Are the Squishy Fetal Models Weird?

UPDATE: So I originally posted this discussion question to get different opinions, so purposefully didn’t post my own so as not to lead the discussion. But now that the discussion has largely been had, for the sake of clarity, I’ll summarize my opinion which I posted in the comments:

I was slightly in favor of using the models when I wrote the post, and after reading some great comments both here and on the Facebook page, I am even more strongly for the models. (I think there are a few things we should probably avoid, like putting them all in a basket, but that doesn’t make the models intrinsically bad or even weird.)

I simply think that it’s worthwhile for us as a group to occasionally stop, look at an objection from someone on our own side, (or even the other side,) and consider that objection without bias. I think Rob Port is wrong about these models being inherently weird, but those are the kinds of conversations we should have sometimes, because we want to be effective.

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So this is interesting to me. A pro-life blogger named Rob Port recently wrote a blog post titled, “Dear Pro-Lifers: Can You Stop Being A Bunch Of Weirdos?” I was immediately interested because I’ve said before that I want to help pro-lifers to be “more persuasive and less weird.”

Heritage House

Heritage House

In his piece, Port writes about an experience of being with his family at a state fair and a pro-life exhibitor handing his five-year-old daughter a “little rubber baby.” He writes,

“We threw it away, and we noticed a lot of the weird little creepies littering the garbage bins.” 

He ends his post with this:

“Whatever group is out there trying to promote the pro-life message by handing out squish alien babies, stop. You’re doing more harm than good.”

I know of the models Port is writing about. I’ve seen baskets filled with them at pro-life fair booths. I never really knew how I felt about that. On one hand, some kids seemed to love them and it was always cool to see parents stop and show their children what size they were when they were 12-weeks old in their mommy’s tummy. On the other hand it may look a little odd for a pro-life organization to fill a basket with dozens of baby models and they don’t always get a positive reaction, even from kids. I’ve seen several boys take one and immediately stretch the rubber as far as they can go, trying to see if they can rip or twist the baby’s body in two.

Heritage House

Heritage House

I’d like to get your take on the squishy fetal models. Are they helpful, or just weird? Or maybe they can be both but still be too weird to be worth using if a less weird alternative could replace it. I’m also wondering if you think that the larger fetal model sets are equally weird/not weird as the cheap 10-12 week model that Port’s daughter was given.

Post your thoughts in the comments below!

The post “Are the Squishy Fetal Models Weird?” originally appeared at JoshBrahm.comClick here to subscribe via email and get exclusive access to a FREE MP3 of Josh Brahm’s speech, “Nine Faulty Pro-Life Arguments and Tactics.”

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Josh Brahm is the President of Equal Rights Institute, an organization that trains pro-life advocates to think clearly, reason honestly and argue persuasively.

Josh uses speaking, writing and campus outreach to emphasize practical dialogue tips, pro-life philosophy, and relational apologetics.

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