Ohio Senate staffer Leo Almeida said of the two children who walked into his office “She seemed really, really nervous. I’ve had other kids come into the office with adults, but usually the adults introduce them and explain what the group is trying to do. I’ve never had just a kid come up alone.” Almeida is the staffer for state Senator Capri Cafaro.
The two girls- ages about none or ten- walked into the senator’s office with a teddy bear. One of the girls squeezed the teddy bear and had it play a recording of a fetal heart beat. They then recited a pre-written message pushing Cafaro to vote for the “heartbeat bill”.
The tactic of using children is not unheard of, but it is also one that does not always work very well. In fact, this one backfired.
Senator Shirley Smith told the Huffington Post that “I’m not at all supportive of the bill, and I’m not supportive of them sending kids in my office with a teddy bear that mimics a heartbeat, either. I thought that was a very cheap exploitation of kids. I would rather them come in my office and ask to sit down and talk about it, rather than send a kid into my office. I didn’t like it at all — in fact, I didn’t even want the teddy bear.”
Senator Charleta Tavares said “It is an emotional kind of tactic, bringing young children in and having them bring teddy bears. I think that’s a little low. I think on this very emotional and highly charged issue, people have already made up their minds.”
The bill is expected to spark at least one lawsuit, and will likely cost Ohio a lot of money. Faith 2 Action also sent another child, this time eight-year-old Christian Harrington to deliver a speech calling for the passage of the bill. He stated “I’m here to save babies with beating hearts. And I want to tell the senators to pass the heartbeat bill right now. And when I mean right now, I mean right now.”
F2A has been sending children out to do their dirty work so far.
Erin Matson, action vice president for the National Organization for Women, stated “It’s not surprising to see they’re using such emotionally abusive tactics to distract from the fact that this bill is clearly unconstitutional.”
The Huffington Post reported that:
Tavares said pro-abortion rights lawmakers are tired of the high volume of anti-abortion bills coming through the Senate this term, and the means by which activist groups are trying to push them.
“If anything, these tactics have made legislators more firm in their beliefs,” she said. “And in some cases, more angry.”