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Chris Rock in 2022Al Seib / A.M.P.A.S. via Getty Images

(LifeSiteNews) – On his much-discussed Netflix special “Selective Outrage,” Chris Rock – yeah, the guy who got slapped in the face by Will Smith at last year’s Oscars – decided to tackle abortion. His bit didn’t exactly go as you might expect. In fact, he openly admitted that abortion is killing a baby.

He started off by stating that “abortion is illegal in most of the country.” Which would be nice, but it isn’t. To those who say he shouldn’t talk about abortion because it’s a “women’s issue,” Rock said, he responds that “I’ve paid for more abortions than any woman in this room. When I go to the clinic I say: ‘Gimme the usual.’” Laughter and applause. “When I go in they give me a punch card. Two more and I get a free smoothie.”

Because he has two beautiful daughters, he said, “there’s a part of me that’s pro-life, because I’m definitely pro-their lives.” But he also wants them to have the right to get an abortion if they want to, and “because of that, I am absolutely pro-choice, okay? I believe women should have the right to kill babies. That’s right. I’m on your side. I believe you should have the right to kill as many babies as you want. Kill ‘em all, I don’t give a f****. But let’s not get it twisted – it is killing a baby.”

Rock went on: “Because whenever I pay for an abortion, I request a dead baby. Sometimes, I call up the doctor like a hit man: ‘Is it done?’ And people argue – first trimester, second trimester. I think women should have the right to kill a baby until it’s four years old…I think you should be able to kill a baby till you get that first report card.” More laughter and cheers.

There are some conservative commentators who praised the bit as a clever way to make a pro-life point – that Chris Rock is subversively affirming the fact that abortion kills a baby while making his audience laugh. Michael Knowles of The Daily Wire, among others, had this take. But I can’t help but notice that quite a lineup of A-list comedians have made the same point over the past few years, and that all of these bits follow a similar pattern.

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UPDATE (03/07/23): Walgreens won't dispense abortion pills in 20 states

The pressure is paying off. Walgreens' plan to dispense abortion pills nationwide is now in tatters, with the pharmaceutical giant announcing that it won't mail the pills to, or sell them within, 20 states.

The news comes after 20 Republican attorneys general warned CVS and Walgreens that doing so would be in violation of federal law and that they were opening themselves to penalties.

But we can't rest on our laurels with this boycott: Walgreens and CVS will only listen to us when their profits are threatened — we need a HUGE boycott so that blood money they get from selling abortion pills is dwarfed by the profits they lose when pro-life America shops elsewhere. 

Even Politico admitted in its reporting that "pressure" from pro-life voters like you helped change Walgreens' plans, so now we're asking you to take the next step: simply share this petition with your friends and ask them to join the boycott.

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Walgreens and CVS will begin selling mifepristone — a powerful chemical that kills unborn children in the womb — if pro-life America does not ACT NOW. 

Pro-life Americans MUST STOP the widespread sale and distribution of mifepristone by sending a message that only big-box stores will understand: A NATIONAL BOYCOTT OF WALGREENS AND CVS. 

Walgreens and CVS are the newest back-door channels for the pro-abortion movement, now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade. 

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SIGN and SEND a strong message to Walgreens and CVS: unless they immediately reverse course, the entire pro-life movement will BOYCOTT their stores! 

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CVS & Walgreens announce plans to dispense abortion pills after Biden FDA loosens restrictions

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Louis C.K., for example, stated that abortion “definitely kills a baby,” belaboring the point for several long minutes of uncomfortable laughter. He ended the bit by stating, like Rock, that he believes women should have the right to kill babies. They are the gatekeepers of humanity, he said to cheers, and choosing which babies to kill is part of that. I think he was serious about both of those views – brutal honesty about a brutal reality.

Dave Chappelle said something similar, although he noted up front that he doesn’t like abortion – but said that he doesn’t think men should have a say – or something. He did say that if women could have abortions, men shouldn’t have to pay child support. “If you can kill this [baby],” Chappelle noted to nervous titters, “I can at least abandon him. It’s my money, my choice. And if I’m wrong, then perhaps we’re wrong. Figure that s‑‑‑ out for yourselves.” That, to my mind, is a more clever and ambiguous approach – people are still trying to figure out what Chappelle’s position on abortion is, because he exposed a hypocrisy and moved on.

Most recently, Bill Burr made an almost identical point on his own Netflix special, stating that he believes life begins at conception and that he’s “on the fence” on the issue: “Pro-choice always made sense to me,” he said. “Because I don’t like people telling me what to do. And I always was just like, ‘It’s your body.’ I won’t tell you what to do with your body. However, I still think you’re killing a baby. To be honest, that is the whole purpose of the procedure. You know, you’re not going in there because you got an earache. You’re going in there because you’re like, ‘I got a baby in there. Get it the [expletive] out of here.’ Right? You walk in with a baby, you come out without one. What happened to the baby? Something [expletive] happened. So pro-choice people are like, ‘Well, it’s not a life yet. It’s not a baby yet.’ My gut tells me that doesn’t make sense.”

So: Are Chris Rock and his fellow comedians cleverly reminding people that abortion is murder and covering it up with laughter? It’s possible. Chappelle and Burr, at least, appear morally conflicted. But in the #ShoutYourAbortion era where the abortion industry is desperately attempting to destigmatize feticide as post-Roe battles heat up, it is more likely that they see laughter as one of the most powerful weapons in their celebrity arsenal. If you can make people laugh at something, you can ensure that they don’t take it seriously. If abortion is funny, then perhaps murdering a baby is also humorous. Which isn’t to say dark humor can’t expose deep truths – it is to say that I don’t think comedians openly justifying the killing of babies to crowds of cheering fans is the cultural win some pro-lifers seem to think it is.

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Jonathon Van Maren is a public speaker, writer, and pro-life activist. His commentary has been translated into more than eight languages and published widely online as well as print newspapers such as the Jewish Independent, the National Post, the Hamilton Spectator and others. He has received an award for combating anti-Semitism in print from the Jewish organization B’nai Brith. His commentary has been featured on CTV Primetime, Global News, EWTN, and the CBC as well as dozens of radio stations and news outlets in Canada and the United States.

He speaks on a wide variety of cultural topics across North America at universities, high schools, churches, and other functions. Some of these topics include abortion, pornography, the Sexual Revolution, and euthanasia. Jonathon holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history from Simon Fraser University, and is the communications director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Jonathon’s first book, The Culture War, was released in 2016.