A group of self-described activist artists and “full-time rebels” draped a banner reading “God Bless Abortions” on a massive statue of Jesus overnight Friday.
Images on the artist collective Indecline’s Instagram page show a person hanging the banner between the outstretched hands of the seven-story Christ of the Ozarks monument in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
The banner was elevated in “direct response to the dramatic attempts being made in Arkansas and throughout the South, to ban abortion services to women in need,” the group said.
Arkansas is among numerous states, including Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas, that have passed abortion restrictions into law in 2021. Arkansas’s law, which bans all abortions except to save the life of the mother, has been subjected to a court challenge led by the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood.
“In Arkansas, there is only one 65-foot statue of Jesus. There is also only one abortion clinic. No professional sports teams. Just a bunch of angry men with no outlets, writing outrageous laws about vaginas,” Indecline wrote in the post. “It’s hard to see how ‘pro-life’ can be so myopic in its vision of what life is.”
“In their eyes, Mary Magdalene was a whore, not a favored disciple,” the group said, apparently referring to those who support abortion restrictions. “That’s just how they see a woman’s place in the world. And her body is a place too, private property to be legislated by a group of landlords.”
“We think Jesus would understand the concept of a difficult decision. He supposedly had to make a few of them and understood sacrifice very intimately,” the group added.
The group’s members were smuggled onto the mountain where the statue stands by a small team posing as a construction crew, it said.
Indecline was founded in 2001 and “focuses on social, ecological and economical [sic] injustices carried out by American and International governments, corporations and law enforcement agencies,” according to its website.
The group has taken similar action before, changing a Mississippi billboard that reads, “Worried? Jesus offers security,” to instead say, “Worried? Planned Parenthood offers abortions.”