Two schools have banned anti-abortion fetus dolls. Hundreds of rubber fetus dolls were passed out to students in Roswell, New Mexico by an student group attempting to protest abortion.
School officials contend that the 12-week-old fetus replicas disrupted classes for the rest of the day. The religious student group “Relentless” hoped that, by distributing the lifelike dolls, classmates would be compelled to join their fight against abortion rights.
Each doll was reportedly the size and weight of an actual fetus and was distributed with a card that instructed students to call the Chaves County Pregnancy Resource Center in the case of an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy. Additionally, the card was printed with a quote from the Bible about motherhood.
As discussed at UScourts.gov, the plan backfired. Students at Goddard High School began pulling the heads off the dolls, throwing them around the hallways like balls. Assistant Principals Brian Luck and Michelle Edgett instructed the student group to stop their distribution as the anti-abortion fetus dolls were causing disruption.
The group discontinued passing out the dolls, but over 300 students already received them. Throughout the day, school officials observed students using the fetus doll heads for pencil tops and bouncing balls, sticking them to the walls and ceilings, setting them on fire, and flushing them down the toilets. Classes were disrupted throughout the day as students used the rubber fetus dolls as toys.
Roswell High School experienced similar disruptions, as “Relentless” group members at their school distributed the anti-abortion fetus dolls as well. They also instructed the student group to cease passing the dolls out to their classmates.
Despite the disaster, the group planned other dates to hand them out at the schools. Administrators at both schools banned further distribution of the anti-abortion fetus dolls as they caused disruption to normal school activities.
Attorney’s for the “Relentless” group filed a lawsuit, claiming that the ban was unconstitutional. They argued that it was their First Amendment right to distribute the rubber fetus dolls.
The religious groups’ claim was rejected by the Tenth Circuit court as school administration could “reasonably forecast[ed] that distribution of the rubber dolls would lead to substantial disruption.”
Additionally, the court ruled that the ban was not a form of discrimination. The school has historically, and continues to, allow the “Relentless” to function as a student interest group. The group’s non-disruptive activities have never been banned or questioned.
The rubber fetus dolls have not only been used in schools. As reported by several sources, rubber or plastic fetus dolls have also been handed out to children on Halloween.
The religious student organizations in Roswell, New Mexico, will have to find different ways to spread their message to classmates. The Circuit Court has upheld the schools’ ban on anti-abortion fetus dolls.