You’ve likely heard that Sherri Shepherd, co-host on ABC’s “The View,” was recently quoted in a black Christian publication, Precious Times, talking about her abortions:
I was in a very physically abusive relationship. I was sleeping with a lot of guys and had more abortions than I would like to count. I had very low self-esteem and just wanted to die. I felt if someone killed me, it wouldn’t make a difference.
After a relative uproar ensured, Wednesday Shepherd clarified her remarks about her abortions on the show, saying:
I like to inspire women who go through a lot of shame and guilt about having abortions that I, too, went through it myself. She didn’t print the entire quote, so all it said was I’ve had more abortions than I can count. What the full quote was was I had suffered from a lot of shame and guilt and I didn’t know how to forgive myself. And a wonderful woman at one of the women’s conferences that I speak at came to me and said, “Sherri, you know when you get to heaven, all your babies are going to be there saying, ‘Hi, mama,’” and it just freed me and I knew Jesus had forgiven me … I wasn’t being flippant about abortions, I wasn’t glamorizing [it]. I want people to know not everybody’s perfect.
That’s nice and all, but the shorter amount of time this “View” gabber has her name in the headlines next to the word “abortion,” perpetuating the idea that aborted fetuses are babies old enough to talk, the better. It’s a tactic of the religious right to frame fetuses, even ones only weeks old and thoroughly incapable of life outside the womb, as the “pre-born.” They’re given names, the ability to talk and to love, and the desire not to be aborted. I’m not saying Shepherd has been planted by makers of “The Silent Scream”; I’m saying her cavalier choice of words is irresponsible.
Shepherd is notorious for her dopey antiscience beliefs. She’s the country bumpkin of “The View,” who once earnestly claimed that she didn’t know if the world was flat and thought Jesus came before the use of the letters “B.C.” Something about this latest Sherri moment feels like another stunt serving to make all women who choose to terminate a pregnancy look bad.
Can’t a celebrity who’s a bit less willfully ignorant be the public face of abortion?