Having an abortion: A decision made blindfolded, with a baseball bat in one's hands, at a child's birthday party?

By Rebecca Traister

Published July 16, 2007 1:44PM (EDT)

A Broadsheet study question:

Did anyone else notice the illustration next to the Modern Love piece in this weekend's New York Times Sunday Styles section? The story, "Would Our Two New Lives Include a Third?" was by Ronda Kaysen (a former colleague of mine). Kaysen writes about how, soon after moving with her husband to Mexico to learn Spanish and jump-start their careers as international reporters, she found herself accidentally pregnant and made a series of difficult decisions about whether to have an abortion. She and her husband eventually decided against termination, and plan to have their child while living in Mexico.

Great! Congratulations, Ronda! On the baby, the Mexico move and the Times piece: Mazel tov!

But what's up with the art that accompanies the story? The illustration, by David Chelsea, is of a short-skirted, tank-topped chick in a burqa-size blindfold, wielding a big fat baseball bat, seemingly on the verge of striking ... a baby piñata. Yes, folks, you read that right. A piñata. In the shape of a baby.

So what was the thinking here? Mexico, abortions ... clubbing a papier-mâché infant until it bursts open and showers you with candy treats? That deciding whether to have an abortion is a lot like swinging a bat blindfolded at a kid's birthday party?

Weird. Discuss.

Rebecca Traister

Rebecca Traister writes for Salon. She is the author of "Big Girls Don't Cry: The Election that Changed Everything for American Women" (Free Press). Follow @rtraister on Twitter.

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