With the leaked decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and send our country back to the era where we burned witches at the stake for staring at people, a famous old stand-up bit by the late, great, George Carlin is doing the rounds again. It’s a piece about the “pro-life” movement, aka the “anti-abortion” movement, the Christian conservative movement that has continued on in our country for decades and has now successfully dragged our society’s discourse back hundreds of years. Carlin takes on all of the language used and how just the smallest bit of analysis exposes how incoherent, how hypocritical, and ultimately, how clearly false all of the right’s rhetoric around abortion really is.
Carlin talks about the right-wing concept of “conception of life.” How the “fertilized egg” is supposedly a child. After riffing on how problematic and untrue that is, Carlin makes the point that the majority of a person’s “fertilized eggs” end up being flushed out during the menstrual cycle, “So basically what these anti-abortion people are telling us is that any woman who's had more than one period is a serial killer.” He also reminds everyone that Catholics are some of abortion’s biggest opponents, and also one of the biggest opponents of homosexuals and homosexuality. “Well who has less abortions than homosexuals? Leave these fucking people alone for Christ's sakes. Here is an entire class of people guaranteed never to have an abortion and the Catholics and Christians are just tossing them aside—you'd think they'd make natural allies.”
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Carlin pokes a bit more at the hypocrisy of the church in this regard, and then zeroes in on the phraseology used by the so-called “pro-life” movement. Specifically, Carlin wants to understand the term “sanctity of life.”
CARLIN: Well I mean, life is sacred? Who said so? God? Hey, if you read history you realize that God is one of the leading causes of death. Has been for thousands of years.
In fact, Carlin argues, so many different religions have used “God” to justify killing others that killing might be considered part of His brand. But beyond all of that, beyond the preaching about the “sanctity of life,” Carlin wants to know: Where do we practice what we preach? Which brings us back to the anti-abortionists:
CARLIN: Boy these conservatives are really something aren't they? They're all in favor of the unborn. They will do anything for the unborn, but once you're born you're on your own. Pro-life conservatives are obsessed with the fetus from conception to nine months. After that they don't want to know about you. They don't want to hear from you. No nothing. No neonatal care, no daycare, no head start, no school lunch, no food stamps, no welfare, no nothing. If you're pre-born you're fine. If you’re preschool you're fucked!
Then Carlin moves on to when conservatives remember you’re alive: when you get to military age and they can send you off to kill and be killed. “These people aren't pro-life, they're killing doctors. What kind of pro-life is that? They'll do anything they can to save a fetus but if it grows up to be a doctor they just might have to kill it.” And finally, Carlin, at his greatest, synthesizes it down to the essence: “They're not pro-life. You know what they are? They’re anti-woman.”
You can watch the entire eight-minute chunk below. Enjoy.
Warning: some bad language and adult content.