The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Opinion | The anti-abortion rights video “Meet Baby Olivia” is an inaccurate form of educating young kids

The “Meet Baby Olivia” video is propaganda and should not be shown in schools, especially since it is an inaccurate portrayal of fetal development made by a biased pro-life group Live Action.
Ayrton Breckenridge
The inside of the gold dome is seen during the first day of the 2024 Iowa legislative session at the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines on Monday, Jan. 8, 2024. The Republicans have 34 seats in the senate and the Democrats have 16 seats.

Iowa schools should not show their young students’ anti-abortion rights propaganda.

Lawmakers in the Iowa Senate moved a bill forward on March 18, House File 2617, that would require K-12 schools to show fetal development videos, specifically referring to the “Meet Baby Olivia” video. The Iowa Capital Dispatch reported that Sen. Jeff Taylor, R-Sioux Center, proposed removing the reference to the “Meet Baby Olivia” video in the bill. However,
it doesn’t ban schools from showing pro-life propaganda with inaccurate portrayals on fetal development.

The “Meet Baby Olivia” video was not made by scientists or with scientific accuracy. It wasn’t made to educate people; it was made to scare them away from abortion as a concept.

If kids are going to learn about the procedure, they need to know why it’s a vital medical option for women.

Live Action, a nonprofit anti-abortion rights organization based in Virginia, produced “Meet Baby Olivia” with a wildly inaccurate timeline of fetal development that medical experts have pointed out, according to The Washington Post.

 The video displays development traits that are two weeks earlier than the timeline of a typical pregnancy, which should not be exposed to kids simply for being incorrect.

If schools are going to educate children, it must be scientifically accurate content produced and approved by objective medical experts, not from a group that has a clear stance to restrict women’s right to their bodily autonomy.

According to its website, Live Action is against abortion in any case, including rape, incest, and life-saving scenarios.

Teaching about the harm of abortion but not about how abortions can save lives shows a clear bias and intentional distortion of education.

Stories about life-saving abortions should be taught instead. For example, the Washington Post published a story about Mylissa Farmer, who got a life-saving abortion and became an activist protesting against state abortion bans.

Kids — especially little girls — should be protected from biased education that could impact a choice about their own bodies. Children should not have to contemplate such an intense future decision.

Allowing polarizing, unscientific videos like “Meet Baby Olivia” to be shown will create an even more divided and uninformed society. Ever since the overturning of Roe v. Wade in 2022, legislation to completely abolish abortion has been further pushed across the nation.

While the law is not fully in effect, language in the law allows the Iowa Board of Medicine to make rules to enforce the ban, as reported by The Des Moines Register.

Lawmakers want to teach little girls that they must carry the weight of their unwanted pregnancies, even in cases of sexual assault or incest. “Meet Baby Olivia” puts forth the idea that women’s lives are less important than the mere possibility of life.

Live Action does not rely on scientific legitimacy, so showing these kids their propaganda piece would be a true testament to how broken our education system is.

Iowa’s children deserve to have a scientifically accurate understanding of fetal development and the importance of female anatomy.

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About the Contributors
Natalie Nye
Natalie Nye, Opinions Columnist
Natalie Nye is a fourth-year Journalism/Mass Communication student with a minor in art at the Univeristy of Iowa. She is an opinions columnist at The Daily Iowan and a freelance writer for Little Village magazine. She also has her own blog, called A Very Public Blog.
Ayrton Breckenridge
Ayrton Breckenridge, Managing Visuals Editor
Ayrton Breckenridge is the Managing Visuals Editor at The Daily Iowan. He is a senior at the University of Iowa majoring in journalism and cinema. This is his fourth year working for the DI.