The Christian anti-abortion drama Unplanned was released this month, and while Bee wastes no time in dunking on its hilarious portrayal of Planned Parenthood as a vengeful Bond villain – “No matter where you go, no matter where you hide, I will give you health care” – she acknowledges that the film has disturbing political relevance; Vice President Mike Pence recently gave Unplanned a shout-out on Twitter.
Even more disturbing, says Bee, are the real-life efforts to significantly limit or overturn Roe v. Wade in an increasing number of states, including Georgia, which already ranks as the worst state for maternal mortality in the nation. Governor Brian Kemp is currently slated to sign one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country, outlawing most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy (i.e. when a heartbeat can be detected).
“It’s a time when most women don’t even know they’re pregnant yet, since it’s two weeks after a missed period,” says Bee. “Two weeks after my missed period, I don’t know if I’m pregnant or if it’s just my amazing training for the Olympics. Either way, Bob Costas is involved.”
The bill also has “bizarre tax implications,” as any unborn child in any stage of development, including a recently fertilized egg, would be considered part of the state population. It would allow parents to collect child support payments and to file a state income tax exemption before birth.
“If you don’t have compassion for women, have compassion for accountants,” quips Bee. “They’re now going to have to tape your pregnancy test to your tax returns.”
The anti-abortion race isn’t limited to Georgia. Before 2019, only two states – North Dakota and Iowa – had signed six-week abortion bans into law. But in just the past three months, Mississippi and Kentucky have passed their own bills, with Missouri, Tennessee, and Ohio developing their own versions as well.
Why the sudden rush now? Much of it, Bee says, is thanks to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s past demonstrations of wanting to limit abortion rights. In February, the Supreme Court blocked a Louisiana law that would have only allowed one doctor in the state to legally perform abortions. Kavanaugh issued a dissent, arguing that he would have “allowed the law to take effect in order to see whether it would impose a burden on women’s access to abortion.”
“Who waits to see if a law will hurt people? Every time we see some E. coli in some romaine lettuce, we immediately get rid of all the romaine lettuce!” says Bee. She adds, to Kavanaugh, “I’d like to invite you over for dinner to discuss the issue. I will be making salad – let’s wait and see if you like it.”