In a recent skit on Saturday Night Live, cast member Cecily Strong played “Goober the Clown” and joked about an abortion she had when she was 23 years old. The sketch was a direct response to the Texas Heartbeat law, which prohibits abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected. The skit was agonizing to watch and a painful reflection of our culture’s depraved view of preborn human life.
The nearly four-minute-long clip opens with a reporter discussing the Texas Heartbeat Act being reviewed by the United States Supreme Court. He then invites Goober the Clown, who had an abortion at 23, to the stage to “cheer them up.”
Goober takes a seat and, when asked about her abortion, responds, “Woah, slow down. I’m a clown. Let’s clown around.” Goober then goes on to squirt the reporter in the face multiple times before declaring, “I had an abortion the day before my 23rd birthday,” to a laughing audience.
Goober admits abortion is a “rough subject,” so she’s going to do “fun clown stuff to make it more palatable” as she spins her bow tie and tries unsuccessfully to make a balloon animal.
Goober continues that her abortion is her “personal clown business” and then, to a giggling audience, makes the claim that “one in three clowns will have a clown abortion in their lifetime.” The statistics she cited are old and newer evidence suggests the number is closer to one in four women that will have an abortion in their lifetime.
Regardless, the skit goes on to talk about Goober’s abortion appointment. She claims that getting an abortion meant her life wasn’t over while attempting to toot a horn that doesn’t work, and the audience laughs in response.
Finally, after taking a swig of helium from a balloon, Goober says, “Here’s my truth: I know I wouldn’t be a clown on tv here today if it weren’t for the abortion I had the day before my 23rd birthday.” The audience claps in approval while Goober concludes that abortion should be “safe, legal, and accessible.”
Yes, the skit is every bit as awkward and tasteless as it sounds.
Sadly, Goober’s story is Cecily Strong’s story. After the SNL performance, Strong confirmed that the story Goober the Clown shared about getting an abortion the day before her 23rd birthday really was her story.
Looking beyond Strong’s efforts to mock the pro-life position, we see a woman irreversibly changed by her decision to abort her child. We don’t know whether she decided in a moment of crisis or was set on abortion for other reasons. Sadly, however, it seems Strong really did believe the lie that in order to get ahead, she had to sacrifice her child on the altar of professional success.
More broadly, this sketch reflects a cultural irreverence for the sanctity of life. Preborn human life ought to be protected and treated with inherent dignity by virtue of its humanity. Instead, the cultural narrative, ironically, tells women that to be empowered, they must retain the right to end the lives of their preborn children.
The skit is also shockingly insensitive to the many vulnerable women who find themselves in crisis pregnancies. It’s not funny for a woman to feel so desperate that she thinks she’s got no other option but to abort her child. Making light of the difficult circumstances many women face when considering abortion isn’t funny. These are real women with real problems, and they need our support, not an abortion.
Indeed, many women who’ve had abortions have experienced a significant amount of psychological trauma over that decision and have sought post-abortive counseling to process their feelings of regret.
Gone are the days of abortion advocates arguing that abortion should be safe, legal, and rare. Now according to Goober the Clown, it should be safe, legal, accessible, and funny.
As Christians, we know that children are a heritage from the Lord (Proverbs 127:3). We also know that human life inside the womb is just as valuable as human life outside the womb.
Our society needs to be reminded that the worth of a preborn child is not dependent on cultural norms or whether a baby is wanted. A preborn child’s dignity is found in its humanity. And whether a preborn child lives or dies just isn’t a laughing matter.
Photo from Shutterstock.