Video by Matt Anderson.

The Future of baby Is Now

Photo by Bruno Vanzieleghem

Photo by Bruno Vanzieleghem

Political theatre, 2016

In response to the nationwide Planned Parenthood protest on April 23, "fetish babies" crashed the protest dressed in bondage fetish wear, baby masks and diapers and engaged in group flagellation. The performers were then painted gold by adoring fetal idolizers. The action was intended to expose fetal idolatry and the perpetuation of fictional, coercive propaganda against the reproductive health organization. The anti-choice movement’s obsession with, and mischaracterization of the fetus obscures medical reality and a woman’s constitutional right to choice. Enlarged images of fetuses which are no larger than an inch and the personalization of mindless, senseless human embryos elevates the fetus to the status of a demigod.

The highly politicized anti-choice movement advocates for the abolition of Planned Parenthood, an organization that provides critical preventive and primary reproductive health care services to low-income women. The current cornerstone of their argument stems from a fabricated, fictional story that clinics “sell baby parts for profit”. Organizers of the April 23rd protest, entitled #ProtestPP, directly intended to irresponsibly perpetuate this contrived story in an attempt to leverage misunderstanding for political gain and impose the moral opinions of some upon a diverse community.

Despite the fact that a Texas grand jury cleared Planned Parenthood of all allegations and the producers of the misleading videos have been indicted on felony charges, anti-choice organizers have adopted the tactics of holding protests outside clinics alongside startling, exaggerated posters of fetal images suffused with language of scandal and crime to make them more potent. The strategy of elevating tiny human em­br­yos and fetuses to a rever­ence creates a fantasy in which the maternal body is both erased and criminalized.

Photo by Bruno Vanzieleghem

Photo by Bruno Vanzieleghem

This action employed grotesque, fetishized visuals to draw parallels to the approach of the anti-choice movement with a focus on bodies, eroticism and powerful imagery as a tool to communicate complex ideas.