive telehealth services. They provide medication abortion in nine states. Activists with Planned Parenthood of Utah and Shout Your Abortion were also there.

Monica Cepak of WISP, Annabel Sheinberg and Candida Duran Taveras of Planned Parenthood Utah, Michele Pred, Amelia Bonow of Shout Your Abortion and Jenny Dwork of Wisp.(Kylie Fly)

“Elevating public awareness of abortion pills is the best way that we currently have to expand abortion access,” said Amelia Bonow from Shout Your Abortion. “I loved seeing Michele’s snow installation in a state like Utah and in a setting like Sundance—abortion pills are everywhere, and everybody needs to know that this option exists. Mifepristone and Misoprostol are a crucial public health solution as well as a symbol of defiance. If the coat hanger symbolizes the devastation of pre-Roe back alley abortion, abortion pills have come to represent the fact that safe, early abortion care is in the hands of the people and always will be, regardless of what any Court decides.”

The film Plan C, directed by Tracy Droz Tragos, documents the efforts of advocates and providers to expand access to abortion pills across the United States, including in states banning or restricting abortion.

Activists celebrating abortion pills at Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. (Kylie Fly)

Abortion pills now account for more than half of all abortions in the U.S., and up to 90 percent in countries like Sweden and Canada where they have been more widely adopted.

“The art activation was a moment of camaraderie and sisterhood, a moment to come together and gather the hope we need to move forward for abortion rights,” said Pred.

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Carrie N. Baker, J.D., Ph.D., is the Sylvia Dlugasch Bauman professor of American Studies and the chair of the Program for the Study of Women and Gender at Smith College. She is a contributing editor at Ms. magazine. You can contact Dr. Baker at cbaker@msmagazine.com or follow her on Twitter @CarrieNBaker.