Its summer and one of the things that people associate with summer is the annual state fair.  I think that almost every state has a state fair and in some states, there are multiple ones.  For me, the state fair conjures up childhood memories of carnival rides, demolition derbies, tractor pulls, livestock and food judging, music concerts, and the treats like hotdogs, ice cream, and my favorite; cotton candy.

At the state fair in North Dakota, there is a tradition that there is a parade held on a Saturday and many children attend the parade because candy is thrown to the crowd as the parade passes.  This year, there was an added surprise in one of the bags of candy being tossed to the children, in attendance.

In a particularly creepy ploy, anti-choicers slipped squishy fetus toys into children’s candy bags during a parade at the North Dakota State Fair.  The doll, called “The Precious One” is manufactured by Heritage House, a pro-life store, and retails for $1.50 apiece, less if you buy them in bulk, which apparently the pro-lifers did, since there were lots of five and six year olds running around squeezing, throwing and playing with their squeezable fetus toys afterwards.

North Dakota pro-lifers  have recently lost in federal court their bid to ban abortions at six weeks and also a law requiring physicians performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospitals to any clinic providing abortions.  Both laws were recently deemed unconstitutional, by federal judges, but that hasn’t stopped them from trying everything they can to win the battle against choice.

A mother of three who attended Saturday’s parade, was likewise affected by the “Precious Ones” she found in the candy bags her kids got for free during the event.  “They’re so lifelike. I’m squeezing it. It’s fleshy.”

The mother says she’s “in the middle” when it comes to abortion, but feels that her rights as a parent were compromised at the parade when her children were handed the fetuses along with informational pamphlets that included lines like “Week 1: conception; the baby is smaller than a grain of sugar, but the instructions are present for all that this person will ever become.”

“My kids can read,” she said.  “I shouldn’t have to explain to five and six-year olds what abortion is at a family event.  I doubt these people would be allowed to hand out condoms to little kids.  But it’s okay to talk to them about abortion without my permission?”

The dolls are designed to brainwash youngsters—pregnant women, too—out of ever terminating an unwanted pregnancy.  “Its beautiful detail, softness and weight can really move hearts and change minds,” the Heritage House website says.  Usually, the fetus toys are given directly to pregnant women and to kids at school demonstrations.

Regardless of what side of the debate you are on when it comes to the issue of abortion, a political statement such as this; has no place at an event such as this.  Issues should be decided in the voting booth or in our legislative chambers, not at a parade and surely not through our children.