While MSNBC host Chris Hayes went to great lengths on Monday to talk about comedy’s role in addressing a sensitive issue like abortion, comedian Sarah Silverman defined the issue much more bluntly for him.
“I think vaginas really, really scare people, honestly,” Silverman told Hayes, before turning it over to fellow comedian Lizz Winstead.
“I think that when you use humor to talk about big issues, I think what it does, sometimes, is break down,” Winstead added. “It also can engage people who might not be like us, who pay attention to every single thing that happens.”
The two performers co-hosted a fundraising event Monday night that will benefit reproductive health advocacy groups in Texas, site of HB2, one of the more restrictive women’s health laws in the country.
Winstead explained to Hayes that comedians helped make former Missouri senatorial candidate Todd Akin into a household name by lampooning his infamous “legitimate rape” remarks. Similarly, Winstead said, the anti-choice figures have become “so comical” that it is easier to discuss abortion.
For her part, Silverman said to Hayes that she considered reproductive health an issue on par with the suppression of voting rights in terms of importance.
“Very quietly, our rights are being chipped away, state by state, sometimes more loudly than others,” Silverman explained. “Also, much like the pro-lifers, I believe in protecting the child, when she’s being forced to have a baby at 14.”
Watch Hayes’ interview with Silverman and Winstead, as aired Monday on MSNBC, below.