The state's largest anti-abortion group has launched a widespread campaign of commercials featuring Echo, a radio-drama character, offering humorous observations from the in utero perspective.
The radio spots are running on every radio station in
"It's an effort on our part to humanize the child in the womb, because after all, it is human," said
So what does Echo say? Here are some excerpts from spots the campaign has already released:
-- "I'm trying to outmaneuver the sonogram paparazzi. That's why I call myself Echo. Sonograms! Imagine ... a bunch of giants trying to get a look at your private parts, just so they'll know whether to buy pink baby clothes or blue ones."
-- "Last night, I dreamed that the world was filled with mountains of fresh, clean diapers. And my job was to fill every one of them. In fact, it was my doody. Get it? My doody ...? Oh that was so funny. I would be slapping my little old baby knee about now, but my umbilical cord keeps getting in the way."
-- "I've already got fingers, which is good because Mom is always singing lullabies to me and now I have something I can stick in my ears. Uh-oh ... I think she's gonna start singing about babies in treetops again. If I ever find myself in a treetop, I'm calling the child endangerment people."
Trust Women, the state's most prominent political action committee supporting abortion rights, declined to comment on the Echo campaign.
He said he thinks it's a reaction to declining attention to abortion as a political issue. Once dominant in
But even without other issues taking center stage, abortion would probably still be on the wane as an issue, because the anti-abortion lobby has been highly successful in getting the
"The abortion issue is way, way off the radar," Beatty said. The Echo campaign "looks like a way to get the issue, just the issue, back on people's minds."
"How you do that, not just in politics but in advertising, is you push the envelope," he said. "In the insurance business, you use a talking lizard or a talking duck."
Gittrich said Echo's wry observations were written by "a whole bunch of moms" who are members of Kansans for Life and projected what they thought their babies had been trying to communicate to them during their pregnancies.
He said they had so many submissions that it was hard to edit them all down into a series of 60-second radio spots. Kansans for Life is planning to run the series into next year, tracing Echo's stages of development, he said.
Echo remains androgynous at this point. His or her gender will be part of the big reveal in the second round of ads, when Echo will be a little more developed, Gittrich said.
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