What is Meet Baby Olivia? Watching controversial videos could be mandatory in some Tennessee schools


Top line

A controversial computer-generated video produced by an anti-abortion group that purports to show a fetus developing in the womb – or something similar – could soon become required viewing in Tennessee thanks to a recently passed law, making it the latest state to discover curriculum changes through the video was inspired.

Important facts

“Meet Baby Olivia” is a three-minute video from the anti-abortion organization Live Action that purports to show “with scientific accuracy” the development of a baby in the womb – the website for the video claims to show “the moment life begins” and beyond , to show the humanity of the preborn at every stage of human development.”

Lawmakers in Tennessee's Republican-led Senate passed the Baby Olivia Act on Thursday – it now goes to Republican Gov. Bill Lee for his signature.

The Baby Olivia Act requires all family life curricula to include “Meet Baby Olivia” or any other “high-quality, computer-generated animation or high-resolution ultrasound of at least three minutes duration that shows brain and heart development.” , sexual organs and other vital organs in early fetal development.”

Live Action says the video was created in collaboration with a group of doctors and sources for the statements in a document on its website – but critics have called the video misleading, while the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a professional organization for gynecologists, called the video misleading According to the Associated Press, he described the video as anti-abortion information “intended to manipulate viewers' emotions.”

Tennessee follows North Dakota, which passed a similar law last year and Republican Gov. Doug Burgum signed the law – Iowa, Kentucky and Missouri have also recently considered similar measures, and a similar law in West Virginia has not passed.

Who is behind the video?

Live Action says it is designed to “change public opinion about the killing of premature babies.” Officially founded by Lila Rose in 2008, the organization says it conducts investigative reporting and compiles educational media. The organization cites six medical professionals it consulted in creating the video — although the Washington Post reported in February that most of them belong to anti-abortion groups or right-wing groups such as the Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Crucial quote

“I look forward to Governor Lee quickly signing this bill into law, setting a precedent for other states to follow by prioritizing comprehensive human development education,” Rose said in a statement to CNN.

Main critic

“This cute, bright pink video is offensively childish,” said Tennessee Sen. Heidi Campbell, a Nashville-based Democrat, according to the Tennessean. “It’s an insult to women and an insult to the medical profession.”

Important background

The video reportedly uses a different timeline than what doctors typically use for pregnancy — starting from the date of fertilization rather than the date of the last menstrual period, and shows developmental milestones about two weeks earlier than commonly believed, according to the Washington Post. Tennessee has passed a ban on most abortions in 2022, joining several other states that have lifted abortion restrictions following the overturn of the Roe v. Wade has been aggravated by the Supreme Court.