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Yale Pulls Student's 'Abortion Art' Project From Exhibit Opening

Yale University followed through on its warning Tuesday and banned a student's "abortion art" project from the opening of a campus exhibit after she continued to deny that she fabricated shocking stories of multiple inseminations and self-induced miscarriages.

Senior Aliza Shvarts' controversial piece still could be included in the student show, which runs through May 1, Yale officials indicated.

"Her exhibit is not on display, but it's unresolved as to whether it will be," said Yale spokesman Tom Conroy, suggesting discussions were in progress between the university and Shvarts.

Shvarts kept mum through the weekend and early this week despite the school's calls for her to confess that she lied in describing how she constructed the project. She didn't respond to repeated calls or e-mails requesting comment.

Yale officials warned that unless the art major agreed to say in writing that she hadn't told the truth about artificially inseminating herself and then taking herbal drugs to try to induce miscarriages, they'd yank her piece from the student exhibit, which opened Tuesday morning and closes May 1.

"In this case, we will not permit her to install the project unless she submits a clear and unambiguous written statement that her installation is a work of fiction: that she did not try to inseminate herself and induce miscarriages, and that no human blood will be physically displayed in her installation," Yale College Dean Peter Salovey said in a statement released Monday.

The Ivy League university maintained its allegation that Shvarts spun a piece of "creative fiction" in describing how she produced the piece.

Shvarts' work was to have been displayed at the School of Art for "critique and discussion" with a faculty committee, according to Salovey.

In a column published in Friday's Daily News, Shvarts stood by her allegations that she artificially inseminated herself using sperm donors whose identities she claimed to be protecting, then took herbal drugs to induce possible miscarriages in her bathtub.

Though the college senior said she never knew whether she was pregnant, she says she collected blood around the time of her period after she ingested the herbs and then spread it onto hundreds of feet of plastic that she wrapped around a large cube, which would be hung from the ceiling. Videos of Shvarts undergoing the self-induced "miscarriages" were to be projected onto the cube and surrounding walls during the exhibit.

Shvarts has said her project is meant to inspire debate about the relationship between art and the human form.

Yale characterized the young woman as a performance artist. Officials said Shvarts' description of her creative process as well as her subsequent denial that the description was fictitious were all just part of her performance.

The university has insisted Shvarts told school administrators in interviews with them that her stories weren't true.