By Dave Andrusko
Pro-abortionists will take almost any comment and somehow fit it into the abortion-affirming narrative. But when someone, like actress Swoosie Kurtz, talks about how difficult it was to find an abortionist in the 1960s, naturally people like HuffPost Live host Ricky Camilleri will offer congratulations for “sharing” her story and praise her for helping to reduce the “stigma” associated with abortion.
But as so often is the case, if you look even an inch below the surface, there clearly is much more going on. Kurtz was on to publicize her memoir “Part Swan, Part Goose: An Uncommon Memoir of Womanhood, Work and Family.”
In the segment Camilleri and Kurtz began by talking about “Citizen Ruth,” a 1996 movie which they pretend was equally hard on pro-lifers and pro-choicers. (We got hammered.)
“Was that an important film for you to talk about women’s reproductive rights?” Camilleri asks, “Is that something that’s on your mind, that you think about?”
Kurtz responds, “It was very important to me because I had an abortion when I was —gosh, did I just say that?—in the 1960s and it was very difficult, one of the most difficult things I’ve ever been through in my life.”
A minute or two later Camilleri (who clearly is not watching Kurtz’s body language or listening to what she was saying) swoons, “It’s incredible that you’re comfortable talking about it now, and I think it’s really important for women to be able to comfortable talking about something like that. There shouldn’t be such a stigma surrounding it, as I think that there is.”
This comes at the midpoint of the conversation. But is that what the audience just heard, let alone by the end of the segment?
For starters, as noted, after admitting (which I think is the right word here) that she’d had an abortion, Kurtz remarks, “Gosh, did I just say that?”
Camilleri goes on to ask, “Did your family know? Did you work with them?” (whatever the latter statement means).
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“No, the one thing I never told my mother,” Kurtz softly replies. “I told her everything in my life, and I don’t know why I just couldn’t, I couldn’t, at that point.” After a second, she adds, “I could now” (40 years later).
When Kurtz remarks, “It was very, very difficult for me,” Camilleri wants to focus (not surprisingly) on finding an abortionist before Roe v. Wade. Kurtz duly obliges.
But when she says, “It was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever been through in my life. On all levels. Impossibly difficult,” you’d have to be tone-deaf to miss that she’s also talking about everything that ensued, beginning with the abortion itself.
Actually, on second thought, she was also talking about before looking for an abortionist and before the abortion. Kurtz talks about the experience being “anguishing, first of all to make the decision.”
Camilleri’s primary agenda is to affirm the importance of women talking about their abortions to reduce stigma. He ends, “Thank you for sharing that.”
To which Kurtz responds, tellingly, “I don’t believe I did.”