The XX Factor

Carly Fiorina Crashes Children’s Field Trip for Anti-Abortion Photo Op

Carly Fiorina at the Jan. 14, 2016, GOP debate in South Carolina.

Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images

Tomorrow’s 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade comes during what has been a banner month for anti-abortion politics. White lawmakers in Congress and state legislatures are using the language of Black Lives Matter to push their anti-choice platforms. Florida is considering a bill that would impose stringent surgical center requirements on abortion clinics—the same type of conditions that Texas clinics are currently challenging in the Supreme Court. Wisconsin is one Scott Walker­ signature away from defunding Planned Parenthood. Tomorrow’s March for Life in Washington, D.C., is pressing forward despite dire winter weather warnings.

But among the many righteous pro-life beacons beaming their messages across the cosmos, Carly Fiorina manages to outshine them all. The Guardian reports that the Republican presidential hopeful staged a photo op in front of an Iowa Right to Life fetus poster, surrounding herself with children whose parents were not asked for their consent.

The anti-choice forum took place at the Greater Des Moines botanical garden, where the children were enjoying a class trip. “The kids went there to see the plants. [Fiorina] ambushed my son’s field trip,” Chris Beck, a four-year-old attendee’s father, told the Guardian.

Towering over the crowd of trusting children, Fiorina looks like a shepherd schooling her flock on when life begins and when fetuses begin to experience pain. The young ones appear largely disinterested, more taken with the microphones on the floor than with the candidate, save for one in Spiderman snowboots who’s craning his little neck around to read a six-point plan on how to “take our country back.”

At Fiorina’s feet, Beck’s child looks particularly concerned, and for good reason. “He can’t fully comprehend that stuff,” Beck told the Guardian of the the concept of abortion. “He likes dinosaurs, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Transformers.”

Kids can be effective props for anti-choice performances. Protesters outside a future Planned Parenthood location in Washington, D.C., have been telling children at a nearby elementary school that there’s ababy-murdering factory being built next door to their classrooms. A few years back, anti-abortion protesters sent children with teddy bears to Ohio senate offices in support of a restrictive “fetal heartbeat” law (they also wrangled “testimony” from a 9-week-old fetus). Maybe Beck’s child will grow to be our country’s next great warrior for the babies, but in the meantime, pro-life politicians can probably score points just fine without having to crash little kids’ garden parties.