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I have a few guilty pleasures, and this is one: I love following young, skinny and tanned mothers absolutely killing it on Instagram. They’re usually Mormon with a gaggle of kids, and their messages are always filled with sunshine and light. They have a wide fanbase, a cross-section of women from every economic, political and social perspectives and the key to their success is not offending any cross-section of fans.
Ellen Fisher is a vegan, natural mother homeschooling in Hawaii, pregnant with her third baby. She posts about food, her kids, her idyllic lifestyle in paradise. And this week, she tossed a match into a powderkeg with this pro-life message:
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At 15 weeks pregnant the baby inside of me has unique, one-of-a kind fingerprints that are visible already. He/she has fingers and tiny fingernails and toes and eyes and a face and developing organs. The baby’s heart is pumping roughly 25 quarts of blood every day and will continue as he develops in the womb. She has reflexes and can open and close her fingers and make movement with her mouth. Between 15 to 20 weeks baby will double in size. As his body grows, his nervous system is rapidly maturing. His nerves are connecting his brain to the rest of his body, traveling to the brain and then down the spine and beginning to extend into his torso and limbs. Sensory development is picking up speed and her brain is designating special areas for smell, taste, hearing, vision and touch. As your baby grows he creates a strong connection to you and is learning who you are. She can sense your mood and temperament. And just 21 days following conception – the baby’s organs start to develop, and the heart begins to beat. These developmental milestones often take place before the mother even knows she is pregnant. How amazing is the miracle of growing babies! Babies in the womb have intrinsic value. The difference between us and them is time.
It’s hardly explosive content; Fisher is merely stating scientific facts about fetal development and expressing her awe about the humanity of her tiny baby in the womb. And for that, her page exploded with outraged fans aghast that she might possibly value her unborn baby as a human being, that she may dare hold a view on abortion and the intrinsic value of life unlike theirs.
But while there has been an avalanche of vitriol and reportedly, death threats, so too has there been an outpouring of love and support from pro-life Americans. Fisher took a risk in stating her beliefs publicly, risking alienating a fanbase over the most divisive issue in American culture and politics. This isn’t just about angering people; Fisher took a real gamble stating her unpopular opinion (in pop culture, at least) when her popularity and income is derived from keeping her fans happy. It’s encouraging to see someone take a stand, against all of their better interests, to acknowledge what is right. And so, the least pro-life Americans can do is lend their support to her in turn, as they’ve already started doing in the comments on this latest post.Published in