God and abortion are tied together, according to one artist who is regularly promoted by the abortion industry.
Artist and activist Viva Ruiz recently accepted the position of “artist-in-residence” with Shout Your Abortion [SYA], a group that promotes women’s positive abortion stories. Ruiz, who has served as a Planned Parenthood panelist and has displayed art exhibitions throughout New York City, is best known as the founder of “Thank God for Abortion” [TGFA]. In a video for SYA that has gone largely unnoticed, she spoke about her work.
Ruiz began TGFA in 2015 as a response to the closing of U.S. abortion clinics. Her goal is to normalize abortion and combat the “dominant extreme right wing ‘sin’ perpsective [sic]” by selling T-shirts and other paraphernalia with the “Thank God for Abortion” slogan.
“‘Thank God for Abortion,' felt like a very natural thing for me to say,” Ruiz said in an interview with artforum about her parade float in the 2018 New York City Pride March. “God loves me, and blesses the two abortions I had.”
SYA heralds Ruiz as a self-described “queer Latinx non-evil Gemini” and “prophet of a divine message.” According to the group, her work “repurposes Catholic ritual and dogma to bring spirituality and faith to people having and providing abortions.”
That’s because the Catholic Church “loomed large” in Ruiz’s childhood, writer Svetlana Kitto revealed in a story published by the Cut last year.
Ruiz told Kitto that she “loved church” every Sunday: “I was a lector but wanted to be an altar boy.” But, Kitto added, “Gender expression and experimentation were not exactly encouraged,” and, according to Ruiz, her “love for Jesus got beaten out” in that “misogynistic gender cage.”
Today, Ruiz speaks openly about her life’s work. Wearing all white with crosses adorning her neck, Ruiz promoted TGFA in SYA’s five-minute video.
“TGFA is about talking about how blessed we are to have both God and abortion in our lives,” she stressed, speaking as a “person who has had multiple abortions and who feels great about it.”
And God was “a part of me feeling great” about abortion, she said.
The “divinely guided” project began, she continued, because “I was upset about people being offended by this idea of God being all right with abortion when I know that it is true that God is all right with abortion.”
Her designs “had an effect,” including when she first sold her products at a queer market.
“[I]t was like I was a confessional, like people wanted to tell me about their abortion stories,” she remembered.
Her work captured the attention of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, which invited her to be panelist, she said. At the time, she asked them if she could perform a song – which later became her theme song.
Ruiz indeed performs a song called “Thank God for Abortion (Get with It)” on her group’s YouTube channel.
“God is cool with me/ F*** the state they can’t take it/ God is cool with me/ F*** the church they only fake it,” she chants. “Abortion rights safe and free.”
She later adds, “The power of Christ compels me.”
The song and her T-shirt, which she calls an “one-person abortion parade,” are tools, she explained in the SYA video. More specifically, “It’s a great coming-out-of-an-abortion-closet tool.”
She said that she has encountered several responses to her “art”: Some are stunned, others love her, and others hate her.
“That’s also why it’s important to combine these two ideas” of God and abortion, she said. “Because the more frequent it is out there, the more people get used to it.”
In addition to creating a New York City Pride March float, another project of hers was an “abortion church at a gallery downtown” where “we created a kind of chapel holy place that celebrated abortion.”
Ruiz may have referred to her ProAbortion Shakira: A Thank God For Abortion Introspective art exhibition in 2019 that served as a “backdrop for a series of discussions” called “TGFA TV Talk Show Sunday Prayer Hours.” It included speakers from Planned Parenthood, New York Abortion Access Fund, and SYA, wrote artist Simon Wu for the Brooklyn Rail.
Ruiz also participated in an “Abortion Is Normal” art exhibition in New York this year, Artnet News reported. At the exhibit, Ruiz pointed out “abortion saints,” or mannequins wearing golden haloed headdresses along with her T-shirts.
Her group has also visited the Vatican. Wherever they go, they come prepared with costume pieces, including a headpiece with protruding golden rays.
“This is the piece we made for the saints at the abortion church and it is the liberty spike abortion,” Ruiz said in the SYA video. She also showed off a pair of glasses with the word “Aborto” wrapped around the lenses. Last but not least, she revealed a pope’s mitre with a golden dove and the word “abortion” embroidered on it.
“It’s for my abortion pope look,” Ruiz said. “I think the pope would love me if he got to know me.”
She concluded by recognizing SYA as “family” and calling her artist-in-residency status “so joyful.”
Ruiz is right that God loves her and every person, but it’s because of this that abortion – the destruction of a human person in the womb who is equally beloved by God – is a grave offense in the eyes of the Church.
In the Catholic Church, abortion incurs excommunication “latae sententiae,” meaning that if a woman gets an abortion with the knowledge that it’s a grave sin and an excommunicable offense, she is subject to automatic excommunication.
“Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception,” the catechism reads. “From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person - among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.”