As a new Aborton Gang blogger, I was (and still am) very nervous about my first post. Thoughts kept running through my head: “What will be my blogging ‘voice’? Will I be able to live up to my fellow bloggers’ expectations?” Hence, it was super difficult for my overactive brain to decide on topic for this first post, and trust me, staring at a blank Word document, cursor blinking, just gets more and more stressful as the minutes pass by. Then I stumbled across this image.
The Indiana Right to Life county fair booth was actually distributing Pro-Life Silly Bandz. And upon further research, you can actually buy these things in bulk!
Silly Bandz are marketed primary towards pre-teens and adolescents. Personally my three nieces, all between the ages of eight and ten, are completely obsessed, excitedly ripping open each package, trading shapes, arguing over who has the “best” Band, Well girls, how would you like to wear an unborn fetus on your wrist?
As someone who has worked in the movement for many years, I’m no stranger to anti-choice propaganda for children, but how far is too far? (Shockingly, a search for “Pro Choice Silly Bandz” yielded no results.) This is how one particular website, Heritage House, advertises their Silly Band packages for purchase:
“Kids aren’t collecting Silly Bands, the Silly Bands are collecting kids! Lead-free, PVC-free, safety-tested silicone and FUN! Share these six brand new pro-life designs with youth groups, school groups, church groups and centers. They are light-weight and fun to wear.”
Elsewhere they write, ”What’s the latest rage kids are into? SILLY BANDS!! These crazy little shaped bracelets are making a huge hit all around the country! Now we carry them in Pro-Life words and shapes! Take advantage of this kid-friendly trend and share the messages of LIFE.”
This is outright propaganda and a blatant attempt to exploit a harmless childhood trend for a political (and religious) cause. In general, the ethics of marketing to children is highly debated. Some countries (hello Sweden!) have gone so far as to completely outlaw advertising directly to children under 12. Usually this debate is focused around unhealthy foods such as Happy Meals and bubble gum; however, it is even more dangerous to bring this issue into the abortion debate.
In one scene in the documentary “Jesus Camp,” children are shown playing with a series of plastic fetus models, their mouths covered with red tape with the word ‘life’ written across…..ultimately these children, some no more than eight years old, begin praying to overturn Roe v. Wade. With camps like these across the country, and parents and churches indoctrinating children before they are old enough to read, do we really need to add products like Pro-Life Silly Bandz into our lives? It’s just scary. What will they think of next? Needless to say, I will definitely be adding “Pro-Life Silly Bandz” to the list of things I will not be buying my nieces next year for Christmas.