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Forum staff reports, Published July 26 2013

Anti-abortion group under fire for handing out toy fetuses at ND State Fair parade

MINOT, N.D. – An anti-abortion group is taking heat for handing out small toy fetuses during the parade at this year’s North Dakota State Fair in Minot.

North Dakota Right to Life and other local chapters have since stopped passing out the dolls, fair General Manager Renee Korslein said. She said fair officials were not aware the group planned to hand out the toys during the State Parade July 20 and at fair booths earlier this week.

The small toys reportedly represent a fetus at 12 weeks.

Korslein said parade organizers may work up an application for exhibitors to list what they’ll hand out for the 2014 parade, but wouldn’t say whether North Dakota Right to Life would have been allowed to pass out the dolls this year had they asked.

North Dakota Right to Life did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In response to a critical comment posted on the Facebook page of Minot Right to Life – one of the local chapters that reportedly helped pass out dolls – the group wrote that they handed out the dolls to “show a visual that at 12 weeks, the baby is a baby.

“People could take them if they chose,” the group wrote. “No abortion talk had to come … with any children that picked one up.”

Earlier this week, a federal judge halted a law passed by the North Dakota Legislature that would have banned abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy.