Gobsmacked, but not surprised

Kristan Hawkins got on a panel with Joy Reid, who recognized that they differed on the legality of abortion, but thought to find common ground by asking if everyone agreed that contraception was OK. She did not achieve her goal, because Hawkins was quite willing to announce that she thought several forms of birth control should be illegal. She was also kind of obnoxiously shouty about it all.

This is one of those things where liberals are often accused of failing to understand those good salt-of-the-earth types from the heartland (Hawkins is from Minnesota, unfortunately). And it’s true. We have a hard time understanding irrationality of that sort, and often can scarcely believe that people exist who hold such terrible, destructive views. You can tell that Reid and her panel are kind of stunned at how regressive and awful Hawkins was.

I wasn’t. Hawkins spoke at UMM almost two years ago. It was a dishonest talk, full of mangled and dishonest statistics, and most of her time was spent reciting anecdotes. The audience was full of adoring fans who had lies of their own to tell, too.

As I was leaving the talk, by the way, I passed their table where they were handing out literature, and a woman from the audience breathlessly recounted the latest conspiracy theory: did you know that Planned Parenthood intentionally injects young women who visit with hormones to make them fertile, so that they’re more likely to get pregnant and come back for an abortion? The woman from Students for Life of America behind the table said, I’m not surprised, they make millions of dollars from abortions.

Other half truths that emerged: Hawkins doesn’t like contraception, either, and announced that hormonal contraception is a carcinogen. So it is! Progesterone has properties that would get it classified as a human carcinogen, just like broccoli and beer. And that means, ladies, that your ovaries are trying to kill you, because they’re constantly trickling out a carcinogenic hormone.

Nothing in that television interview surprised me. Joy Reid should have called me (or any of the other people here in Minnesota who have encountered Hawkins), and I could have prepped her for the outrageousness she was going to get.


  1. numerobis says

    What’s up with this assumption that forced-breeding advocates would be ok with contraception?

    I’ve seen it repeatedly of late. It seems like a new thing.

    The same people who protest against abortion also push for abstinence-only sex ed (or no sex ed), against insurance coverage for contraceptives, against distributing condoms in Africa, etc. So this is looking for common ground with someone who already loudly rejects that ground.

  2. microraptor says

    numerobis @2:

    There’s also an interesting overlap if you make a Venn diagram between “opposes legal abortion” and “opposes government programs supporting education and childhood development for poor people.”

  3. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Hawkin’s imaginary deity isn’t very powerful, much less omnipotent, if a few milligrams of a synthetic hormone can stop the phantasm from making a woman become pregnant against her desires. The real problem is with their presuppositions and lack of critical thinking. Sex is fun, but it can be used for procreation. Most of the time, no fetus will result from sex, so fun and pair bonding is the main function of sex. If you think only procreation is intended result, a very inefficient, non-powerful phantasm is the only conclusion as sex doesn’t always result in a fetus. So, why pretend the phantasm exists? Delusional thinking….

  4. chris says

    Interesting how the scrolling news feed at the bottom of that screen shot is about Trump barring refugees. Proof positive that the “pro-life” movement only cares about fetuses, and not actual real live children. Especially if their parents are not part of a specific religion.

    During our December flurry of charity giving, a large chunk went to the ACLU, and another one to Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and Northern Idaho. While our votes were nullified by the Electorial College, at least our donations will do some good.

  5. Lofty says

    None of the above. All they want is to have women breed up as many xtian soldiers as possible. Get married, get fucked, pop out as many babies as possible, sons in particular, then die quietly. This is an arms race, you know, haven’t you seen how many children these horrible heathens have???!!!???

  6. chigau (ever-elliptical) says

    I have TheSolution™®
    Everyone with a functioning set of testicles and penis gets a vasectomy at the same time as they get their circumcision.
    Immigrants who have a set will get the vasectomy with their green card.

  7. =8)-DX says

    None of the above. All they want is to have women breed up as many xtian soldiers as possible

    @Lofty #9
    No. It’s worse. The idea is that morality is about people aligning with their dogmatic view of correct behaviour. Consequences and facts are irrelevant, all that is important is conformity to their view of what “natural god-given human nature” is. Women breeding xtian soldiers is a sad rationalisation of the utility behind an ethical system that doesn’t care about people. (My take as an ex fundie catholic )

  8. says

    did you know that Planned Parenthood intentionally injects young women who visit with hormones to make them fertile

    “God loves me in direct proportion to my flagrant nonsense. My willingness to make myself look like an idiot and say scandalous, embarrassing things proves my faith and self-worth. Only a truly faithful person would set aside sanity and the respect of honest normal people in order to obtain God’s favor.”

  9. Knabb says

    @2, numerobis

    The idea is that the people who have outright stated that they hate abortion and want to eradicate it as presumably on board with what is by far the single most effective tool at driving abortion rates down. It’s part of the broader problem of assuming that the Republican party is the reasonable opposition instead of the enemy.

  10. ck, the Irate Lump says

    It’s difficult to believe that Evangelicals once heralded the Roe v. Wade decision as a decision that protected religious freedom. Now, they seem set to try to outlaw birth control based on even more wild conspiracy theories.

  11. mostlymarvelous says

    ck, the Irate Lump

    For those not around at the time of Roe v. Wade, this might seem mysterious. Back in those long gone days, abortion was regarded – sort of dismissively, almost trivially – as a distinctly niche obsession of Roman Catholics. It was just the weirdly logical extension of their already weird obsession with prohibiting contraception.

  12. microraptor says

    mostlymarvelous @17:

    I saw something last year on the subject. The reason that it became a part of right-wing politics was due to the Moral Majority’s previous agenda being the prevention of desegregation of schools and they needed something new after the Civil Rights Movement, wasn’t it?