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Healer: Design and Reproductive Health
Core Series
Monday, November 18, 2013 6:30pm
Wood Auditorium

Healer: Design and Reproductive Health

Download the event transcript here.

How can design facilitate access to reproductive health care? And conversely, how can it hinder? Pioneering activists Rebecca Gomperts and Merle Hoffman are joined by GSAPP Faculty Laura Kurgan and Hilary Sample to explore these questions spatially. Amsterdam-based Gomperts is a doctor, activist, and Founder and Director of Women on Waves, which according to Artforum, "works within international maritime law to provide abortions and contraception to women denied access to such services, via a ship bearing a clinic/container designed by Joep van Lieshout," as well as the online platform Women on Web, which offers consultation and abortion pills to women in need. New York-based Merle Hoffman founded Choices Women's Medical Center in 1971—two years before the landmark US Supreme Court case Roe v Wade—where she chartered “Patient Power,” or, a way for women to participate in their own medical decisions, co-opted the metal hanger as a symbol of the Pro-Choice movement, and recently, opened a new and state-of-the-art clinic in Jamaica, Queens. This conversation marks the 40th anniversary of Roe v Wade.

Merle Hoffman's book Intimate Wars: The Life and Times of the Woman Who Brought Abortion from the Back Alley to the Boardroom will be available for purchase by Book Culture.
Photos by Justin Liu, Columbia University GSAPP
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