Most people know that fetuses are human beings. To what other species would they belong? Still, the Canadian Medical Association just declared that babies aren’t human until after birth, and philosopher and bioethicist Peter Singer recently claimed that being human doesn’t give you the right to live. Each of these statements has helped to stir up both the abortion and personhood debates. However, new pregnancy trends could help bring humanity and rights back to the unborn.
Gender Reveal Party
Big in the U.K., gender reveal parties are a popular way of celebrating your new baby with family and friends. Pregnant moms have their doctor write down the sex of her baby on a sheet of paper and seal it in an envelope. The mother takes that envelope to a baker, who bakes a cake with either blue or pink on the inside. At the gender reveal party, guests watch with anticipation as the mom slices into the cake revealing whether her baby is a boy or girl. Bakeries in the U.K. have begun selling gender party packages for about the equivalent of $215.
This particular trend disturbs pro-choicers a great deal. Pregnant moms are photoshopping ultrasound images of their babies onto pictures of their round bellies. These pictures are fun and beautiful to some, but “morbid and disgusting” to others. Allison Benedikt from Slate had this to say about the trend:
[…] casually and publicly assigning human attributes to not-yet-human embryos—including an avocado-sized embryo in the family portrait—does not seem like the best way to argue against measures that seek to treat that avocado like a member of our collective American family.
Still, celebrating your unborn child is fun for moms, who will continue to do so, most likely to the abiding annoyance of the pro-choice extremists ready to blame them if any state decides to declare personhood status to fetuses.
To participate in this trend, simply take that ultrasound photo and turn it into a party. Parents across the country are celebrating their unborn child with family and friends, but this isn’t your standard baby shower. Parents show off their little one through 4D ultrasound images both in still shots and on DVD, with some parents even inviting sonographers to the party to perform live ultrasounds. What grandparent wouldn’t love this? However, Professor Cathy Warwick, head of the Royal College of Midwives, believes that these parties are dangerous. She told the Daily Mail:
‘What happens if a woman is celebrating a normal-looking baby and then it is discovered further down the line that something is wrong?’ she said. ‘Does it make it harder for women to accept the problem? It’s a bit like being given lots of presents at a wedding and then suddenly being jilted.’ She added: ‘If a woman is celebrating much more overtly than she might normally do at an early stage during the pregnancy and then, at a later stage, a serious problem emerges, a mother may need increased counselling after raising everyone’s expectations at a foetus party.’
First of all, receiving a diagnosis for your child is not anywhere near the same as being stood up at the altar. Being left by your fiancé is humiliating and infuriating. Finding out your child has a medical problem is distressing and worrisome. Any mother facing a complication or tragic news late in the pregnancy is going to be traumatized, and everyone she knows would still know about it. However, after throwing such a party, her friends and family will also have a connection to the baby and may be able to, therefore, offer greater support and comfort to the mother. These parties allow for bonding between the mother and her support network, as well as the baby and that same network, offering emotional benefits for all.
Social Media Accounts
Parents are creating Facebook and Twitter accounts for their unborn children, although Facebook has deleted at least one (likely for being under the Facebook age requirement). Other parents are simply using their own accounts to share ultrasound images and thoughts from the womb, placing an ultrasound photo for their profile pictures. In addition, parents are accessing the popular Baby Gaga Facebook widget, which posts weekly updates on their babies’ developments for all of their friends to see.
A new invention, which can convert data from ultrasound images, is allowing parents to hold life-sized models of their unborn children. This amazing technology lets parents get a clear image of the size and development of their baby. Plus, they can share that model of their child with everyone they know.
Each of these trends is rocking the pro-choice world and for good reason. Benedikt writes:
[…] it got us thinking about how the more we treat fetuses like people—including them in our family photo shoots, tagging them on our Facebook walls, giving them their own Twitter accounts—the harder it will be to deny that they are people when the next, say, personhood amendment comes up, with legislators and activists arguing that “the unborn child” inside a pregnant woman’s womb should have the same rights as the living among us.
Now, more than ever, we can see inside the womb and project those images to the world. Everyone has the ability to connect emotionally with a child growing inside someone else through ultrasound images, parties, and social media. These trends offer the opportunity for people to understand, accept, and love fetuses as members of the human species. Some people may find these acts of celebration silly, tacky, or disturbing, but all that matters is that they are going to change the way people view unborn children and abortion.