Wednesday, October 21, 2009


The following is a cross-post with Choice USA.

I’ve found daily e-alerts regarding attacks on reproductive rights can be a better wake-up than my morning coffee. However, this particular one made me want to crawl back in bed, cover my head with a pillow, and never leave that spot again.

And Now A Word From Judy, The Talking Embryo

My first thought was that this had to be a parody. It’s just too… outlandish! Too offensive, too strange, and way too misogynistic!

If you listen to the actual voice-over from “Judy,” it seems like a weird joke. And you want to laugh, but the fact that it’s real makes it rightfully difficult to do so. After demonizing the woman’s body as a place where bad things happen (“All I want is to get out of here alive!”), a machete approaches the amniotic sac as Judy cries out for help. Yikes.

But creepy embryo voice-over aside, a quick deconstructing of Judy the Talking Embryo’s home site,, reveals more of the same BS consistently employed by the anti-choice camp, and then some. The radical factions that produced such a site so shamelessly utilized every last anti-woman cliché that it almost seems like a parody. Almost.

Let’s have a look at a couple’s highlights, shall we?

First of all, the logo kills me worse than Choice apparently kills Judy. It’s not just the fact that the image used to dot the “i” is clearly a microscopic embryo that, according to site creators, has consciousness, thought process, even a voice. The machete used to depict surgical implements to perform abortions reveals a horrific amount of ignorance about pregnancy termination procedures. If you’re going to argue against abortion, at least know what you’re talking about. Do we see any object that resembles a knife in the assortment of medical implements below?


I didn’t think so. That’s because abortion is a scalpel-free surgery. Aside from the needles used for intravenous fluids or to administer local anesthetic, there’s nothing really sharp about it.

Next up: obligatory testimonials from non-specific interviewees.

The three testimonials present run-of-the-mill regret stories that generally indicate the woman was being irresponsible and having unprotected sex with full intention of using abortion as birth control. (Why pick up free condoms from your local Planned Parenthood when you can miss school or work to pay $400 for outpatient surgery?) The coup de grace is the asterisked comment below: “Typical comments from typical young women but not necessarily these models.” What, they couldn’t even get real women to tell their stories?! (Who wrote these accounts, someone who’s never had an abortion before? Oh right.) But the real kicker is the way they choose to explain why more people aren’t so adamantly against abortion.

What grates at me here is the fact that I’ve been saying the exact same thing about the lack of comprehensive, inclusive dialogue about abortion in our society. Reproductive justice is such a complex idea with so many separate nooks and crannies that I never feel as though the pro-choicers can make enough of a compelling argument when so much of public opinion is shaped by headlines and sound-bytes. In fact, it seems as though every in-depth argument for choice can be so easily refuted by a generic anti-choice sound-byte that progress is simply not possible. Choice is complex; restricting abortion point blank is not. Besides, anyone else see the irony of decrying sound-bytes when Judy’s little voice provides only that?

I’m obviously being a bit comedic and satirical about this, but make no mistakes: not everyone will see this new attack on choice in such a light. To an impressionable ear, the sound-bytes used to frame abortion as a procedure that silences an adorable (?) little voice can indeed make an impact, be it an impact based on non-medical hyperbole. More people are being compelled to take sides on what other people do with their lives, and far too often the search for information takes them to one of these radical though well-funded anti-choice projects where opinions are shaped with propaganda. We need to be ready to stand up to that; we cannot simply dismiss that strange little voice crying for help as “the weirdest thing I’ve seen all day.”


The previous entry includes screen shots from CPC Watch makes no claims to ownership of those images.


Rosa said...

This is precisely the kind of thing CPCs use to get under women's skin. Emotional manipulation is what it is. Point blank. Think of all the women who are dealing with their abortions trying to negotiate whether or not they believe what they terminated was a human being. Same thing I went through after I self-aborted. Then to add a cute little voice that sounds like my 7 year old daughter?? Horrifying indeed the lengths people will go to just to impose their agenda on others.

Anonymous said...

1. It is not a machete. It's a knife. The surgical tools you display do the same work as a machete...dis-assemble the body of a living human being. 2. "real women"? They are obviously just as real as you,except they actually have a conscience. 3. "image wins over content"? Your handsome new president could give you lessons on that subject. 3. Your "in depth argument for choice" is easily refuted because it is just an empty lie. 4. "the weirdest thing I've ever seen"? You obviously haven't seen "Silent Scream" or "Hard Truth". 5. We are not imposing our agenda. We are saving the lives of human beings.

Crisis Pregnancy Center Watch said...

Anonymous: First, own up to your words and leave a real name. Second, lemme break this down for you like I would a two year old (or an 8 week gestation talking embryo):
1) Again, there's no knife involved. If you're really into truth, display a cannula or dilators.
2) Your website itself says these aren't actual words from real women. Do not attack my conscience or compassion. If I had none, would I work long difficult hours as a birth doula to help women and their families have the birth *they* want to have?
3) "My" president is also your president. You do not know whether or not I voted for him (I did not), and CPC Watch as an entity is not affiliated with any political party.
4) I've seen the Silent Scream, and read maybe 15 accounts from OBs, nurses, midwifes, oncologists... you name it, I've read their accounts of the inaccurate depiction of abortion presented in Silent Scream and Hard Truth.
5) There are maybe a million different avenues on the internet to debate the "human life" vs. "not human life" issue, and I am not about to enter into this exercise in futility with you. If anyone else would like to engage this person from the above comment (keeping mind that s/he thinks embryos can talk), be my guest, but I'm far too busy to waste time rolling my eyes at such inaccuracy.