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Fetus Worship Gets Even Creepier

The only thing surprising about this story is that it’s not in America. Give the fetus worshipers on the right time, though, and I bet it will be. A Japanese company is selling expectant mothers 3-D models of their little embryo encased in resin.

Expectant parents in Japan who can’t wait to show the world what their baby will look like can now buy a three-dimensional model of the foetus to pass around their friends.

The nine-centimetre resin model of the white foetus, encased in a transparent block in the shape of the mother’s body, is fashioned by a 3D printer after an MRI scan.

“As it is only once in a lifetime that you are pregnant with that child, we received requests for these kind of models from pregnant women who… do not want to forget the feelings and experience of that time,” said Tomohiro Kinoshita of FASOTEC, the company offering the service.

If they don’t start marketing that in America, they’re missing out on a huge opportunity. In a country where a sizable portion of the population practically want to give fetuses the right to vote (as long as they aren’t black or poor), that’s a financial windfall waiting to happen.

Comments

  1. says

    I am as pro-choice as anyone, but I don’t really see what is creepy about this, any more than the collection at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.

  2. Brownian says

    I’m quite pleased that they thought to package the 3D model much in the same manner a kilogram of lean ground chuck is at the supermarket.

  3. elpayaso says

    hope some wag swaps in chicken or rat or frog fetus….bet the marks won’t know the diff ;-)

  4. matty1 says

    If the models look like the ones in the linked article yes they will notice. Those look fairly far along in development and have lost their tails and have large human looking skulls.

  5. says

    If you hear about a family having a funeral for a miscarried fetus, they might be nutty Christian Americans or, conversely, ordinary Japanese people.

  6. jamessweet says

    I’m with robertbaden. Actually, the only issue I have with this is that ultrasounds (particularly the so-called “4D” ultrasounds) are a medical procedure and the risk profile is not fully known — we know that it is very low risk, but we don’t know it if is zero-risk, and as such I think that getting one done purely for vanity reasons (as opposed to checking fetal health, etc.) is inadvisable. In some places there are mall kiosks where you can get one done, and it sounds like this is in much the same vein.

    I think it’s a bad idea on that level, but tying it into abortion politics I think misses the mark a little bit.

  7. lofgren says

    If you hear about a family having a funeral for a miscarried fetus, they might be nutty Christian Americans or, conversely, ordinary Japanese people.

    Or ordinary Americans. Is this rare? When my cousin miscarried it was absolutely devastating for her. We had a funeral because it felt like a natural part of the grieving process. I figured that was pretty common. As far as I know, nobody at the time thought it was the least bit nutty, and nobody who I have told the story to has reacted that way. I’m certainly not a nutty Christian but it made perfect sense to me and still does.

    Is this really all that different than the framed ultrasound I have on my shelf?

  8. Ichthyic says

    I think what Ed is envisioning is anti-abortion activists using technology like this to promote their own vision of fetal rights.

    can you imagine anti-abortion keychains with a little resin fetus model attached?

    still think it’s great idea?

  9. bobo says

    #9 “I think what Ed is envisioning is anti-abortion activists using technology like this to promote their own vision of fetal rights.”

    Oh, they will, and they already do. Any scientific study or time lapse video or ANYTHING about fetal devlopment has them screeching “LOOK YOU CAN SEEE ITS A BAAABY ITS A BAABY THIS IS WHY ABORTION IS WRONG YOURE KILLING A BAAAABY PRO-DEATHERS ARE WROOOOOOOONG!!!”

  10. lofgren says

    can you imagine anti-abortion keychains with a little resin fetus model attached?

    First of all, don’t have to imagine it.

    Second, you realize this is textbook slippery slope, right? Because somebody might use this technology in furtherance of political goals that I oppose, I should find this perfectly innocuous application of that technology creepy? If every endeavor was judged by its creepiest possible application, we’d still be squatting in the woods cringing at any sign of fire.

  11. Zugswang says

    I read a few weeks ago about 3D printing technology being used in Japan to make miniatures of people in something not unlike a carnival photo booth (though it took 15 minutes to make the miniatures, rather than a few seconds). I think this is just another example of what the Japanese do with all new things: throw stuff at a wall and see what sticks. And in Japan, a surprisingly large number of these things stick. (mayonnaise-themed restaurants and gothic lolita fashion come to mind)

  12. lofgren says

    mayonnaise-themed restaurants

    Not sure why you would find that one surprising. Most of the restaurants in the US are mayonnaise-themed.

  13. Ichthyic says

    Because somebody might use this technology in furtherance of political goals that I oppose, I should find this perfectly innocuous application of that technology creepy?

    no…. I’m saying I understand why ED finds it creepy.

  14. lofgren says

    no…. I’m saying I understand why ED finds it creepy.

    Oh, I see. I was confused by your parting line:

    still think it’s great idea?

    This type of rhetorical flourish is usually used by a speaker who is confident that he has made his point so soundly that large portion of his audience will have changed their position as a result.

    Now I see it was an honest question.

    So I will answer: There are really a few ideas here. The component ideas, 3d printing and 3d sonogram imaging, are so great they’re practically miraculous. Combining the two seems like a pretty great, if inevitable, idea. The models will make effective teaching tools and are generally just pretty cool. Marketing this service as a consumer item is not particularly great to me, because I don’t really want one. I’m sure there is at least one person out there who disagrees, and the service is basically innocuous to mostly I just don’t care. Using this technology to make keychains seems even more pointless because I’m not sure how much detail you’re going to get off of the 3d ultrasound if it’s printed at a 1 inch length. I suppose if the resolution of the 3d printer is high enough, that might be kind of cool. But most likely the resulting keychain would not be much more accurate than something that a person could make using a conventional mold or a 3d modeling program. Using the resulting keychain to spread antichoice propaganda is of course not great at all.

  15. tonysnark says

    My inner geek thinks this sounds like super cool fun! But I wonder if anyone else here can forsee wingnut nutjobs trying to pass a law which forces women trying to get abortions to have one of these?

  16. lofgren says

    But I wonder if anyone else here can forsee wingnut nutjobs trying to pass a law which forces women trying to get abortions to have one of these?

    And to carry it around with her for the rest of her life.

  17. Ichthyic says

    mostly I just don’t care.

    mostly I expect it will be a non-issue.

    I still don’t think Ed was out in left field on this though.

  18. Ichthyic says

    This type of rhetorical flourish is usually used by a speaker who is confident that he has made his point so soundly that large portion of his audience will have changed their position as a result.

    and yet.. as stated all I was doing was trying to restate the issue more concisely, extrapolated from what I considered was what Ed was thinking about.

    since you posted the link to the rather graphic existing keychain, I can see you honestly DID consider it.

  19. says

    “Not sure why you would find that one surprising. Most of the restaurants in the US are mayonnaise-themed.”

    I think you are far too generous in your assessment. It’s more likely that they are “Miracle Whip” themed.

    Does anyone know what the algorithm is that makes a Rand Paul ad appear above all of the really creepy shit that Ed posts about? If so, please, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, change it!

  20. Ichthyic says

    Don’t bother. This is, after all, a comment thread on Freethoughtblogs.

    *whew* good thing YOU didn’t bother then.

  21. twincats says

    Because somebody might use this technology in furtherance of political goals that I oppose, I should find this perfectly innocuous application of that technology creepy?

    As has been stated upthread, of course not.

    Don’t know about innocuous, though; I happen to find the keychain creepy because the ‘packaging’ for the precious, precious fetus is reduced to a mere torso without arms, legs, head or identity. It could have been packaged in a simple sphere just as easily, but it wasn’t.

    So, yeah. Creepy.

  22. lofgren says

    As has been stated upthread, of course not.

    And yet nobody can tell me why I should find it creepy…

  23. Stacey C. says

    Personally I don’t find it creepy so much as weird and annoying. I find it fascinating how people talk about the ‘miracle of life’. It happens every day. It’s not a ‘miracle’ its basic biology. Kids, once they develop a personality can be awesome. But pregnancy is just the annoying bit you have to get through on the way to having a, hopefully, awesome kid. I really don’t get why people faun all over pregnant women like they’re the second coming of the Virgin Mary. I guess I just don’t have any ‘mommy instincts’.

  24. lofgren says

    I can’t be so blasé about it just because it happens everyday. Sure, it’s not a miracle by religious standards but by the colloquial definition it certainly qualifies. I’m definitely not a member of the cult of the fetus but it’s still pretty freaking awesome to think of my daughter growing inside my wife and all of the zany accidents of evolution that make that possible. Something can be both annoying (and I definitely agree that it’s annoying – we’ve already decided to skip the pregnancy and adopt kid #2) and also mind-blowingly cool at the same time.

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