Actress Busy Philipps, an abortion advocate ( of course). testified before the House Judiciary Committee on the topic this week.
I must drop in here that I am offended by celebrity witnesses participating Congressional hearings. They seldom are the most expert or prepared authorities, and have no special credentials except that they look nice and usually can speak clearly. They get the opportunity to attract publicity to the hearings, and accept it to burnish their images.
In this case, the actress’s primary qualification to talk about abortion is that she had one (at 15). Philipps’ more recent argument for abortion is that a lot of women have had one, which is 100% irrelevant to the ethical and legal issues at hand. Beyond that, she essentially mouths standard talking points. In her opening statement to the House Judiciary Committee, she said,
“I am a human being that deserves autonomy in this country that calls itself free, and choices that a human being makes about their own bodies should not be legislated by strangers who can’t possibly know or understand each individual’s circumstances or beliefs.”
I’ve been unsuccessfully looking for what Busy’s major was at Loyola Marymount, assuming she graduated (all the sources says “she attended” the school), but based on that mess, we can assume it wasn’t English Literature, pre-law or Philosophy. Laws do not typically include variances according to a citizen’s beliefs or circumstances. Robbery is illegal, even if you really need the money or don’t “believe” in property rights.
Then Texas Congressman Louie Gomert asked a pertinent question. Melissa Ohden, the founder of the Abortion Survivors Network who survived a failed saline infusion abortion in 1977, had testified earlier. “Would you agree that somebody who has survived an abortion, like Melissa Ohden, has a right, once she’s born, to life, to have control over her body where someone else doesn’t take her life?” he asked.
“Although I played a doctor on television, sir, I am actually not a physician,” she replied.
Ha Ha! Not funny. This isn’t even a clever dodge. The question had nothing to do with being a doctor. Gohmert was nicer in response than I would have been, saying, “No, but you’ve given very compelling testimony and I appreciate that you’ve obviously given these issues a lot of thought, that’s why I’m asking you.”
Or maybe he wasn’t being so nice. Maybe he was suggesting that she hadn’t given the matter sufficient thought at all….which turned out to be the case.
“I think that it’s something that is very important,” Philipps began.
Really? Life and death is important? How fascinating! Did you know that Jimmy Stewart developed his halting speech habit to give himself extra time to remember his lines? The typical speaker’s equivalent is saying, “That’s an excellent question!” while furiously trying to think of an answer. Busy, however, as the song in “A Chorus Line” goes, “dug right down to the bottom of her soul” and found…nothing.
“I don’t believe that a politician’s place is to decide what’s best for a woman—it’s a choice between a woman and her doctor” was the best she could come up with, which was unresponsive to the question.
Gohmert tried again. “What about a baby and the doctor?That’s my question.”
Philipps then absurdly said she could not speak to Ohden’s experience because she wasn’t there—-that would be an F in any classroom— and finally huminahumina-ed that she was only there to speak about abortion, not birth.
They don’t do such things in committee hearings, but the earned response would have been, “Mr. Chairman, I ask that Ms Philipps’ entire testimony be stricken from the record, as she obviously has given no serious thought to the issues in abortion, which include when an unborn child becomes, in the eyes of the law and society, a human being whose own right to life gains equal or superior importance to the desires and autonomy of the mother. Since she has not thought about that key issue, I submit that her rote recitation of basic pro-abortion talking points is neither informed nor helpful.”
He might also have chosen this epiphanal moment to enter into the record a statement like,
“Too many vital national policy matters see debate over the best and right course polluted by passionate advocates who haven’t devoted the bare minimum amount of study and thought required to reach a a responsible opinion in any complex matter, and simply adopt the positions and arguments of others because his or her peer group requires it, or because someone they like or respect holds the same opinion, or because the course they advocate is one that benefits them personally. Topics that are so polluted include gun control, climate change, capital punishment, the minimum wage, tax policy, affirmative action, social welfare programs, and many others, including, of course, abortion.
As Americans, we certainly have a right to hold any opinion, no matter who foolish or ill-informed, and to advocate it, as unhelpful as doing so may be. What we do not have a right to do, and should not, is falsely pose as an authority or a legitimate, prepared advocate on important topis when we have not bothered to think about them, and consider all of the factors that must be considered to reach a responsible conclusion.”
Go ahead, Busy. Vote for your pro-abortion candidates, feel virtuous with your feminist and progressive pals, Give your money to NARAL and Planned Parenthood. I wish you luck in your fluffy career of playing various female airheads and sociopaths on cable TV sitcoms and dramadies, and hope you can make a successful transition, when your looks go, to mother parts and character roles. All you contribute to the debate over the moral, ethical and legal dilemmas in abortion, however, is noise, passion and votes, because you don’t really know what you’re talking about.