Comedy, like beauty, is in the eye (and ear) of the beholder. One fan’s hilarious is another’s offensive. But there are some topics that just don’t lend themselves to laughter, and abortion is one of them.
NARAL Pro Choice America recently released a video on YouTube that attempts to use humor to make a point about abortion rights. Unfortunately, “Comedians in Cars Getting Abortions” completely misses the mark. The short video is a spoof of Jerry Seinfeld’s popular web show “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.” The NARAL spot features a male and female comedian driving around the Los Angeles area trying to get an abortion.
The ostensible point of the 6 minute video is that state laws have made it unduly burdensome for women to receive an abortion. But no matter which side you come down on in the abortion debate, you are bound to be offended by the callous, leaden jokes about fetuses, religious beliefs, and women’s self-centered reasons for seeking an abortion.
You know it’s bad when I find myself agreeing with conservative political writer Heather Wilhelm, who wrote a scathing and spot-on opinion piece that appeared in today’s Chicago Tribune under the headline “The abortion lobby’s horrifying new ‘comedy’ act.” I share her bemusement about the comedic nature of comments about not wanting to bring any more bratty toddlers into the world and avoiding certain abortion clinics because demand will be high due to the Coachella Festival last month.
Far from furthering the pro-choice cause, “Comedians in Cars Getting Abortions” paints women who seek abortions as selfish, superficial, and unfeeling monsters who care not a whit for human life at any stage. I’m also puzzled that the YouTube video features a Prius commercial to match the sporty red Prius used by the comedians. If ever there were a piece of entertainment that advertisers should avoid like the plague, it’s “Comedians in Cars Getting Abortions.”
The subject of abortion is an incredibly important and divisive one. It’s worthy of serious and thoughtful discussion, not flippant parody. NARAL, you need a new public relations team.