If you want to understand the entertainment industry and abortion, look no further than R. Kelly. The R&B singer turned trafficker and sexual abuser of underage girls is back in the news after being convicted on all counts of running a child racketeering ring. One victim revealed that for the small sum of $500, Kelly obtained documents that falsified the age of now-deceased singer Aaliyah so he could marry her for the sole purpose of procuring an abortion for her.
Aaliyah was 15. At the time, only a parent or a spouse could sign off on an abortion.
Another victim — one of the many minor women seeking stardom that he quite literally imprisoned, raped, and trafficked — recently testified that she too was forced by the singer to have an unwanted abortion.
Aaliyah’s story reminded me of comedian Chelsea Handler’s abortion story, which was supposed to be one of those “empowering” #ShoutYourAbortion things but instead came out as weirdly patriarchal. Handler told Rosie O’Donnell that she was excited about becoming a mom and wanted to keep the baby. Her parents pressured her to abort instead. “I was trying to argue with them and they were like, ‘You don’t understand. You’re throwing your entire life away. You’re not having a child right now.’” So her dad drove her to the clinic. Handler wrote an essay about her two teenage abortions for the woman-empowering magazine known as Playboy, whose founder, Hugh Hefner, openly bragged about his role in funding and advancing the abortion agenda.
In her essay, she writes, “And I didn’t have just one abortion; I had two in the same year, impregnated by the same guy.” She doesn’t elaborate as to whether her dad drove her the second time. Such benevolent husbands and fathers.
But if you really do want to look farther, you can turn to our old friend Harvey Weinstein, also now in the slammer for raping women. While he was always a card-carrying supporter of abortion, he got especially vocal about it when women left and right began accusing him of rape and sexual assault. He sat next to presidential hopeful and abortion lobby honoree Hillary Clinton (herself accused of bullying her husband’s assault victims) at the Planned Parenthood 100th anniversary gala and pledged a six-figure donation. He called “fighting for Planned Parenthood and protecting women’s rights” “the good fight.” He even endowed a chair named for abortion rights queen Gloria Steinem and did a film on college campus sexual assault.
But he was, as it turned out, just “a wolf in Planned Parenthood clothing,” to quote the writer Mary Eberstadt.
Hollywood has been arguably the most vocal mouthpiece for the abortion lobby, especially in recent years as it is dogged by troubling exposés and a shrinking pool of clients. Hollywood has tried extra hard to give abortion a fresh and glossy look. Think Michelle Williams in a cute orange one-shoulder dress at the Golden Globes trying to convince us that women still need abortion to succeed.
In reality, nearly 50 years of Roe v. Wade in Hollywood actually looks like a sweaty Harvey Weinstein in an orange jumpsuit. The patriarchs of Hollywood have championed abortion because it has been an essential tool for them to use and abuse women, for money and for sex, while quite literally throwing away the vulnerable and innocent consequences. Consider the words of the late Hugh Hefner. When a Vanity Fair reporter challenged him by saying, “But feminists still oppose you for treating women as objects,” his response was strikingly candid. “They are objects!” he replied.
With abortion before the Supreme Court this fall, two things are certain: We are bound to hear from the Hollywood abortion bros and their starlet victims as to why abortion is needed. But we can be just as sure that their credibility when it comes to empowering women is all of zero. They are, after all, actors.