garrison keillor

No One Asked for Garrison Keillor’s Opinion on Roe v. Wade

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As Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation hearing continues apace, many of us are wondering what her nomination would mean for the future of the landmark abortion rights ruling Roe v. Wade. And even more importantly, what does septuagenarian radio host Garrison Keillor think of it all? Wait, what’s that? No one gives a hot turd what your grandparents’ favorite rickety raconteur has to say about reproductive rights? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Despite literally no one asking him, Keillor offered his thoughts the way most out of touch old folks do: via Facebook. Keillor wrote, “It seems clear that Judge Barrett will sit on the Supreme Court and this will mean the reversal of Roe v. Wade and some deep dents in the Affordable Care Act, two conservative goals both politically unpopular. I don’t think Roe v. Wade is worth fighting for anymore. It’s an issue that’s torn the country asunder, and to what good?”

Ah yes, what good HAS access to safe abortions done for us Americans? Why can’t we just shut our simple womanly mouths and solve unwanted pregnancies like they do in Lake Wobegon, with a banjo in one hand and a coat hanger in the other? Just toss that baby a washboard and they can join the 13-part family jug band.

It’s an opinion that could only come from a crusty old white man who has never spent a day in his privileged life concerned over reproductive rights. Keillor was fired in 2017 by Minnesota Public Radio for “inappropriate behavior,” and it doesn’t take a detective like Guy Noir to figure out why. Keillor is only concerned with long-dead Americana and rousing the most tepid of chuckles from his audience. Abortion doesn’t matter to him because he cannot get pregnant, and would never be forced to carry an unwanted child to term.

Chalking Roe v. Wade up to “irreconcilable differences” belittles and dismisses one of the most crucial freedoms we have in this country. But since it doesn’t personally affect Keillor, I guess it doesn’t matter. After all, his bodily autonomy isn’t on the line. After facing backlash online, Keillor deleted his original post and replaced it with something that wasn’t much better.

Keillor wrote that he was firmly anti-Trump and pro-choice, adding, “But the Court is not able to make abortion illegal, only states can do that. So abortion will be legal most places and not others. Meanwhile, we need to focus on providing health care and support for women, that will lessen the number of women who feel forced to abort.”

Keillor again is blindingly out of touch. In 2019 alone, 17 states enacted some form of abortion restriction, and 58 new abortion restrictions were enacted across the country.

Finally, Keillor made a third post: “My Facebook page has been hacked by some fool expressing his ignorance of political issues and using my name. I am not responsible. My wife Jenny is in charge of politics in this household and she strongly dislikes Judge Barrett and so that is my opinion too. I shall now go back to writing my novel.”

Keillor has previously expressed gross opinions on Keith Ellison and Ilhan Omar.

Keillor should probably stick to opinions on whittling and casseroles, and keep his mental meanderings to himself.

(via City Pages, featured image: Andy Kropa/Getty Images for Norman Mailer Center)

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Author
Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.