Sarah Silverman To Hillary Clinton: 'What Men Would Put Up With Women Making Laws About Their Body?'

Hillary Clinton sat down with Phoebe Greenwood of the left-wing British newspaper The Guardian last Friday to discuss a range of current event issues, responding to videotaped questions, including some from celebrities and politicians. Comedian Sarah Silverman was among them. Silverman wanted to know what Clinton’s plans will be “with women’s rights stuff” when she’s president. Silverman, referencing the Hobby Lobby decision, wanted to know “what men would ever put up with a woman making laws about what they can and can’t do with their bodies.”

Greenwood, not hiding her view of the topic, thought it necessary to explain Silverman’s question and framed it as an issue that “follows a raft of quite radical personhood bills that would seek to criminalize abortion and some forms of contraception.” The British journalist touted Clinton as a vocal advocate of women’s rights “for more than 20 years.” Greenwood then asked Clinton what she plans on doing “about these threats” and the “rollback on the right of American women to choose.”

The presumable presidential hopeful answered the question by calling the Supreme Court’s decision “outrageous” and “disturbing.” Clinton explained that women must continue to fight and the Hobby Lobby ruling is only the beginning. She said women must "keep standing up for women’s rights and particularly reproductive health rights."

All in all Clinton’s response was in no way a surprise nor was Silverman’s question. The comedian's tone suggested her sheer disgust at the conservative male jurists on the Court. Not only that, but Silverman’s question would lead less-informed individuals to believe that the Supreme Court gave Hobby Lobby the right to tell women how to use their bodies, which is completely false, but constitutes the simplistic narrative being pushed by the Left.

The relevant portion is transcribed below:

SARAH SILVERMAN: What’s your plan when you are president with this women’s right stuff? What men would ever put up with woman making laws about what they can and can’t do with their bodies?

PHOEBE GREENWOOD: Ok, so just to explain to those of us who may not be following this issue as carefully, last week the US Supreme Court ruled that some companies can use their religious beliefs as an exemption from paying for contraception for their employees as is mandated under the affordable healthcare act. This follows a raft of quite radical personhood bills that would seek to criminalize abortion and some forms of contraception. Now, Secretary Clinton, you’ve been campaigning for women’s rights for more than 20 years, what do you plan to do about these threats, this roll back on the right of American women to choose?

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, I think it’s outrageous and the Supreme Court decision was so deeply disturbing because it was the first time that any decision was made which said, basically, that an employer’s religious belief could affect the health care available to women who were in the employment of that employer. Absolutely a terrible decision that has so many implications even beyond the core issues of women’s rights. So we’re going to have to keep our fight up which is what we’ve had to do for so many years in the United States. I’m pro-choice because I think that’s the best position. If someone chooses to have an abortion or chooses not to have an abortion, that is such a highly personal decision that that woman should make based on her own faith beliefs, her own personal situation, her own medical condition. The fight is not over in the United States and we’re going to have to keep standing up for women’s rights and particularly reproductive health rights.
 

Jackie Seal
Jackie Seal is a 2014 summer intern with the MRC's News Analysis Division.