Here at the Ms. Blog, we don’t usually turn down cupcakes. But over the next few days, we’ll be forgoing any of the tasty deserts handed out by the Cupcakes for Life movement.
In case you didn’t see it on your calendar, this Sunday, October 9, is National Pro-Life Cupcakes Day, designed by folks against reproductive choice who want to “spark conversations specifically about the children who never get to have a birthday.” (Jehovah’s Witnesses? No, those fetuses not carried to term, on whom the anti-choice movement wants to bestow personhood.) Since the “holiday” lands on a weekend this year, the Cupcakers say it’s OK to celebrate it on Friday or Monday instead, because their goal is to encourage students to bake “as many birthday cupcakes as humanly possible” and hand them out for free at their schools. And while you’re handing them out, hit your fellow students with falsehoods about the after-effects and “risks” of abortion.
Naturally, many pro-choicers roll their eyes at the holiday. Responses to previous National Pro-Life Cupcake Days have ranged from criticizing their website’s spelling to bemoaning the ruin of baked goods. My first reaction, too, was the proverbial eye-roll over the ridiculousness of putting sugary frosting and brightly colored sprinkles on issues as important as abortion and reproductive rights, and then a jaw-clench over the idea of anti-abortion propaganda being forced on children through the Trojan horse of a cupcake. And I just had to laugh at the FAQ, “What if I run into someone who is pro-choice and they smash cupcakes in my face?” (Answer: “Wipe the cake off your face and share the rest of them with someone less angry inside. Go with courage and go with love, the unborn need you to be their voice.”)
My next reaction, though, was that Cupcakes for Life has a point. We should talk to children about abortion rights, and give them factual information. It might be a hard conversation to start, but children may be better prepared for it than we think. They’re already learning about politics and law and sex and health and civil rights. And that’s what an abortion-rights talk could touch on. Here’s how one parent broached the subject with her daughter, and how she kept talking about it over the years.
I certainly don’t think that handing out cupcakes and telling kids that “1 of every 3 children are never allowed to have a birthday” will do the trick.
So I pose this question to you, readers: Do you have ideas about or experience with these necessary conversations about abortion and abortion rights? And do you have a good recipe for Choice Cookies?