There may not be a more painful oxymoron than "feminist comedian." MTV flash-in-the-pan Sarah Silverman and "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" co-creator Lizz Winstead teamed up in New York City on Nov. 18 for a telethon to fund abortions in Texas via NARAL Pro-Choice America.
Think Jerry's Kids -- children assisted by the Muscular Dystrophy Association -- except instead of saving them, the unborn are eliminated. They call that "reproductive justice."
Silverman and Winstead appeared together that night on MSNBC's "All In with Chris Hayes," where Hayes described the event as a "telethon to help Texas women trying to survive the onslaught of right-wing deprivation of their right to choose."
This was not a Mensa meeting. Silverman cracked, "I also, much like much of the pro-lifers, I believe in protecting the child -- you know, when she is being forced to have a baby at 14." Hayes replied, "I think abortion is so taboo, and it seems like that taboo is part of what enforces the very repressive politics on the issue." Silverman shot back, "Yes. I think vaginas really, really scare people, honestly." Honestly?
At the telethon, Silverman dragged out her typical shock-jock shtick, offering her own "vaginal napkin" as an auction item. Periodically, a woman dressed in a giant plush vulva costume -- "courtesy of the sex-toy store Babeland" -- came onstage to announce the money total raised. "We're actually going to do a live abortion in this show," Silverman joked. "With a union provider," Winstead added. Well, slap my knee.
In the event's introduction, a "comedy" skit was shown about a middle-aged white congressman showing up in a woman's vaginal ultrasound, saying that with new laws mandating ultrasounds, he'll be on screen for a while. Later, the same actor was used as a narrator who announced, "An average American politician wouldn't know a uterus if it hit him in the face." The man was then hit in the face with some sort of fake uterus. "So why do they keep making so many laws about uteruses?"
In this cartoon world, conservatives are perpetually clueless women-haters. As Winstead announced on MSNBC, "It's just an endless barrage of disinformation, and so when this comes down, it's never based in fact, it's never based in medical fact, and it's based in shame."
Yet pro-life politics begins with the medical fact that the unborn child is a developing human being. It's also a medical fact that said developing human being can be viable as early as 23 weeks. It's the pro-abortion side that is in scientific denial. For them, it's emotional. It's not a baby until the woman decides to exercise her right to "choose" to let it live.
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