The Corner

Film & TV

Bill Maher and the Horror of Abortion

Bill Maher at the Vanity Fair Oscars party in 2017. (Danny Moloshok/Reuters)

Bill Maher recently did the country a service by illustrating, in a way few other pundits have, the simple horror of abortion — what it does, and what becomes of its victims. Years from now, when abortion is outlawed and our culture has stopped glorifying the killing of the unborn, Maher may be seen as something of an inadvertent sage. He will, doubtlessly, roll over in his grave.

On his HBO show recently, Maher admitted that, though he is pro-abortion rights, he is “a little squishy and always [has] been.” That’s because Maher’s mother was advised to “[not] have another [baby].” Whether this is an oblique reference to abortion or not — whether Maher’s mother was told to abort him or if she merely considered it an option — the point is clear: Maher is well aware that, in his own brutally honest phrasing, he could have ended up “on the cutting room floor.”

The jovial response of one of his guests was almost as stomach-churning as Maher’s own sad reflection. Democratic representative Katie Porter said to Maher: “Your mom made her choice, and we’re all here with the consequences of that choice.” Ha-ha, it’s a gas: Maher’s mother didn’t kill him and so he’s here to bug us today. Later Porter wrote on Twitter: “No matter who it is, every woman should have the right to make healthcare decisions for herself.” The joke is unfunny but the sentiment is very obvious and very chilling.

Both Maher and Porter touched on a significant but usually avoided truth about abortion: It kills unborn human beings. This fact is usually vigorously avoided by the pro-abortion crowd, the partisans of which regularly cloak their rhetoric in creative euphemisms: “Choice,” “healthcare decisions,” “termination of pregnancy.”

Several decades of embryological science have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that the unborn are fully human from their very first moments — that the “cluster of cells” to which abortion-rights activists often refer is in fact a human being, unequivocally so. The horror of abortion is thus matched only by its supporters’ unwillingness to acknowledge that horror. Several decades of hard, uncontested scientific discovery cannot stand up to the full force of pro-choicers’ mere opinions. Killing innocent human beings is a very bad thing; refusing to admit that’s what’s happening is almost as bad.

Abortion kills. Bill Maher understands it, even if Katie Porter would rather pretend not to. The truth is, every one of us born under a regime of legalized abortion was, at one time, perfectly killable in the eyes of the law. We all could have ended up on the cutting room floor. We should be grateful that we didn’t — and we should be resolved to outlawing such barbarity as soon as we can.

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