In Netflix special, Chris Rock likens abortion to hiring a hitman, echoing Pope Francis

Chris Rock Chris Rock performing in 2017 | Andy Witchger|Wikipedia|CC BY 2.0

Award-winning comedian Chris Rock compared paying for an abortion to hiring a hitman during a new Netflix special, echoing rhetoric used by Pope Francis, who has made that comparison in the past.

During his March 4 special, “Chris Rock: Selective Outrage,” the comedian, who is known for courting controversy, turned to an issue that most celebrities won’t touch: abortion.

“There’s a part of me that’s pro-life,” he said, before using humor to remind the audience that abortion “is killing a baby.” 

“I believe women should have the right to kill babies,” Rock said. “That’s right, I’m on your side. I believe you should have the right to kill as many babies as you want. Kill them all, I don’t give a [expletive]. But let’s not get it twisted, it is killing a baby.”

Rock further compared the process of obtaining an abortion to the process of obtaining a hitman.

“Whenever I pay for an abortion, I request a dead baby,” Rock said. “Sometimes I call up a doctor like a hitman: ‘Is it done?’”

Rock reassured the audience that “I am absolutely pro-choice” because “I want my daughters to live in a world where they have complete control of their bodies.” 

He then showed in no uncertain terms that abortion means taking the life of a human being. 

“I think women should have the right to kill a baby until he’s 4 years old,” Rock said. “I think you should be able to kill a baby until you get that first report card.”

The comparison between getting an abortion and hiring a hitman is one that Pope Francis has used on more than one occasion to criticize abortion. 

“Is it right to take a human life to solve a problem?” Pope Francis rhetorically asked an audience in St. Peter’s Square on Oct. 10, 2018. “It’s like hiring a hitman. Violence and the rejection of life are born from fear.” 

Pope Francis used the analogy again in an interview with Reuters on July 2, 2022. 

“I ask: ‘Is it licit, is it right, to eliminate a human life to resolve a problem?’” the pontiff said. “It’s a human life — that’s science. The moral question is whether it is right to take a human life to solve a problem. Indeed, is it right to hire a hitman to solve a problem?”

Abortion became a more contentious issue in American politics after the Supreme Court in June 2022 ruled in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that states could enact laws that restrict or outlaw abortion. About a dozen states have banned abortion in most cases, four states added more restrictions to abortion, and some states are in ongoing legal battles over abortion policy. 

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