In the commercial, a husband and wife (we presume) discover that they are going to have a baby. "There's a baby in there!" the father-to-be cries, "There's a human being growing inside your stomach!"
Examples like this are critical to setting the parameters for the abortion debate. It shows that when it comes to desired pregnancies, everyone assumes that the fetus growing in there is in fact a baby. Yes, a legit human being.
Even Mary Elizabeth Williams admitted as much in a recent article in Salon. In what amounts to a naked confession, she comes out and says that yes, life starts at conception: "I believe that's what a fetus is: a human life." Somehow, though, she still has no problem with the idea of having an abortion, even after acknowledging that she considered her children to be, well, children, from the moment she found out she was pregnant.
There may be a semantic subtly at play here that distinguishes between what the Huggies commercial said and Williams' article. She uses the term "human life," eight times, but never "human being." Would she say there is a difference?
I think Williams expected her honesty to lend a new strength to her argument, but it only makes the hypocrisy starker. She says there's nothing magical about a trip down the birth canal that makes someone fully human, but she contends that a woman's right to live life to the fullest trumps the right of the human life growing inside her to be taken care of, raised, and provided for as a dependent person. I can only wonder if the same principle applies if a woman suddenly decided that her six-month-old infant was impeding her "right" to truly live life. At that point, would she have the right to change her mind and rid herself of the obligation to care for her infant's life by actively choosing to end that child's life?
I suspect Ms. Williams would say no. If so, we’re back to square one. What’s the difference?
Regardless of what Williams and her ilk say, those in favor of life ought to grab on to the Huggies' ad. I doubt that Huggies was trying to make a political statement, but all the better if they weren't. The commercial ignores political rhetoric and instead taps in to the ingrained, self-evident truth that deep down inside we all recognize: when a woman becomes pregnant, there's a baby in there. There's a human being growing inside her stomach.