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.