By Jonathon Van Maren
On his much-discussed Netflix special “Selective Outrage,” Chris Rock – yeah, the guy who got slapped in the face by Will Smith at last year’s Oscars – decided to tackle abortion. His bit didn’t exactly go as you might expect. In fact, he openly admitted that abortion is killing a baby.
He started off by stating that “abortion is illegal in most of the country.” Which would be nice, but it isn’t. To those who say he shouldn’t talk about abortion because it’s a “women’s issue,” Rock said, he responds that “I’ve paid for more abortions than any woman in this room. When I go to the clinic I say: ‘Gimme the usual.’” Laughter and applause. “When I go in they give me a punch card. Two more and I get a free smoothie.”
Because he has two beautiful daughters, he said, “there’s a part of me that’s pro-life, because I’m definitely pro-their lives.” But he also wants them to have the right to get an abortion if they want to, and “because of that, I am absolutely pro-choice, okay? I believe women should have the right to kill babies. That’s right. I’m on your side. I believe you should have the right to kill as many babies as you want. Kill ‘em all, I don’t give a f****. But let’s not get it twisted – it is killing a baby.”
Rock went on: “Because whenever I pay for an abortion, I request a dead baby. Sometimes, I call up the doctor like a hit man: ‘Is it done?’ And people argue – first trimester, second trimester. I think women should have the right to kill a baby until it’s four years old…I think you should be able to kill a baby till you get that first report card.” More laughter and cheers.
There are some conservative commentators who praised the bit as a clever way to make a pro-life point – that Chris Rock is subversively affirming the fact that abortion kills a baby while making his audience laugh. Michael Knowles of The Daily Wire, among others, had this take. But I can’t help but notice that quite a lineup of A-list comedians have made the same point over the past few years, and that all of these bits follow a similar pattern.