‘The Daily Show’s’ Tweet About The SCOTUS Abortion Ruling Got So Many Things Wrong

Sometimes you have to think before you tweet, which is exactly what the crew over at The Daily Show should have done Tuesday. Because The Daily Show tweet about the Texas abortion ruling brought down by the Supreme Court Monday flopped big time and was one very big step back after the baby steps forward made by the decision to throw out a set of super restrictive laws regulating abortion clinics in the state. The court’s ruling shouldn’t be downplayed — it’s a huge victory in putting the right to healthcare for women above anything else. The Daily Show, bless their hearts, tweeted their excitement, writing, “Celebrate the #SCOTUS ruling! Go knock someone up in Texas!

I feel like only Jon Stewart could effectively react to a tweet like that. People immediately took notice. Megan McCain wrote, “this tweet is vile.” David Simon, creator of The Wire, wrote that he’s all about offending someone for the sake of a good joke, but that the tweet was the “O’Douls of bad taste.” Others took notice, too, just shaking their heads all around and dissing new host Trevor Noah for letting something like that go down. The comedy show later apologized with another tweet.

The tweet is especially ill-considered because although they certainly weren’t “promoting abortions,” they were promoting this idea, often used by anti-choice groups, that abortions are last ditch efforts at birth control. And worse, it ignores the fact that they are also often medically necessary. I mean, that’s what the Supreme Court said yesterday, which is why so many women’s health advocates were so excited about the ruling. It puts the right to healthcare above anything else. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in her short opinion that the laws they were shutting down “do little or nothing for health, but rather strew impediments to abortion.”

So a glib “go knock someone up” response implies a few fucked up things:

  • That you could just run out and get someone pregnant without their consent or knowledge. That’s rape.
  • That you wouldn’t use protection or birth control, because, abortion.
  • That abortions are still easy to get in Texas, which, even with the new ruling, they’re not.

It is just wrong on so many levels and totally misses the point — that it was a well-thought out step in the right direction for women’s reproductive rights. A better apology would recognize, too, that women’s reproductive health and the civil liberties that go along with it, hangs in a precarious position all the time. Joking about running out to knock someone up so they can get an abortion is offensive to everyone, but especially to women who seek abortions for medical or personal reasons.

Keep trying Daily Show team — and next time try to look like you know what you did wrong when you apologize.