“A bizarre surprise turned up in a state fair in North Dakota,” begins the reporter, in a tone typically reserved for stories involving severed limbs or decapitations. “Parents were stunned,” he continues dramatically. Then, slowly and deliberately, as if relating a story so shocking that it strains the credulity of his audience, the ABC News anchor describes what happened. “A North Dakota anti-abortion group packed these into bags and handed them out to kids at a state fair,” he explains. “Children as young as five and six were handed these…without their parents knowing. Many were disgusted by the stunt,” he concludes gravely, striking a note of righteous indignation mixed with just a hint of appropriate sadness.
And what exactly were these children given? Pornography? Cigarettes? Condoms? Loaded firearms?
They were given small plastic models of a healthy 10 to 12 week old human fetus (see picture).
Echoing the reporter’s thinly veiled sentiments, Samantha Gordon, the director of public affairs for NARAL Pro-Choice America, told ABC News that the stunt was “extreme and unsettling.” Diana Butcher, a local pro-choice activist, was even more impassioned. In an opinion piece in the Grand Forks Herald, Butcher wrote,
To what lows will the extremist opponents of a woman’s right to make health decisions go? Judging by the shaped plastic “fetuses” that they threw to children watching the parade at the North Dakota State Fair, they have definitely reached an all-time low in bad taste…How terrifying for those kids who picked up the items, expecting candy. Yuck! I only wish that more of the lawmakers who’d voted for North Dakota’s new gaggle of unconstitutional bills had been marching in the parade so they could have been pelted by those obscene objects of bad taste. Again: Yuck!
Terrifying? Yucky? Obscene? Butcher sounds like she is describing an abortion, not a human fetus. Being myself a member of the species Homo sapiens, I am rather offended. Does Butcher find this image of a dog fetus terrifying, yucky, and obscene? Does Butcher find this image of a dolphin fetus terrifying, yucky, and obscene? Does Butcher find this image of an elephant fetus terrifying, yucky, and obscene? What precisely does she have against humans?
Do not misunderstand. I am glad that Butcher and her compatriots have such ardent concern for the welfare of children. However, I fail to see the harm in giving a child a model of a human fetus. What sort of images does Butcher imagine that these children will encounter when they open a science book or visit a science museum? Heck, in this day and age, these children probably had their ultrasound pictures posted on Facebook before they were born.
The indignation expressed by these pro-choice advocates is as ironic as Butcher’s name. Over the past few months, these activists have been in a frenzy to stop various bans on late term dismemberment abortions, in which pain capable fetuses are slowly removed, piece by piece, from the womb. (Listen to this if you think I exaggerate.) Such a procedure is held to be a sacred right, and yet handing a slightly older child a small piece of plastic is viewed as “extreme and unsettling.” Yuck!