Here's a question liberals never ask other liberals, at least not publicly.
While appearing on Ed Schultz's radio show Tuesday and plugging her book "Lizz Free or Die: Essays," standup comic and "The Daily Show" co-creator Lizz Winstead told Schultz about becoming pregnant while a teenager and her decision to abort her unborn baby. (Audio after page break).
Schultz's question in response probably wasn't what Winstead was expecting (audio) --
SCHULTZ: Women's issues ...
WINSTEAD: Oh boy ...
SCHULTZ: ... you have been a real advocate and a real fighter.
WINSTEAD: Yeah, for Planned Parenthood and for NARAL and for anywhere that I feel like we can raise some awareness.
SCHULTZ: And there was a time there where it was a little different for you. (Schultz easing into subject).
WINSTEAD: Yeah! You know, I write in my book, I, um, part of the reason that I was inspired to sort of take this cause on is that I got pregnant the first time I had sex when I was in high school. And I was a young girl, proud Catholic family, and, you know, the reason that I wrote the story in the book is because my story's not an extraordinary one. You know, it's a story of young women who, oftentimes we were influenced by a lot of things, you know, your hormones grow way faster than your common sense does, you have a Catholic mom, who are you going to go to? So you make decisions that are not often the smartest ones.
And what happened for me was, I found myself wondering what I was going to do. I didn't know if I was pregnant or not. And I got on a bus and I saw an ad for a place that said, free pregnancy tests, choices, options. And I went into that place and it wasn't run by Planned Parenthood, it was one of those crisis pregnancy centers that, where a woman came out in a lab coat, who was not a doctor, and proceeded to demonize me, not really understanding that I was an ill-equipped young woman, I should never have been, you know, probably having sex because I wasn't smart enough to, you know, to get on birth control and know.
But she showed me photographs that were hideous, that were not real, gave me a whole bunch of disinformation, and she scared me so much and when I walked out I said, you've made me feel like a bad person, you've made me feel like I need to define myself by my mistakes. And she, and I said, and I really was hoping to get some counsel and to find out I was pregnant and to figure out what the next steps would be for me and I thought you would help me. And she said, and I said and I'm looking for some choices and she said, your only choices are mommy or murder. That's what she said to this young girl who had come in there.
And so I was profoundly shocked that a woman wearing a lab coat, basically impersonating to the two kind of people that young girls look to the most, which is a physician and a person of God, you know, she looked me square in the face and basically said your life is insignificant. And when that happened I just thought, I don't want to live in a world where if you make a mistake you're defined by it. And also, going back to the conversation we had earlier, I didn't, I wasn't interested in kids. Like, that was something I was not interested in, and thought I would not be good at this. And if you are dumb enough to use 16-, 17-year-old logic and find yourself pregnant, surely you are not ready to do the hardest job in the world, which is motherhood. (Which Winstead maligned as "indentured servitude" back in April).
And so I kinda just wanted to tell that story and it's been met every place I go, ten, twenty, one time thirty women in the course of this 500-person event said I have a story very similar to yours. And I just want to put a face on it. I kinda wanna say, you know, you guys know me, you like me, you know, I'm your friend, I'm the person you know, and, and, you know, I had an abortion. And I'm not a bad person, I had made a mistake and I want to make sure that if you have to go through something like that, that's not the single thing that people are ...
SCHULTZ: Have you ever regretted that?
WINSTEAD: I haven't because I knew that it was the right thing to do for me and I'll tell you, what happened was, after I left there and I went to Planned Parenthood, the thing about Planned Parenthood and one of the reasons that I advocate so strongly for them is that, they sat down with me and counseled me for a really long time and asked me questions, not to get what they thought I should do ...
SCHULTZ: Uh huh.
WINSTEAD: ... but to get me to think about what I should do. Those same set of questions with a different person, that person could have come to the conclusion, you want to know what? It's important that I keep this baby, for me. But for me, that wasn't the conclusion because they were smart enough and insightful enough questions that I was allowed to answer them for myself and then be, and know that I was making the right decision.
Count me as skeptical about Winstead's recollection of her visit to the crisis pregnancy center. I find it hard to believe that the lab-coated Nurse Ratched she describes told Winstead her options were only two -- the glib and alliterative "mommy or murder" -- and did not include an obvious third, that of adoption. Winstead's account also rings false in her claim she told the woman "you've made me feel like I need to define myself by my mistakes," which sounds scripted by Nora Ephron.
Winstead also makes a revealing remark about what happened when she went to Planned Parenthood and was asked questions "not to get what they thought I should do" -- the implication being that terminating pregnancy is the default option here. Which, what a coincidence, was the outcome. Those reassuring folks at Planned Parenthood know just what to say.
Winstead was born in August 1961 (one day after a future president named Obama) in Minnesota, which means she would have been 16 and 17 years old in the late '70s, a half-decade after Roe v. Wade legalized abortion. Which begs another question -- were parental notification laws in place where her abortion took place and, if so, were they observed?
Those photos Winstead claims were shown to her at the crisis pregnancy center, "that were hideous, that were not real" -- would they have been any less hideous had they been indisputably genuine?
Abortion apologists aren't likely to appreciate Schultz's question to Winstead -- "have you ever regretted" your decision? -- implying it was fraught with moral implications. These same apologists pretend abortion is no different than, say, liposuction or removing an appendix. Just another "choice," their revered euphemism.