Cecily Strong Powerfully Defends Abortion Rights & Slams Texas Ban In 'SNL' Segment

Photo: YouTube / NBC
Cecily Strong and Colin Jost on SNL

After a short Halloween break, SNL came back over the weekend in their 5th episode of the 47th season with host Kieran Culkin, and musical guest Ed Sheeran.

During the hourlong episode, this weekend’s classic segment of the Weekend Update featured guests — who are other SNL actors — Keenan Thompson, and Cecily Strong.

Thompson was doing an Ice Cube impersonation and talked about Covid-19 vaccinations, while Strong dressed up as a clown who had an abortion at 23 years old.

Did Cecily Strong have an abortion?

While Strong's script definitely seemed to hint that she had a personal story with abortion, she has not confirmed if it came from her own experience.

Equally, dwelling on that misses the point of the segment which emphasized the fact that so many more people than we realize have accessed abortions and shouldn't have to explain themselves to anyone!

This week, Strong joined Colin Jost at the Weekend Update table as Goober the Clown to talk about her experience getting an abortion at the age of 23.

The Supreme Court is in the process of hearing arguments for the blocking of Senate Bill 8, the restrictive Texas abortion ban.

RELATED: Texas Law Effective Today Bans Abortion At 6 Weeks & Offers $10,000 Bounty For Suing Anyone Aiding An Abortion

At first, “Goober the Clown,” clowns around and jokes with Jost about being a clown before getting to the nitty-gritty and talking about her abortion.

“It seems like you do want to talk about your abortion,” Jost pries.

“Actually, I really don’t, but people keep bringing it up so I gotta keep talking about freaking abortion, but it’s a rough subject so we’re going to do fun clown stuff to make it more palatable. Wheeeee!” Strong says while she spins her bowtie around and tries to make a balloon animal.

The audience is led to believe that she’s truly just acting out a fictional clown who had an abortion, as most of the guest appearances feature fictional characters.

However, Strong breaks character on several occasions to imply that she’s really talking about herself — at one point even saying, “I’m not a clown.”

“Did you know 1 in 3 clowns will have a clown abortion in her lifetime? You don’t, because they don’t tell you,” she says, referring to women.

“They don’t even know how to talk to other clowns about it, because when they do talk about it, if you were a clown that wasn’t the victim of something sad like clown-cest, they think your clown abortion wasn’t a righteous clown abortion.”

Aside from moments of clear comedic relief that border along the lines of uncomfortable because of the subject matter at hand, Strong really tackles some hard-hitting concepts behind the act of abortion.

Strong emphasized that abortion is laced with stigma.

Women are often judged for receiving abortions, especially if they weren’t victims of incest or rape or some sort of forced pregnancy.

RELATED: New Illinois Law Would Allow Women To Sue Men For Unwanted Pregnancies — Regardless Of Consent

“In the waiting room, they had a little guest book where all the clowns could write their clown abortion story for the next clown to read it so she wouldn’t feel so alone. Awooga!” she said while bobbing her head up and down with slinky glasses on.

Abortions are actually very common, but the subject is so taboo in America that people would never actually know that unless there’s some sort of domino effect.

“And then, years later, you’ll be at a dinner with a big group of clowns,” she says.

“One clown will go out on a limb and say she’s had an abortion and then, like, 8 other clowns at the table say they’ve had an abortion too because that’s how common it is.”

Especially in Texas, following the creation and passing of Senate Bill 8, women feel ostracized by other women around them for fear of societal standards and the ruination of their reputation.

“And then everyone’s excited and relieved to be talking about it. Then it’s like, ‘wow, we kept this secret for so long despite being so grateful it happened.’” she adds.

Goober the Clown spoke for all women.

In parts of the segment, Strong starts to appear visibly distressed, breathing heavily and furrowing her brows.

Jost asks, “Wait, are clowns really women?”

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“Excuse me? Wow, OK, Colin Jost thinks women are clowns, cool. Let me do some helium,” she says before inhaling helium from a balloon before getting to the core message of her segment, where she gets very serious and honest.

“Okay, Colin? Here’s my truth,” she says before her voice turns high-pitched from the helium.

“I know I wouldn’t be a clown on TV here today if it weren’t for the abortion I had the day before my 23rd birthday. Clowns have been helping each other and their pregnancies since the caves. It’s going to happen so it ought to be safe, legal, and accessible.”

Which is a massively important reason behind the outrage aside from it being a core woman’s right to be able to do whatever she wants with her body — or anyone of any gender for that matter.

Strong shared a deeply personal story as someone who was affected by the Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion around the country which still stands today.

Although at the end of the segment Strong said, “Y’all better disable comments on this one,” the comments on the YouTube video and all over the internet showed an outpouring of support from the big group of clowns she mentioned before, and leading right-wing media like Fox News to write headlines and an article that belittles her performance.

RELATED: If Texas Republicans Really Care About Reducing Abortions They Need To Stop Blocking Access To Contraception

Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Follow him on Twitter here.