Fetus Image

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We live in a time where significant change has been made through the use of technology. No area of life has been unaffected, pregnancy included. Ever since Ian Donald used sonar to see a fetus inside of the womb in the 1950s, ultrasound technology has been utilized to examine the development of fetuses (Tropp 2013, 19). When it became apparent that there was a high demand for visual imaging technologies in pregnancy the ultrasound began to emerge as a routine practice to monitor pregnancy. With the standardization of the fetal image there emerged “a scene of commodification and consumption, bringing the fetus ‘to life’” (Taylor 2008, 27). One of the first scholars to examine the fetishized nature of the fetus was Rosalind Pollack Petchesky …show more content…
The visual imaging technologies in pregnancy have been used to project the fetus into the public eye. An explanation of the public image of the fetus is given in Janelle Taylor’s book “Public Life of the Fetal Sonogram” in which she uses the example of a specific advertisement created by the DeMoss Foundation to demonstrate the fetishization of the public fetus. In this advertisement there is a video of a baby side by side with a video of a fetal sonogram with the tagline “Life. What a Beautiful Choice.” The purpose of these images was to promote an anti-abortion agenda. Taylor writes that the act of taking this fetal image out of its context and “the clinical medical setting,...commodified this particular fetus, fetishized it, and cast it in the role of “public” fetus” (2008, 48). In this instance visual imaging technologies in pregnancy are being used to make the fetus an icon, or a symbol of the fetus’ potential to become a child. By placing this image into the public it becomes an object with values as a part of society. “It is the “public fetus” as moral abstraction they are being made to view” (Petchesky 1987, 281). This widespread, singular idea of the fetus equaling a child would only be possible through sonograms and recording technology. The commodification of the fetishized fetal image becomes public through the standardization of visual imaging technologies in

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