Carly Fiorina uses kids as anti-abortion props without parental consent

Carly Fiorina has been accused of “ambushing” a group of children who were on a field trip to a botanical garden, ushering them to a campaign-organized anti-abortion event without their parents’ consent.

From the Guardian:

Carly Fiorina, screenshot via Des Moines Register

Carly Fiorina, screenshot via Des Moines Register

The alleged ambush occurred when Fiorina hosted a “right to life” forum at the Greater Des Moines botanical garden. Entering the rally, before a crowd of about 60 people, she directed around 15 young children towards a makeshift stage.

The problem, one parent said, was that the children’s parents had not given Fiorina permission to have their children sit with her – in front of a huge banner bearing the image of an unborn foetus – while she talked about harvesting organs from aborted babies.

“The kids went there to see the plants,” said Chris Beck, the father of four-year-old Chatham, one of the children Fiorina appeared with. “She ambushed my son’s field trip.”

Fiorina has been particularly focused and particularly awful on the issue of abortion throughout the campaign. It’s one of the only reasons anyone’s still considering voting for her. From repeatedly and emphatically lying about the Planned Parenthood “sting” videos to holding anti-abortion forums in Iowa while her opponents are holding ordinary rallies and meet-and-greets, Fiorina is gunning hard for Republicans who are thinking of the (unborn) children.

Using children as a prop, without their or their parents’ consent, complicates that pitch quite a bit:

“I do not know enough about Carly to support her,” Beck said of the woman who introduced his son to the idea of terminating a pregnancy.

“And after today, she wouldn’t get my vote for sure.”

Asked for comment, a Fiorina spokeswoman told the Guardian via email that the campaign was “happy that these children chose to come to Carly’s event with their adult supervisor.” However, as Beck told the Guardian, it’s not as if a four year-old can or should make a choice to attend any kind of political event — to say nothing of an anti-abortion event. As he said, “Taking them into a pro-life/abortion discussion [was] very poor taste and judgment…I would not want my four-year-old going to that forum – he can’t fully comprehend that stuff. He likes dinosaurs, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Transformers.”

It’s unclear as to whether Carly Fiorina ever really thought she could be president, or if she was just trying to raise the rates for her paid speeches. Either way, when she inevitably drops out, the few who look back on her campaign will remember her as the candidate who coerced children into being used as anti-abortion props.

Stay classy, Carly.

Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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