“What they see cannot be unseen”: the power of fetal models

By Holly Gatling, Executive Director, South Carolina Citizens for Life

Editor’s note. This appeared in the November issue of National Right to Life News. Please share this story and the entire 40-page issue, with your pro-life family and friends.

As South Carolina Citizens for Life approaches its 50th anniversary in 2024, we also will be marking the nearly 50 years of saving lives at the State Fair with medically accurate fetal models showing the intrinsic beauty and development of human life before birth. The Pro-Life Booth was first established in 1974 and has been a popular exhibit every year since (except the year the Fair was closed for covid).

This year on October 12, the second day of the Fair, we had something happen that amazed our volunteers who are seasoned pro-life advocates. Wayne Cockfield of Florence, S.C., and his cousin Mary Cockfield, of Columbia, S.C., team up every year to take shifts staffing the pro-life booth. Mary is a retired U.S. Army nurse and Wayne is retired from the U.S. Marines and serves as the vice president of medical ethics for National Right to Life.

A middle-aged woman came to the table and picked up one of the 11-week fetal models that we freely distribute along with palm cards explaining human development from fertilization through 12 weeks.

She looked stunned by the tiny, beautiful child in the palm of her hand. “This is what the baby looks like?” she asked, as she burst into sobs. Mary and Wayne spoke softly and kindly to her and encouraged her to keep the baby model. She walked away gazing through tears at the form of child in her hand.

We do not know what caused the woman to have such an emotional reaction to our fetal models. God knows. What we do know is that our pro-life booth has educated hundreds of thousands of people year after year after year about the humanity of our brothers and sisters waiting to be born. What they see cannot be unseen.

Pro-Life booths at fairs and festivals all over the country have been the educational hallmark of the right-to-life movement throughout the reign of Roe v. Wade terror. Once the scientifically accurate display of human life growing in the womb is seen, the truth cannot be denied. Abortion takes the life of a human child.

Now that Roe was overturned in 2022, and we are navigating new territory, one thing is exquisitely clear. Our educational Pro-Life displays in the public square are needed as much now as they ever were.

The astonished middle-aged woman who visited our booth and burst into tears at the sight of a 10-week fetal model proves that beyond a doubt.