(Photo credit: Wendi Kent)
Photojournalist Wendi Kent avoids using the word “shoot” as she takes pictures at abortion clinics nationwide.
It’s such a common part of the photographer’s vocabulary that it’s hard not to say. But in light of clinic shootings like the recent one at a Colorado Planned Parenthood, the word takes on grim meaning and Kent steers away from it.
Kent, of Madison, Wisconsin, travels the country for her ongoing “Faces of the Fight” photojournalism project. It’s a distinctly different enterprise than other abortion-related photography or visual advocacy, which have tended to focus on rallies, specific political campaigns or measures, or on the stories of women who have had abortions, such as Allison Joyce’s “Abortion: After the Decision” or Jennifer Baumgardner’s groundbreaking “I Had An Abortion” campaign.
Kent takes pictures of anti-choice protesters who surround clinics often for the purpose of bombarding staff, patients, and passers-by with images of fetal remains and condemnation. Her photographs capture anti-abortion activists who hover and pray silently; others who throw dolls drenched in faux blood on the sidewalks where they “counsel” women; and vocal opponents who spout nonstop religious invective.