SWNYhanger By Isolde Walters - New York office - 646 873 7565 - [email protected] A pro-choice millennial had a COAT HANGER tattooed on her back to protest cuts to reproductive rights.
Robin Pereira chose to ink the household item, associated with dangerous backstreet abortions, between her shoulder blades with the words 'never again'.
The activist, 23, who has never had an abortion herself, said the tattoo represents all the women who lost their lives undergoing terminations without a doctor present.
Robin, of Washington, D.C., USA, said: "This tattoo symbolizes that we will never forget the women who died because they wanted autonomy over their bodies.
"This tattoo is a promise to myself that I will never let history turn its back on women." Robin, who works as a housing co-ordinator at non-profit organization the National Network to End Domestic Violence, had been planning on getting the tattoo since September 2018.
She said: "When Trump was elected, it was an 'oh no, bad things will happen' moment.
"I cried and cried." She feared that Roe vs Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling making abortion legal across America, would be overturned.
"People always told me that it would never be overturned," she said.
"But look where we are now.
"It's not a matter of if but when.
"These new bans and restrictions are effectively making abortion impossible for many women in this country." Several states including Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi have pursued "heartbeat" bills which would ban abortion as soon as a physician can detect the fetus's heartbeat.
In some cases, the heartbeat can be heard as early as six weeks - before many women realize that they are pregnant.
The Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama legislation does not allow any exceptions for women who fall pregnant due to rape or incest.
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey admitted that she hoped the bill would force the Supreme Court to reevaluate the Roe vs Wade ruling.
The Trump administration announced earlier this year that it would block funding to Planned Parenthood and other clinics which refer women to abortion providers.
Robin compared the political climate in the USA to the hit Hulu TV show The Handmaid's Tale, set in a dystopian world where women have been stripped of their rights.
She said: "This is what it feels like now.
"We are living in The Handmaid's Tale." Robin finally got the inking last Wednesday when she passed by the Tulsa Tattoo Co., while on a work trip in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
"My team and I were right next to the tattoo parlor," she said.
"I'd been thinking about getting the tattoo for a while but I never had the time.
"I was there, talking and laughing with my team, the tattoo parlor was empty and I had good vibes.
"I said: 'I'm going to get my tattoo done!
Does anyone want to come with?'
"The tattoo artist drew out the tattoo for me.
"When he started to ink it onto my skin, I asked if he had ever done a coat hanger on anyone.
"He said that he had done one about 15 years ago but that it was not something people ask for often." Robin was filmed tearful and squealing with delight when she saw her tattoo for the first time before hugging the tattoo artist.
She said: "I want it on my body forever.
"Pretty much everyone who knows me associates me with abortion.
"I'm always talking about the importance of access to abortions.
"Abortion is not a dirty thing.
"We talk about it in a hush hush manner when really it's a health procedure that people should be able to get from their doctor or gynecologist.
"I have not had an abortion but one in four women in the USA have." Robin added that she is unconcerned if the tattoo leads people to assume she has undergone an abortion.
"That's fine," she said.
"I don't agree with any stigma against women who have had abortions.
"I hope the tattoo can spark a conversation.
"Although I do not know the names of all the women who died in back alley abortions, I will never forget them and I never want to hear of another women dying from a self-induced abortion.
"There is no such thing as stopping abortion, you just stop safe abortion." ENDS