A young white woman looks distressed as she speaks.

Why Is Everyone Refusing To Admit Jessa Duggar Had an Abortion Procedure?

Jessa Duggar had an abortion. This shouldn’t be a big deal! The thing is, if you’ve spent your entire public life painting abortion as a moral failing, when you then find yourself in need of an abortion, you have to go through the mental gymnastics we’re seeing with Jessa Duggar’s abortion, which she’s refusing to call an abortion. Yes, friends, that’s right. Jessa Duggar didn’t have an abortion; you see, she had a “D&C” (dilation and curettage). Which, to paraphrase Shakespeare, here, an abortion by any other name… that’s an abortion! It’s just the specific type of abortion she had! Per People:

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Due to risks of complications with passing the fetus at home, the 19 Kids and Counting alum, 30, said she decided to check in to a hospital to perform a dilation and curettage procedure (D&C) abortion procedure to remove the fetus from her womb.

[…]

Dilation and curettage is a surgical procedure where the cervix is dilated and an instrument called a curette is used to suction or scrape the uterine lining, removing the baby from inside the uterus. D&C is a surgical abortion done in a doctor’s office during the first trimester.

I don’t know about you, but that sure f-ing sounds like an abortion to me. So why isn’t she just calling it that? Could it be related to the fact that in 2014, she compared having an abortion to The Holocaust?! Somehow I suspect these two things are related, and Ms. Duggar isn’t about to be on the frontlines protesting for women’s rights. She’s definitely with the 53% of white women who keep voting against their own interests and, you know, keep voting conservative.

Since the fall of Roe v. Wade, anti-abortion advocates have been working to rebrand the language of abortion just as Duggar is doing here. But abortion bans don’t just affect people who don’t want to be pregnant—they affect tons of people who do want to be pregnant but experience medical complications that require an abortion, just like Duggar. Abortion bans have had devastating consequences for people like Duggar who have been unable to access the exact procedure she underwent.

What’s bonkers is that major outlets are helping to push this insidious linguistic tactic, like Fox News (OK that’s not very surprising):

Jessa Duggar revealed this week she had a miscarriage near the end of her first trimester over the holidays.

The same goes for People, which this person correctly pointed out in their Tweet the same inconsistency:

I’m glad Jessa Duggar was able to get an abortion. I think everyone who wants or needs to get an abortion should be able to have one. I’m not so naive as to think that Duggar would now fight for everyone to have access to the same procedure she found herself in need of. As I said, I think she’s part of the 53% of white women who vote with white supremacy to uphold the racist structures of society that keep all this BS in place. People like that don’t want equality; they just want a bigger slice of the pie. To be satan’s favorite minion, as I like to say.

This Tweet seems to back up my working theory, unfortunately:

The staggering hypocrisy at play is just another example of the right-wing grift that plays out every day in this country. Purity for thee but not for me.

This Tweet sums it up succinctly:

Everyone should be able to get a safe, affordable abortion with no questions asked. It should be as mundane, accepted, and accessible as any other medical procedure. We shouldn’t have to talk about abortion in abstract terms, “D&C”, or pretend like it doesn’t exist. I’m so sick and tired of the hypocrisy and control that surrounds it. Talking about it openly, and calling it by its name, at the very least, is a start. So call abortion by its name. Don’t let the conservatives rebrand it while simultaneously trying to take away its accessibility from people. That’s just a bridge too far.

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Kate Hudson
Kate Hudson (no, not that one) has been writing about pop culture and reality TV in particular for six years, and is a Contributing Writer at The Mary Sue. With a deep and unwavering love of Twilight and Con Air, she absolutely understands her taste in pop culture is both wonderful and terrible at the same time. She is the co-host of the popular Bravo trivia podcast Bravo Replay, and her favorite Bravolebrity is Kate Chastain, and not because they have the same first name, but it helps.