robinhl | Indy Week

Member since May 8, 2007



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Re: “Bodies ... The Exhibition

I think you missed the more immediate political story: the Fetus room has deliberately mis-labeled displays in order to make anti-abortion propaganda out of it. When you walk in, the first display is on the right, beginning with "9-week fetus" - the size of a small newborn kitten, leading to the immediate thought "Oh my god! Is that what gets aborted even as early as 8 weeks?!? I thought the first trimester was a lot less significant than that!" Beside it are a couple more in the series, "11-week fetus", "13-week fetus", whatever. On a different wall, "Embryos", is another series labelled "4-week", "5-week", "6-week", "7-week", and "8-week". The largest of these is the size of my little fingernail. The two series are deliberately placed so that it is hard to make a comparison from "8-week" to "9-week", but, if you look, it is readily apparent that there has to be much more than 1 week between the "8-week" and the "9-week" displays. I asked one of the lab-coated assistants about this; she said she wasn't sure, but she thought that the "embryos" and "fetuses" were dated from different start dates... the "embryos" from conception, the "fetuses" from some weeks later... tht the "9-week fetus" was probably a "17-week embryo". So why is there nothing displayed in the gap from 8-week to 17-week? Why are the items displayed so as to make sequential viewing impossible? Why is there no definition of the exhibit's (mis)use of the word "fetus"? Can there be any other explanation than that it is a deliberate misrepresentation of the timeline of fetal development, with the intent of making people think that a 4-month fetus is actually a 2-month fetus? Who is behind the misrepresentation? The company? The exhibit organizers? The staff? Perhaps the Independent can provide some follow-up investigation.

Posted by robinhl on 05/08/2007 at 4:48 PM

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