A new raft of abortion laws that either seek to codify or challenge Roe v. Wade have gotten pretty extreme reactions.
One of them was certainly from Joy Behar of “The View,” who said that the proper response to such legislation was to sterilize all white men.
Because clearly, that has no echoes of some of the uglier episodes of our country’s history.
Behar’s hot take came on the Wednesday edition of the program, which dealt with the passage and signing into law of an Alabama bill that prohibits almost all abortions.
The bill is a shot across the bow of Supreme Court decisions in cases such as Roe, Planned Parenthood v. Casey and Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.
That wasn’t what Joy Behar was interested in, though.
“Can we look at the panel of men who did this? What do they have in common?” Behar said as the discussion began.
And then, lo and behold, an image of white male legislators popped up on the screen.
— Shaun Hair (@Exec_Edtr_WJ) May 16, 2019
“They’re all men. All white guys,” Behar said.
Then she went a bit further: “Maybe we should make it a law they should all be required to get a vasectomy,” she said to a round of applause. “That would solve the problem.”
Solve what problem? That suddenly, after getting a vasectomy, they would all say, “Oh, gee, now I realize that a fetus really isn’t a human life?” Or is it that she wants to punish people she doesn’t like with sterilization?
It’s not like this “joke” is an uncommon one. Take Illinois state Rep. Diane Pappas, who made news when she allegedly told constituents who were concerned about a radical New York-style abortion bill that she was in favor of castrating and taxing all men.
“You know, ladies, with technology the way it is, we wouldn’t have an abortion problem if we applied a plan,” Pappas said to the constituents, according to one of them.
“Now, I’ve been told it’s a bit radical, but if we allowed men to be castrated, took the sperm to the bank, collected tax dollars on it for storage, then when it’s time, to have the man decide he’s ready to begin a family … well then problem is solved!”
This doesn’t actually have anything to do with life, aside from the fact that it would impede men from making life. There’s no particular parallel or analog with abortion.
Instead, this is punishment of undesirables — men, in this case, sometimes all of them and sometimes a specific coterie of white men.
This is an interesting tactic, inasmuch as it reminds us of great legacies such as Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger’s push for black sterilization, the eugenics movement or the salpingectomy of Carrie Buck.
In Behar’s case, she thinks it’s funny because it’s about white men. However, when we take any target group and reduce its members to targets of sterilization jokes, we devalue humans as a whole. That shouldn’t be surprising, however, given the fact that we’re dealing with people willing to defend abortion at all costs.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.