On his show Real Time with Bill Maher, comedian and political commentator Bill Maher admitted he has reservations about supporting unrestricted abortion, saying that he was almost a victim of abortion himself.
“I am pro-choice, but I’m a little squishy and always have been,” he said. He explained that after the difficult birth of his older sister, his mother was advised not to have any other children. When she became pregnant with him, he became a target for abortion.
“Knowing that I could have been on the cutting room floor…,” he said, giving a disturbing but accurate description of abortion at which the audience laughed.
He tried to walk back his comments, gesturing to his stomach and saying, “I get it, as long as it’s [the baby] still in you…”
Then U.S. Representative Katie Porter (D-California), a guest on the show, interjected, arguing that Maher’s mother had a choice of whether or not to abort him and quipped, “We’re all here with the consequences of that choice.” Porter’s joke that everyone is suffering because Maher’s mother didn’t kill him was met with raucous laughter and applause.
Porter continued, joking it probably “wasn’t easy” raising him and concluded, “But the point is, she and your father, and she made her choice…” Maher reacted with what he played off as faux outrage at the suggestion he was making a pro-life argument and cursed out his audience and the other panelists on his show. On other occasions, Maher has expressed strongly pro-abortion views and ridiculed pro-life state laws.
National Review points out that Maher “did the country a service by illustrating, in a way few other pundits have, the simple horror of abortion — what it does, and what becomes of its victims. Years from now, when abortion is outlawed and our culture has stopped glorifying the killing of the unborn, Maher may be seen as something of an inadvertent sage. He will, doubtlessly, roll over in his grave.”
The jokes at Maher’s expense make light of a disturbing reality. As Christina Bennett, whose mother walked out of an abortion appointment, testified before Congress, “It’s easy for people to say, ‘Well, I’m glad your mother had a choice,’ but a statement like that devalues my existence and the reality of what that choice would have done to me.”
Abortion survivor Melissa Ohden testified, “There’s something wrong when one person’s right results in another person’s death. There’s something deeply disturbing about the reality in our world that I have a right to an abortion but I never had the simple right to live.”
At the same hearing, abortion advocate Busy Phillips refused to answer the question of whether abortion survivors, like Ohden, have a right to life. While abortion activists continue to claim we can’t know when life begins and we can’t “force women to carry to term,” they avoid the fact that abortion kills an innocent and vulnerable human being.
Maher’s squeamishness on abortion because his own life was once in jeopardy is an acknowledgment of the reality of abortion. Maher’s position is similar to Nick Cannon’s, who, after writing a song thanking his mother for not aborting him, said, “I’m not pro-life or pro-choice. I’m pro-Nick. I’m just happy to be here.” It’s ethically incoherent to speak in defense of your own preborn life while saying other preborn children shouldn’t have that same opportunity to live their lives. Porter’s jokes at Maher’s expense show that when abortion is a choice, there isn’t a single life that has value. Each of us is disposable.
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