Welcome to Chatting the Pictures. Every two weeks, we present a short, lively video discussion between Michael Shaw, publisher of Reading the Pictures, and writer, professor, and historian, Cara Finnegan, examining a significant picture in the news. Chatting the Pictures is produced by Liliana Michelena.
This photo was taken by Evelyn Hockstein for Reuters. It shows Dr. Shelly Tien performing an abortion while a nurse assists with ultrasound at Planned Parenthood in Birmingham, Alabama, on March 14, 2022. At this point, Alabama relies entirely on out-of-state doctors to provide abortions—a procedure that could effectively end in many states if the draft Supreme Court decision to end Roe vs. Wade becomes law.
In this video, we discuss all the elements in the photo that inform the existential threat to abortion rights and services. That extends from the intimacy and the safety of the setting to the foreboding of the ticking clock and the tension in the patient’s hand. We also refer to another photo Hockstein took for the story to look ahead.
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