Whack-a-baby

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


Rebecca Traister
July 16, 2007 5:44PM (UTC)

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.

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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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