Many little toddlers love Barbie dolls. For years, Barbie and Mattel have been exploring new ways of enhancing and broadening the young minds to which they cater. In 2002, the Midge doll – part of Matell’s Barbie doll line – became embroiled in controversy when she showed up in the toy aisle pregnant. She wore a wedding ring and her packaging told a story about how she and her husband were expecting their second child. Her pregnant belly, and the baby inside, were removable. She wore maternity clothes and came with miniature baby care product toys.
Two weeks before Christmas 2002, Wal-Mart in the U.S. pulled Midge & Baby off the shelf due to complaints that the doll glorified motherhood, thereby promoting teen pregnancy.
But that didn’t stop Mattel’s Canadian branch from introducing the doll to Canada in 2003. The non-profit Canadian Toy Testing Council had families with children test the Midge doll. “They loved it. What can we say?” remarked Leigh Poirier, the council’s executive director. The council ranked Midge & Baby among the Top 10 new toys for 2004.
If those who complained last year about the doll were honest with themselves, they’d have to admit that Midge & Baby reveals a truth that they want to hide – that pregnant women are carrying babies, not globs of tissue or undifferentiated masses of cells. Pro-abortion activists panic over Barbie’s Midge doll, because teaching children at an early stage that women have babies, and not choices, does not fit into their agenda. Thank you, Mattel, for letting children understand this truth and appreciate the value, wonder and sacredness of precious new lives.
Reprinted with permission from the Winter 2004 Right to Life News Canada. Liz Bowen is the Toronto Right to Life Association’s research director.