By John-Henry Westen

April 17, 2008 ( – The internationally reported art project of a Yale University art major  who said she would document a nine-month process during which she artificially inseminated herself “as often as possible” while periodically taking abortifacient drugs, has been revealed as a hoax.

Yale released a statement today indicating that senior student Aliza Shvarts “stated to three senior Yale University officials today, including two deans, that she did not impregnate herself and that she did not induce any miscarriages.” The statement added, “The entire project is an art piece, a creative fiction designed to draw attention to the ambiguity surrounding form and function of a woman’s body.” Yale defended Shvarts’ project stating, “She is an artist and has the right to express herself through performance art,” but added, “Had these acts been real, they would have violated basic ethical standards and raised serious mental and physical health concerns.”

According to a report in the Yale University newspaper, the Yale Daily News, Shvarts was to commence a display of her senior art project Tuesday which reportedly featured her artificial inseminations and drug induced abortions. 

“Her exhibition will feature video recordings of these forced miscarriages as well as preserved collections of the blood from the process,” said the paper. “The goal in creating the art exhibition, Shvarts said, was to spark conversation and debate on the relationship between art and the human body.”

“I hope it inspires some sort of discourse,” Shvarts told the paper. “Sure, some people will be upset with the message and will not agree with it, but it’s not the intention of the piece to scandalize anyone.”

The paper suggested that some students did disagree with the ‘art,’ but Shvarts also was able to find other enthusiasts. Art major Juan Castillo told the paper “I really loved the idea of this project, but a lot other people didn’t. I think that most people were very resistant to thinking about what the project was really about.”

For her part, Shvarts indicated that her education in ‘art’ at Yale has taught her that her project is appropriate. “I believe strongly that art should be a medium for politics and ideologies, not just a commodity,” Shvarts told the Daily Yale. “I think that I’m creating a project that lives up to the standard of what art is supposed to be.”

  The story seemed believable coming from Yale, since the university has a history of unquestioning abortion support.

In 2006, the university announced that ob/gyn residents at Yale’s School of Medicine must undergo training in abortion procedures in a required residency program established by Planned Parenthood’s Connecticut branch (PPC). In 2007, the university observed “Roe v. Wade” week in which pro-abortion campus clubs taught students how to commit the “simple procedure” of abortion – a procedure made complicated and “emotionally traumatic” by “media attention.”

To contact the Yale School of Art:
  Yale University School of Art
  1156 Chapel Street, New Haven, Connecticut
  (203) 432-2600

To contact the president of Yale University:
  Richard Charles Levin
  President’s Office
  Yale University
  PO BOX 208229
  New Haven, CT  06520-8229
  Email: [email protected]
  Telephone: (203) 432-2550
  Fax: (203) 432-7105

  Read related coverage:

“Roe v. Wade Week” at Yale Features Do It Yourself Abortions