News & Politics

SNL's Leslie Jones: Alabama Abortion Bill Is a 'War on Women,' Beginning of the 'Handmaid's Tale'

SNL's Leslie Jones: Alabama Abortion Bill Is a 'War on Women,' Beginning of the 'Handmaid's Tale'
YouTube screenshot of Leslie Jones dressed as a handmaid from The Handmaid's Tale, on SNL.

On Saturday night, the Saturday Night Live (SNL) finale attacked Alabama’s new abortion bill, with comedian Leslie Jones dressing in a Handmaid’s Tale outfit and slamming pro-life activism as a “war on women.”

Jones came out dressed in a red hooded cape with a white bonnet, immediately delivering the line, “Blessed be the fruit,” a reference to the Hulu series based on the 1985 book The Handmaid’s Tale. In that story, women lose all their rights and fertile women are forced to become “handmaids” to powerful men, bearing them children. These handmaids lose their personal identity, being referred to by the name of their masters. The main character is known as Offred, because her master’s name is “Fred.”

“Are you in a Handmaid’s Tale outfit?” Colin Jost asked Jones.

“Well, basically, we’re all handmaids now, so my name is actually, of Jost,” the actress replied, mimicking the Handmaid’s Tale naming system. “But I don’t know how good of a baby-maker I’m going to be because my eggs is dusty as hell. But I’ll give it a shot.”

“I don’t think our society is quite there yet,” Jost replied, giving the sane response to rabid pro-abortion protesters.

“You would think that. But this is how it starts,” Jones argued. “I’m out living my life, then I see on the news a bunch of states are trying to ban abortion, and then tell me what I can and can’t do with my body. Next thing you know, I’m in Starbucks and they can’t take my credit card because I’m a woman, instead of the regular reason which is I don’t have no money on it.” This referred to another Handmaid’s Tale scene recalling women suddenly losing their rights to work and spend money.

“And what made me so mad was seeing the 25 Alabama senators who voted for the abortion ban,” the actress continued. “Look at them. All men. This looked like the casting call for a Lipitor commercial.”

She claimed that these lawmakers are trying to control women, and that they will ultimately fail. “You can’t control women. You can’t control women because I don’t know if y’all heard, but women are the same as humans,” Jones declared. She wondered why “all of these weird-a** men care about what women chose to do with their bodies,” noting that she doesn’t care what the men do with their sex organs.

Jones also faulted Gov. Kay Ivey (R-Ala.) for “going along with this,” as though the female lawmaker did not think of unborn children as humans worthy of protection.

The actress jokingly declared herself “rebellious from the top. When people tell me good morning, I say no it’s not. You don’t know my morning. Don’t take away my choice to have a bad morning. Because when women have a choice, women have freedom.”

“Look, the fact that nine states are doing this means that this really is a war on women,” she argued. She told women who “feel scared or confused” that she has their backs. “You can’t tell me what to do with my body. You can’t make me small or put me in a box.”

Jones’ monologue was chock-full of jokes and comedy, but she clearly meant to condemn pro-life activism as an attempt to “control” what women do with their “own” bodies. This view dehumanizes unborn babies, who from the moment of conception have unique human DNA and quickly grow beating hearts, cute faces, arms and legs, and every feature recognizable as human.

When pro-abortion activists complain about a “war on women” or dress up as handmaids in protest of women losing their “right to an abortion,” these people are deliberately ignoring the rights of the most vulnerable person — the unborn baby. Kay Ivey did not sign the Alabama abortion law to restrict women’s bodies. She’s not a secret misogynist. No, she signed the bill to protect the unborn human beings. Indeed, she said exactly that.

In signing the bill, Ivey noted that “to the bill’s many supporters, this legislation stands as a powerful testament to Alabamians’ deeply held belief that every life is precious and that every life is a sacred gift from God.”

Pro-life Americans do not want to erase women’s rights. We certainly don’t want women to lose the right to vote, the right to work, the right to pursue their own happiness. We just also care about the rights of the unborn.

My wife is pregnant with our first child — a daughter. The thought of anyone wanting to kill my baby daughter sickens me, and the idea of activists calling efforts to protect her a “war on women” is particularly perverse. My daughter is a woman, and her life is just as worthy of protection as any other woman and man.

When pro-abortion activists dress up as handmaids from The Handmaid’s Tale, they are dehumanizing the unborn. But they are also demonizing Americans who want to protect the unborn. I’ve been to the March for Life for the past eight years, and I’ve seen the millions of women marching to save the unborn. There is nothing misogynistic about protecting life, and to say so is an insult to those women, to the men who march with them, and to my daughter.

Ironically, another SNL joke that aimed to mock the male members of the Alabama State Senate actually helped illustrate the pro-life position. Kate McKinnon, playing Joy Behar from The View, mocked these male lawmakers, saying, “Maybe they’re so concerned with what happens to a six-week-old fetus because they all look like one: blobby things with beady eyes and big foreheads.”

This was clearly meant as an insult, but it helped illustrate the pro-life position. The unborn are recognizably human from the earliest stages of development. McKinnon meant to insult the Alabama senators, but she still admitted that unborn babies look like people whose right to life cannot be questioned. The joke wouldn’t work if the unborn babies did not look human.

They look human because they are human. Attempts to defend them are far from misogynistic.

Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.