During Sunday's Super Bowl, the snack company Doritos ran an ad showing an expectant mother receiving a sonogram while the father looks on, eating Doritos. With each bite, the baby responds, reaching for the chips. At one point the mother grabs a chip and throws it, leading the baby to suddenly emerge to get the chip.
NARAL (which is what the National Abortion Rights Action League is now called) immediately responded with this tweet:
According to NARAL, showing a baby craving salty snack chips is a "tactic," and in particular, a tactic with the audacity of "humanizing fetuses."
This tweet may be the most stupid and evil tweet in the history of pro-choice advocacy.
First, as to its stupidity, how is it possible to "humanize" something that is already self-evidently a human? No one questions that the fetus of a man and woman is a human fetus. From conception, human beings have unique genetic coding that make them human, as opposed to a plant or an animal. This is a simple scientific fact. As this wonderful video explains, "Fertilization is the epic story of a
single sperm facing incredible odds to unite with an egg and form a new human
So at conception something exists - that makes it a "being," and it is human - that makes it a "human being."
The debate between pro-lifers (like me) and pro-choicers is not whether the fetus is a human being, but whether the fetus is a person with Constitutionally protected rights. But no ethicist who argues for abortion rights, including writers like Peter Singer and David Boonin, denies that the fetus is a human. So this is the epic stupidity of NARAL's tweet.
But what classifies this tweet as not merely idiotic but truly evil is the implicit position NARAL is taking on the question of personhood. The Supreme Court's opinion in Roe v Wade declared that the fetus was not a person until the moment of viability, the time in fetal development when the baby could potentially live outside the mother's womb. In 1973, the Court determined that this was at the start of the third trimester. Of course, since then we have seen advances in medical technology that make viability a possibility much earlier than seven months.
But in the case of the Doritos commercial, this baby was not a newly conceived embryo, or even a two or three month old fetus. If you saw the commercial, it was obvious that the baby is nearly full term. This is made explicit by what the attending nurse says in the ad: "And there's your beautiful baby. Any day now."
Yet according to NARAL's tweet, a baby that is in the latest stages of the third trimester - that is days away from being born - is not only without the rights of personhood; that baby is NOT EVEN HUMAN.
When an ideology has so gripped the mindset of an organization that it cannot recognize the humanity of a baby days before it is born, then it is only a matter of time before such an ideology blinds it to the humanity of a baby days after it is born. And that is why this is the perhaps the most evil tweet ever by pro-choice advocates.