By Dave Andrusko
Pro-lifers have watched in horror as the embrace of abortion became a lust to kill unborn children up until birth. In the demented, upside down logic of abortion on demand, it seemed inevitable that it would became for some a kind of secular religion. But speaking just for me, I wasn’t ready for the “Church of Potential Life” and its worship of “abortion and female autonomy.”
In its Cliffnotes summary at the beginning of her story Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert tells us about the beginning of this performance art church:
- Jackie DesForges began imagining her Church of Potential Life after the Dobbs decision was leaked.
- As she watched reproductive rights roll back across the nation, she created an altar and new church.
No doubt, DesForges was plenty angry when somebody leaked a draft of the Dobbs decision which would overturn Roe v. Wade.
“I was very mad, like a lot of people were,” DesForges, a Los Angeles-based writer and artist, told Insider. The anger and sense of grief over the loss of abortion rights, she said, inspired her to create the provocative symbol of hope, which took shape over the next year.
She had recently started creating erasure poems, painting over or whiting-out passages in books and other writings to create new poetry from the words left behind, and was inspired to do so with the language from the legal document that rolled back reproductive rights for women across the country.
“So I decided I wanted to do something with this draft, and kind of write women back into it,” DesForges told Insider. “And I decided I wanted it to take the form of a manifesto for kind of this new, imaginary religion that sort of worships abortion and female autonomy.”
DesForges combed through the nearly 100 page Dobbs opinion “erasing and re-structuring the language of Justice Alito to create an altar-sized poem, which she displayed at the Bombay Beach Biennale art and literary festival in March.”
DesForges said “she drew power for the project by ‘taking the Supreme Court’s words and kind of using them against them’ reclaiming the words and the reasoning used to strip women of access to abortion,” Tangalakis-Lippert writes.
“At a renegade art and literary festival in Bombay Beach, California, Jackie DesForges knelt and prayed with passersby at the inaugural mass of her new church,” Tangalakis-Lippert writes. “Reading aloud from a sermon re-written using Supreme Court language, the group didn’t merely celebrate — they worshipped abortion.”
She also read aloud from the church’s manifesto, “completed a Gospel reading, and then, with a basket passed around to participants like a reverse donation plate, she encouraged Church of Potential Life congregants to take with them phrases from the manifesto, offering single lines of prose to think on.”
“It was truly like, the perfect location, at the perfect time,” she told Tangalakis-Lippert, “noting the fear regarding abortion access is still palpable as nationwide access to abortion-inducing drugs mifepristone and misoprostol has been called into question.
“It just felt meant to be.”
Tangalakis-Lippert’s story doesn’t include specifics—no “single lines of prose to think on.” Although their services are described as a “mass,” it’s pretty much a certainty that their liturgy borders on the blasphemous. “The perfect location, at the perfect time”? Hardly