Comedy Pushes Towards an Increased Support for Abortion
By: Alina Zheng
“Politicians aren’t going to save us,” says Lizz Winstead, who is a comedian, abortion rights activist, and the co-creator of the “Daily Show.” “Things are awesome — never better! Sleeping well; no diarrhea. Things are awesome.”
Though “things are not awesome,” Lizz Winstead uses jokes to remove the negative stigma around abortion. Winstead has been focusing on the abortion issue for most of the last decade by satirizing politics and the media while also bringing attention to the hypocrisy that occurs.
Since speaking out about her abortion story on Comedy Central in 1992, she has been warning others that women’s reproductive rights were in jeopardy by participating in social media campaigns and performing on stages throughout the country.
Many other comedians have also used comedy to raise awareness and support abortion. For example, Joyelle Nicole said, “Don’t be ashamed of having an abortion. Maybe be ashamed of how you got pregnant. I got pregnant the classy way: On the floor. On an Amtrak train. In the handicapped restroom, babeeey!” onstage at “Bro vs. Wade,” which is a show based in Brooklyn targeted to stop the harmful narrative of abortion.
Before the Supreme Court recently overturned Roe vs. Wade, Abortion Access Front, Winstead’s organization that fights to display the importance of having abortion rights, has been preparing for the current situation of women losing their reproductive rights. On July 24th, it will host “Operation Save Abortion,” which is a daylong training session involving 60 partners and 25 panelists from local and national care to supply viewers with secure options to plan abortion action.
A message the group conveys is that everybody can find a way to contribute to the fight for abortion, and it doesn’t have to be protesting or donating to abortion fundraisers. Winstead gives people a new way to support the abortion cause. “If you have 10 minutes a month to give, I can give you something to do that’s meaningful. And I don’t want you to feel bad that that’s all you can give. Life is too messed up right now.”
Even though laughter won’t help women fully gain back their abortion rights, Winstead hopes to eliminate the shame around abortion and give supporters the tools necessary to seek assistance. “We need to give people who are, like, ‘What can we do?’ an answer.” Winstead agreed that together, “We are more motivated to fight and stay in the fight. And be relentless,” bringing hope to the future of women’s rights.