The White House wants you to register your fetus as a person when you take a tour.
Or do they?
Anti-choicers have been lighting Twitter up with tweets and links to post talking about how the White House wants you to register your “unborn child” if you’re going on a tour. The antichoicers have been talking about this as mixed messaging, acknowledgement of a fetus as a person, and other silly hoopla. However, what they’re not tweeting is the full story.
Luckily, Politifact was nice enough to post about this topic. Here’s the part the anti-choicers probably won’t tell you:
“Schafer’s email was an explanation of how to fill out information for pregnant women who will bring their new baby on future White House tours. ” said Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan.
In other words, if you are going on a tour of the White House on June 1st, they want to you include every person who will be on the tour on June 1st, including your newborn infant… even if today is May 1st and you’re still pregnant with this to-be newborn infant.
“I know people are construing it as an unborn child, but the visit isn’t occurring (now). If a pregnant woman shows up at the White House, we don’t count two people. It’s sort of a way of expediting (the process) so no one gets hung up at the gate,” he said.
So the White House doesn’t need you to register your fetus if you’re going on a tour while still pregnant. However, if you are going to give birth in between the time you register for a tour and the time you take a tour, it would be very helpful if you would include your to-be child in your list of people.There is no disconnect at the White House between recognizing fetuses for security and for rights. Because this isn’t about fetuses; it’s about infants. This recognition of an infant before it is born is the same thing most women do when they have a baby shower before they give birth. It’s part of living in a world with a linear timeline. Anti-choicers should stop acting like this is some sort of meaningful sign in the abortion debate, and start seeing it for what it is: a matter of convenience for families visiting the White House.