The women of “The View” are no strangers to hot button issues and touchy situations, but their conversations have rarely gotten as heated – or as personal – as they did on today’s show.
During the program’s “Hot Topics” segment, Whoopi Goldberg described to her co-hosts the recent ruling of a Texas judge that upholds a policy requiring all women to see an ultrasound of their fetus and hear its heartbeat before having an abortion.
While some of the women at the table were horrified, including Joy Behar, who described the idea as “totalitarian,” saying, “it smacks of forcing somebody to confront something they have already decided they don’t want to deal with,” others voiced their mixed feelings on the plan.
“From a medical perspective, you wouldn’t necessarily go in to get a cyst removed or a tooth extracted, or a kidney examined… without looking out an ultrasound or X-ray,” said Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who has voiced her support of legal abortion in the past.
Always ready to counter her co-host, Barbara Walters responded, “It is such a tremendous decision. It’s involved with so much fear and guilt. And then to have to go and see the fetus… I think it’s heartbreaking.”
“If it’s not life, if it’s not a baby yet, then where does the guilt come from?” quipped Hasselbeck
Over her to co-hosts’ loud banter, Sherri Shepherd, who had been silent up to this point, interjected. “You have so many people out there protesting, and they go, ‘We don’t want you to have a baby’… [Then] they see the fetus, they feel guilty, but we let you go. But we don’t want you to go to Planned Parenthood to get any birth control so you don’t have any more, but do we want you to have the safety net of food stamps and welfare? Then we’re the same ones that are going, ‘You keep having these babies and you can’t take care of these babies,’” referring to the villainization of young mothers who rely on government programs to support their families.
“We stop at the picket signs and we don’t help you past that. I’m speaking as a girl who had a lot of abortions,” said a tearful Shepherd. “If they had shown me the fetus, I probably wouldn’t have, but I would have put my child that wouldn’t have been good because I didn’t the mental capacity to deal with having a child.”
With the discussion taking a serious and personal tone, Hasselbeck rubbed Shepherd’s back in an attempt to console the obviously distraught host.
“No one ever says, ‘We’re going to help you out,’” said Goldberg, reflecting on the difficulty of a situation like Shepherd’s. “No one ever says, ‘Give that kid to me.’”