The Last Safe Abortion

Carmen Winant

SPBH Editions


Winner of THE AUTHOR BOOK AWARD at the Rencontres d'Arles Book Awards, 2024

Focusing on the near-fifty-year period in which abortion was legal in the United States (1973–2022), The Last Safe Abortion recognises the care, advocacy, and community-building of abortion workers. Artist Carmen Winant draws from over a dozen personal, organisational, and institutional archives from across the Midwest, in Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois, Kentucky, North Dakota, and Ohio. The photographs themselves are surprisingly regular: women answer the phone, sterilize medical equipment, throw staff birthday parties, offer workshops, and schedule appointments. In centring the tender, quotidian, and routine acts that inform this healthcare work, Winant works to counter the ways anti-choice activists have weaponised photography by proposing a visuality that attends to abortion care. The Last Safe Abortion presents a selection of this vast collection of photographs, accompanied by a text by Winant.

This publication coincides with the complementary new edition of My Birth. Purchase My Birth here.

Spiral bound flexicover
30.5 x 22 cm, 172 pages

ISBN 978-1-739606-75-6
April 2024
€50 £45 $50

'In this project, what seems most serviceable is the proliferation of images – thousands, across decades, attesting to the healthcare work that has been performed throughout history, and will continue, in networks of organised, feminist care.’ ArtReview

'The visual language of anti-abortion lobbying … is as sensational as it is inaccurate. With The Last Safe Abortion, Winant wanted to construct an alternate canon of abortion photography.’ Document Journal

'In an age when images are so easily found online and digitally combined, Winant’s decision to amass a tangible archive and manipulate her source material by hand reflects a conspicuous conviction in the advantages of tactile experience.’ Artforum

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