What do John Oliver, Donald Trump, Cecile Richards, and Mike Pence all have in common?
None have been aborted.
Not a great joke, I know. But comedy isn’t my forte. Instead I prefer to point out the blindingly obvious. In the debates about abortions, late-term viability, crisis pregnancies, federal funding for PP, we can say with certainty that all of the protagonists have been given a chance at life.
Our pre-natal state is something us adults prefer to forget. None of us wants to think that we were once weak, that we once occupied a tiny pocket of space feeding on a tube through our stomach floating in a liquid, that there was a whole world unbeknownst to us outside that was deciding on our lives, none of us understood the types of pains our mothers were experiencing or hopes we were engendering. So, we tend not to contemplate our origins. Because of this memory loss, we also tend to shirk our responsibilities.
One of those safely delivered, John Oliver, urged his viewers to donate to Planned Parenthood on Last Week Tonight in the wake of Donald Trump’s stunning election victory. It wasn’t the only action he urged and in fact some of the activities he urged participation in, like helping immigrants, were things which I would agree with to a large extent. Nonetheless, such a call to action by a TV host was unprecedented. Oliver suggested to his viewers that the Trump victory heralds an era of ‘de-normalization.’ Things will never be the same again post-Trump, and we must not pretend otherwise.
You know, I can fully understand opposition to Trump. He has changed his tune since last week but the campaign he ran was a highly misogynistic, racist, xenophobic, sectarian, nasty, aggressive display MC-ed by one of the most obnoxious and rude creatures inhabiting the planet. Reports and biographies of Trump indicate that what you see are what you get. While early signs are that this was mere ‘politics’ to win votes, people like Oliver are entitled to be suspicious of Trump’s about-face.
What I can’t understand is the pleading on behalf of Planned Parenthood. As if abortion isn’t bad enough, this organisation sells body parts. It is certainly not just another charity. Helping immigrants being chucked over a border-line is hardly in the same moral space as hoovering and scraping out a live human from a womb. Another point I will throw in is that the woman who laid the foundations for Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, had views which were to the alt-alt-right of Donald Trump. For Sanger, abortion was a eugenics program, a way of getting rid of the dead wood and she was a highly manipulative individual to boot.
Instead of a whip-round for Planned Parenthood, Oliver could have exhorted his viewers to help pregnant women who need assistance. Or hold hospitals to account. Or pressure hospitals to provide the best of care for pregnant women and their offspring, as both are in a vulnerable state. Support doctors and nurses who work in maternity wards. Support medical science. It’s amazing what medical science can do nowadays with babies who are given ‘no chance.’ Oliver could have even exhorted his viewers to merely be there for women in need. Provide financial assistance in that way.
But no, Oliver didn’t do that. On the contrary, he said more of the unborn have to die to satisfy the liberal agenda and the rage surrounding Trump. And that doesn’t sit easy with his other exhortations to compassion and mercy.
P.S. If Oliver had advocated support for anti-abortion groups in his capacity as a male, he would have been told to keep his nose out of women’s affairs … but that’s none of my business.