Some topics are off limits in comedy. Using abortion to poke fun at a woman’s fight to save her child should be one of them.
During Comedy Central’s Roast of Justin Bieber on March 30, comedian Natasha Leggero and rapper Snoop Dogg cracked coarse abortion jokes at the expense of the singer. Bieber’s mother stood against pressure to abort her son when she became pregnant with him at 17. That didn’t stop Leggero from giggling about a “coat hanger” or Snoop Dogg from suggesting abortion for Bieber even now.
Besides Leggero and Snoop Dogg, the Bieber Roast featured celebrities including Ludacris, Martha Stewart and Kevin Hart in order to “hold one of the world's biggest teen idols over an open flame.”
Leggero laughed about Bieber’s (non-existent) close call with abortion, as he sat right next to her. "Justin was born to a teenage single mom. No wonder he’s got moves. He was in the womb dodging a coat hanger," she said.
Bieber visibly reacted, shaking his head.
Making abortion a theme of the night, Snoop Dogg proposed Bieber could still get aborted. “Now when your mama was 17-years-old and got pregnant, everybody told her to get an abortion, right?” Snoop Dogg jested. “And they still trying to convince her right now."
Bieber glanced sideways and offered a short laugh – only after the audience giggled.
But for Bieber, abortion is no laughing matter.
In a 2011 Rolling Stone interview, then-16-year-old Bieber revealed his pro-life stance. “I really don’t believe in abortion,” he said. “It’s like killing a baby.”
Pattie Mallette, Bieber’s mother, told NBC’s Today in 2012 about all pressure she had been under to abort her son.
“I didn’t know how I was going to do it. But I just knew that I couldn’t abort,” she said. “I had to do my best, and I was determined to do whatever it took.”
A victim of childhood sexual abuse, Mallette stuck with that decision while facing drug and alcohol problems.
That wasn’t the story Leggero and Snoop Dogg depicted. Instead, Mallette’s decision merely provided tinder for their gags – and Hollywood (the industry that constantly abhors the pro-life stance) graciously accepted them.