Thousands of comments greeted Alexander Tsiaras's artistic presentation of life in the womb. Many were hostile. His biggest crime? He called it a baby. In other words:
Don’t tell me about the vertebrae that form to hold a spinal cord. Don’t tell me about the neural cells that meet to make a brain. Don’t tell me how the eyelids form. Don’t tell me about the little hands that meet across the heart. When the heart beats, don’t tell me. Don’t worry my head with fingerprints, or DNA, or bones. I have a right, you know, to choose.
So don’t you dare say “baby.” I have a right to words that sound not-human--zygote, foetus, embryo. I don’t care what your dictionary says about “unborn humans.” No “baby.” That word is anti-choice. I will not say what I have chosen. Damn your transitive verbs. I choose a choice. A choice to choose. No “what.” No “whom.” Don’t ask me.
You try to show me pictures. I won’t look. How dare you try to make me see. I’ll keep my mass of cells, my blob, my thing no different from a chicken, no better than a lizard. Those can be cut and crushed and burned, and I don’t have to feel a thing. That’s all I will remember. A wart, a fingernail, a cyst. It’s gone.
Besides, I’m just a teen. I’m starting my career. I have to finish school. The guy doesn’t care. Besides. It’s my body. It’s my life. It’s my choice. I don’t want to be tied down. Adoption? That’s too hard. Besides. Some kids are poor. Wouldn’t it be better not to live? Unwanted, wouldn’t it better not to live? Besides, the baby… no, the foetus… no, the product of conception might grow up to be a criminal. Might grow up. Might grow. Wouldn’t it be better not to live? I’ll decide.
Keep your scans and sonograms. Keep your physiology. Keep your scientific observations and your logic. Keep your photos and your Bible and your wonder. Keep it. It’s only propaganda. It’s only meant to deny me choice. Don’t use it. Don’t tell me. Don’t show me. I will not see.