The jury is out on whether Zephyr Teachout is as unique a candidate for New York Attorney General as she claims to be. An ad she put out this week, on the other hand, is about as unique as they come from any side of the political aisle — especially hers.
“What does his or her future look like?” Teachout asks as the video flows seamlessly from an ultrasound video — and rhythmic audio of an unborn child’s heartbeat — to Teachout herself, who’s undergoing the ultrasound. “Do we save our democracy? Do we flip Congress? Does Robert Mueller indict Trump? I don’t want to wait and see.”
As the ad closes, Teachout leaves her potential New York state voters with a triumphant statement: “You’ve never seen an attorney general like me, and neither have they.”
In just 30 seconds, Teachout undercuts several major narratives pushed by her party and her own campaign. Not only does Teachout’s ad accurately and artfully depict the humanity of a child via ultrasound, it assumes the child belongs to one of two sexes — hence the “his or her.”
Not only that, the ad goes one step further by affirming the unborn child’s moral significance. After all, it’s hard to picture anything less than a full-blown human being calling for the salvation of democracy, the flipping of Congress, or the indicting of a president.
That’s the power of the ultrasound, which cuts through the political and theoretical and into the realm of objective reality. While ideologues on the Left will continue to rage that any depiction of a baby in the womb is an “#antichoice tactic of humanizing fetuses” or worse — plead ignorance on the basic facts of human biology in order to justify abortion — Teachout’s ad is the latest reminder that it’s self-evident an unborn baby is a human being, on par with those of us who enjoy the luxury of having been born already.
More importantly, ultrasounds save lives every day at a pregnancy center near you. In the past year, 400,100 women met their unborn children via ultrasound at a locally funded pro-life pregnancy center, according to a recent report from the Charlotte Lozier Institute. For so many of those women, it was love at first sight.
As one woman who’d thought abortion was her only choice put it after seeing an ultrasound at a pregnancy center, “I remember telling myself, ‘I’m not killing my baby if there is a heartbeat’ … my mind switched and I just couldn’t do it.”
While stories like these abound at pro-life pregnancy centers, the office Teachout is hoping to win has earned a notorious reputation for doing everything it can to stop stories like this from happening. Prior to his resignation this May amid accusations that he had physically abused women while in office, former attorney general Eric Schneiderman was a darling of the abortion industry — in fact, he was named a “Champion of Choice” by the National Institute for Reproductive Health just days before the abuse allegations surfaced.
Not only did Schneiderman target for prosecution peaceful pro-life demonstrators who prayed outside of an abortion clinic in New York City — a case his office lost after he resigned — his advocacy for abortion extended to trampling on the rights of ultrasound-equipped pregnancy centers as well.
Since Teachout has already publicly expressed her support for abortion, it may be too much to hope that she’ll change the course of the state’s attorney general office if she’s elected.
Regardless of the outcome, though, she’s inadvertently unbolted a window that needs to stay open—both for voters and for expectant mothers.
Jay Hobbs is deputy director of media communications for Alliance Defending Freedom.