People Are Furious Over This Tweet By 'The Daily Show' About The Abortion Case
The Supreme Court ruled in favor of abortion access on Monday, in the landmark case, Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt.
This was a victory for women and pro-choice advocates. The case came from Texas, and was about House Bill 2. That bill put difficult requirements on abortion clinics, which caused more than half of the state's clinics to shut down.
Because of the closures, women throughout Texas struggled to get abortions. Women had to wait weeks just to get an appointment at the remaining clinics, and many chose to leave the state to get abortions, often spending thousands to do so.
These people included women like Dr. Valerie Peterson, who sought an abortion after finding out that her wanted pregnancy would end in either a miscarriage or stillbirth. Because of the Texas laws, she would've had to wait an additional three weeks, which she knew she wouldn't be able to emotionally handle. Instead, she spent $5,000 to go to Florida and end the pregnancy.
Peterson had the resources to be able to do that. But many women do not.
Instead, they turn to desperate – and sometimes dangerous – measures to self-induce abortions. If Peterson didn't have the resources, she told me, "You probably would not be speaking to me right now."
The stakes of Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt were high. These are real women's lives we're talking about.
"The Daily Show" apparently didn't get that. After the Supreme Court announced their decision in favor of Whole Woman's Health on Monday, the show's Twitter account tweeted:
This was a disrespectful and irresponsible "joke" to make. It trivializes the very real lives that were affected by Texas's HB 2.
"The Daily Show" tried following it up with an equally tone-deaf tweet:
This tweet is irresponsible because it follows the logic that people use to outlaw abortion. They say that women who seek abortions are sluts who don't care enough to use contraceptives, and we shouldn't let them get away with that. So, abortion should be illegal.
In fact, many pro-lifers on Twitter thought that the tweet wasn't a joke. They starting using "The Daily Show" tweet as evidence for why abortion should be illegal.
Just so we're clear about this, nobody wants to get an abortion. We women are not hanging out, trading tips on how to get accidentally knocked up or raped or have health problems or have a fetus that doesn't develop properly.
An abortion is a medical procedure. Most women recognize that.
But "The Daily Show" tweet makes it sound like that's what's happening. Obviously, they were trying to make a joke. But it's a misguided and harmful one to make.
It's a bad joke.
And it clearly wasn't written by someone who has ever had her access to health care threatened because of sexism.
It clearly was not written by someone who was told she couldn't get birth control because it would lead to her having sex with everyone she meets. It clearly was not written by someone who was told she couldn't get permanent contraception because someone might not want to marry her then.
It was clearly not written by someone who's ever had to think about what she would do if she were forced to carry and give birth to a child when she knew she wasn't ready to be a parent, whether emotionally or financially. It was clearly not written by someone who's ever had to wonder if she would have to drop out of school, give up her career, go into debt or change the course of her life.
Not to mention, the original "Daily Show" tweet is directed at men. This was a case about women, and they chose instead to speak to (and about) men.
On top of all that, "The Daily Show" tweet promotes a culture where men are in charge of sex and get to decide when, if, with whom and how they have it.
Yeah, that's right: I'm talking about rape culture.
I realize you might be annoyed with me going all "overly-PC on this," but you know what? When we women fight sexism, we're not fighting abstract stuff. We're not fighting for belief systems, philosophies and the principle of the thing.
We're fighting for women's lives.
Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt was about very real women and their very real lives. "The Daily Show" made it about men getting to have sex.
And that's not OK.