Former Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards stopped short of directly criticizing comedian Michelle Wolf’s jokes about abortion on Tuesday, saying that while she wouldn’t have told them, she recognized that Wolf was doing “her job.”
Wolf remarked that Vice President Mike Pence is “very anti-choice” during her performance at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Saturday, which was controversial for both conservatives and liberals. “He thinks abortion is murder, which first of all, don’t knock it till you try it,” she said. “And when you do try it, really knock it, you know. You got to get that baby out of there. And yeah, sure, you can groan all you want, I know a lot of you are very antiabortion, you know unless it’s the one you got for your secret mistress.”
“Well, I mean, she’s a comedian, that was her job,” Richards told CNN on Tuesday after watching a clip of Wolf’s performance. “This isn’t a topic I make jokes about because of course I see what women face in this country, just to access this care and how much stigma and shame there already is in America.”
“I think she was also making the point that a lot of the folks, male politicians in particular who wail against access to safe and legal abortion, do so until it’s something that they actually find benefits themselves,” Richards added.
After her performance, Wolf drew flack over the weekend, especially for excoriating White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders for minutes on end. Even many mainstream journalists spoke out to condemn the attacks on Sanders, commenting that it was hard to watch the mother of three be mercilessly mocked.