Sweet Jesus Elisabeth Hasselbeck Is a Moron
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This post, written by Jill Filipovic, originally appeared on Feministe
The run-down if you don't want to watch the stupidity first-hand: The women of The View are discussing Hillary Clinton's proposal to give every child born in the United States a $5,000 bond. Elisabeth dislikes this idea, but she sees one upside: "This would maybe cause less abortions in the world."
The rest of The View cast realizes that this is kind of inane, since $5,000 doesn't off-set the cost of pregnancy, childbirth, and raising a kid for (at least) 18 years, plus bribing someone into childbirth just seems like a bad idea. Whoopi Goldberg responds by asking Elisabeth if she's ever been in the position where she had to consider having an abortion; Elisabeth says no. Whoopi then launches into an explanation of why abortion rights are crucial, and emphasizes that most women really struggle with the decision and don't take it lightly. Then Babs chimes in, pointing out that there was a myth that women would have babies to collect more welfare dollars, and that, in fact, women were not having children for the extra $20 a month. Joy says that it's impossible raise a child on $5,000.
Elisabeth counters with, "You also cannot ignore the fact that there are abortions done for superficial reasons and for reasons that are not extreme." How can we not ignore this fact? Well, because as Elisabeth says, "It's my personal feeling."
It's basically the same as "The only acceptable abortion is my abortion" meme that goes around a lot in both anti-choice and moderately pro-choice circles. Anti-choicers rely on the stereotype of the woman who is too lazy to use birth control and too selfish to give birth to prop up their political position. Elisabeth is ok with abortion, provided that the woman in question fits her definition of "in need." Of course, the description of the woman deserving of an abortion shifts depending on who you're talking to, and when you add actual people with complicated lives into the mix things get very messy very quickly. If I got pregnant tomorrow, would I "deserve" the right to terminate my pregnancy? After all, I'm a student living on loans, deeply in debt, in a foreign country, graduating law school in eight months and then studying for and taking the bar exam, and moving back into a fifth-floor walk-up apartment in Manhattan with two room mates come January. But then, I come from a middle-class family and I have parents who would help me and I could always do the adoption thing -- and giving birth right before the bar isn't that much of a hassle, right?
So I suspect I'd pretty much be the picture of the woman having an abortion for "superficial" reasons. And the "my reasons for abortion are way more justified than your reasons" game is a losing one.