Ultrasounds have always been a fantastic tool for manipulation of opinion. Anti-abortion activists push mandatory ultrasounds prior to abortions as a primary key in hoping to cause a last minute change of heart in pregnant women, saying it could save thousands of “babies” lives, despite the fact that studies frequently have shown almost all women who go to an abortion clinic and receive an ultrasound still go ahead with the abortion.
But mandatory ultrasounds, although a strategic win for the anti-choice faction, has stopped being enough. Now, fetuses in the womb are expected to pull their own weight in the political arena, too. Earlier this year, two “fetuses testimonies” were supposed to be provided in the debate in Ohio over whether or not abortion should be legal once a heartbeat could be detected — approximately four weeks post conception. Only the 15 week old fetus was able to follow through, though, while the nine week fetus was barely audible.
Still, that hasn’t stopped the movement from continuing to use their favorite prop. This weekend, to launch their “Summer of Mercy 2.0″ anti-abortion rally in front of Dr. Leroy Carhart’s Germantown, Maryland clinic, activists met in a pre-event church where they prayed and watched live ultrasounds projected on a 20×20 foot screen.
And it is, in fact, a prop. The idolization of the fetus — not the woman carrying it, not the child it will become who needs food, health care, clothing and schooling. The baby in the womb has become the perfect focal point for the anti-choice movement. It needs someone to “protect it” but no financial support, no schooling, no insurance or food or clothing. It is mostly inert and needs nothing from them except their ceaseless efforts to ensure its mother carries it to term by whatever means it takes.
Who doesn’t enjoy a little fetal theater?
Photo credit: wikimedia commons
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