What Does College Football Have to Do With Abortion? Tons, According to Anti-Choice Wingnuts

The brouhaha over Notre Dame is an opportunity for the right to wage war on women, intellectuals and sexual freedom all at once.

The University of Notre Dame has a long history of worshipping the sport of football, complete with jokes about their "Touchdown Jesus."  As the university that still can claim the most famous football coach in college football history, Notre Dame (ND) still takes the sport very seriously decades after the fact.  They’re the only college football team with its own television contract, to have its home games televised exclusively by NBC.  The only problem with all of this is that the Fighting Irish haven’t really been that great a team in a long time.  And that’s why it was such a wise decision for them to hire Cincinnati football coach Brian Kelly, who turned his unremarkable team into a formidable power, and is believed, with good reason, to be able to do even more with the recruiting abilities of Notre Dame.

This new hire is a big deal in college sports.  No wonder the anti-choicers decided they had to have a part of it; Touchdown Jesus forbids that anything important happen that’s not "All About Them."  Hijacking health care reform isn’t enough, it turns out.  Now the Fetus People have to take on college football.

The hook is that Notre Dame is a Catholic university and Kelly is pro-choice.  Apparently, this is suddenly a contradiction, though the sports world has mainly expressed confusion over why this is an issue.  Hard to blame sports writers who ask the obvious question, which is, “What does abortion have to do with football?”

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To ask the question is to miss the point, as anyone who has dealt with the Fetus People can attest.  They haven’t met many issues they can’t make about abortion.  It’s an all-purpose stand-in for everything that right wing reactionaries wish to attack---witness, for instance, Chuck Norris implying that giving people more access to general health care is the same thing as aborting the Baby Jesus.  If mammograms and blood pressure medication are the same thing as abortion, then surely hiring a pro-choice football coach is abortion.

Amanda Marcotte co-writes the popular blog Pandagon. She is the author of It's a Jungle Out There: The Feminist Survival Guide to Politically Inhospitable Environments.