I would like to start this post by saying that I LOVE stuffed animals; they are cute, cuddly and comforting. I have them in my room as well as in storage bins in both my house and my mom’s house because I can’t bring myself to throw them away or donate them. So yeah I love stuffed animals, but there are some places where stuffed animals just don’t belong. The Ohio State Senate (or any State Senate really) is one of them.
The anti-abortion group Faith 2 Actions apparently disagrees with that opinion. Last week they sent a group of children estimated to be around 9 or 10 into the offices of State Senators to present them with teddy bears who when squeezed played a recording of a heartbeat. They also recited a short appeal to pass the Heartbeat bill that will be voted on soon. According to quotes at the Huffington Post the children were not accompanied by adults, at least not into the offices directly.
The Senators interviewed by the Huffington Post all express the same sentiment, basically they are appalled. This was a blatant ploy by anti-abortion groups to try and emotionally manipulate the Senators. There was no subtlety or finesse; it was just a ridiculous attempt to guilt trip pro-choice lawmakers. Of course that isn’t really surprising since Faith 2 Action is the same group responsible for a fetus testifying during the House hearing on the same bill.
This most recent attempt at emotional manipulation was largely unsuccessful as new reports have come out stating that most of the Senators are returning the teddy bears. According to Ohio laws any gifts valued over $25 have to be reported as a gift and the bears are valued to cost $33.33. Since that is over the $25 limit most of the Senators don’t seem to feel it’s worth the effort to claim them. According to RH Reality Check, Faith 2 Action doesn’t want the bears back and have recommended the Senators donate them to CPC’s. I really hope they donate them to local children’s hospitals or homeless shelters that support families with young children instead. At least then they will go to organizations that actually try to help people instead of imposing religion on them.
For readers who aren’t aware, the Heartbeat bill is a potential law that would ban any abortions after a heartbeat can be detected in the fetus. The Heartbeat bill passed the House in June of 2011 but has yet to be voted in the Senate. There was a scheduled vote for the end of 2011 but it was postponed until the 2012 session due to concerns by Senators who wanted more time to evaluate some changes that were made.