WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, in advance of the 49th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision — which established the constitutional right to abortion — Planned Parenthood Federation of America, in partnership with interdisciplinary artist Alicia Eggert, unveiled “OURs.” This traveling light installation underscores the fight for abortion rights with a flashing neon sign that reads: “Our Bodies,” “Our Futures,” “Our Abortions.” The installation will embark on a cross-country tour through states where lawmakers are actively working to decimate abortion rights. We will illuminate the importance of abortion access at a time in history when abortion rights hang in the balance.
Planned Parenthood debuted “OURs” in a teaser video, featuring a song by the Resistance Revival Chorus, that shows the installation in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. The tour will begin next week.
In December, the Supreme Court heard arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, a case about a Mississippi abortion ban and a direct challenge to Roe. The court may very well overturn Roe and strip Americans of the constitutional right to abortion that has been ours for nearly a half century. If Roe is overturned, 36 million women — plus even more people who can become pregnant — could live in states where abortion is banned. Even with the constitutional right to abortion, politicians have steadily pushed harsher abortion restrictions and policies, putting abortion out of reach for too many. In 2021 alone, over 600 abortion restrictions were introduced, and more than 100 were signed into law — a record number in any one year since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.
At the Rally for Abortion Justice this past fall in Washington, PPFA President and CEO Alexis McGill Johnson told the crowd: “This moment is dark and that is why we are here. Movements exist because of darkness. And it is our job to imagine the light even when we can’t see it.”
“OURs” uses light as a medium that fits this moment — the worst time for abortion rights in nearly half a century. Light provides hope in the darkness of our current political reality. “OURs” message is clear: everyone — no matter where they live or how much money they make — deserves access to essential health care without barriers or political roadblocks.
And yet, the very people tasked with protecting our rights are leaving us in the dark. Planned Parenthood is going across the country to shine a light on our right to make decisions about our bodies, our futures, and our abortions. Our rights can’t and won’t be ignored. It takes a movement to cast this light; “OURs” will show the country that collectively we can. Learn more at BansOffOurBodies.org.
About the Artist: Alicia Eggert (b. 1981, she/her) is an interdisciplinary artist whose work gives material form to language and time, those powerful but invisible forces that shape our perception of reality. She has made flashing neon signs that illuminate the way light travels across spacetime, billboards that allow Forever to appear and disappear in the fog, and signs that reveal the relationship between reality and possibility. She is currently an Associate Professor of Studio Art at the University of North Texas, and she is represented by Galeria Fernando Santos in Porto, Portugal, and Liliana Bloch Gallery in Dallas.
Statement from Alicia Eggert, artist and creator of “OURs”:
“Nothing grabs our attention like a flashing neon sign. The constant rhythmic flashing serves both to beckon people and also to warn them. Light is a universal symbol of hope, and when it comes to abortion access, this particular moment in time seems pretty dark and uncertain. But we have to remember that light takes time to travel across space, so that by the time it reaches our eyes, everything we are seeing is technically already in the past. And if all the light we see is from the past, then the hope for a brighter future depends first on our ability to imagine it, just as Alexis McGill Johnson said. After we imagine it, we have to do everything we can to make that vision a reality.
"This flashing neon sign cycles endlessly through the statements “OUR BODIES,” “OUR FUTURES,” and “OUR ABORTIONS.” The constant interchangeability of those three statements serves to highlight their inseparability — how a person’s control over their own body determines how much control they have over their future, and how access to abortions is an essential part of that control. We hope to illuminate the importance of abortion access at a critical time in history.”
Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“The OURs installation serves as a beacon of light in the darkness of this moment. It’s both a reminder that we are all standing at the precipice of losing our constitutionally protected right to abortion, and that we will never stop calling for the freedom to decide our own futures — whether its at the Supreme Court or in states across the country. With over 36 million women — and more who can become pregnant — who are at risk of their state banning abortion if we lose the right to abortion, Planned Parenthood will never stop fighting for their ability to be seen and heard, and for lawmakers to meet the moment and the demand for protected access to safe, legal abortion, no matter what.”
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable sexual and reproductive health care for all people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect, and without judgment, striving to create equitable access to health care. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable education and information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives. Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that supports the independently incorporated Planned Parenthood affiliates operating health centers across the U.S.