I’m not sure what’s in the water lately causing pro-choice liberals to want to make silly jokes about abortions, but here we are. Website Jezebel decided that now-infamous deleted tweet from a Pennsylvania Planned Parenthood touting the idea of a Disney Princess who had had an abortion really was a stellar idea, and posted an article with the headline, “Statistically, at Least 2 Disney Princesses Have Had Abortions.”
According to the Guttmacher Institute, 23.7 percent of women in the United States will have had an abortion by age 45. According to the “official” Disney princess website, there are 11 “official” Disney princesses: Belle, Rapunzel, Ariel, Tiana, Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Merida, Pocahontas, Jasmine, and Mulan. That means statistically around two and a half of these strong women have gotten abortions and aren’t telling you about it because of a national culture of shame and misogyny!!!
— Jezebel (@Jezebel) March 29, 2018
First of all, the Guttmacher Institute is a pro-choice organization, literally founded by Planned Parenthood and continuing to receive generous financial support from them. That statistic seems oddly high, likely due at least in part to a failure to factor in the unfortunate number of women who have multiple abortions. If you have a group of five women, and three have never had an abortion, one of them has had two abortions, and the last one has had three abortions, you’d have a total of five women and five abortions — but it would be incorrect to say all five women had an abortion.
For the sake of argument we’ll just assume the Guttmacher Institute numbers are fine. But that still doesn’t mean that “two and a half” of our beloved Disney Princesses have murdered their unborn royal offspring.
Beyond the idiocy of trying to force the latest social justice warrior crusade onto fictional characters — cartoons for children, nonetheless! — Jezebel ignores the basic facts about the Princesses’ stories.
Perhaps most critically, none of them are portrayed as living during the modern era. Cell phones, televisions, and computers, are all absent from these stories, as are any time of modern medical technology.
Belle is dancing around with her Beast in 18th Century France, Pocahontas is based on a real-life Native American woman who lived near the colonial settlement at Jamestown, Mulan is set during China’s Han Dynasty, and Merida is growing up in medieval Scotland. The most recent storyline takes place for Tiana, whose film The Princess and the Frog is set in 1920s New Orleans, but you can’t pick up RU-486 in the French Quarter.
The idea that these Princesses would have access to doctors with the equipment and medicines used to perform abortions is beyond ridiculous. Moreover, during these time periods, abortion was extremely restricted if not outright prohibited by law. Prevailing religious and societal customs were also strongly opposed to abortions. Even attempting to obtain one could result in a lengthly jail sentence.
The Princesses are teenagers who (including the sequel films) end up married, engaged, or clearly on that path. Their relationships with their Princes are loving and stable — literally the basis for the phrase “happily ever after.” They’re also all portrayed as at least financially stable; most of them are rich enough to live in castles.
If Jezebel wants to talk statistics, then this is a group that is statistically unlikely to have an unplanned pregnancy, and accordingly far less likely to have abortions. No premarital sex occurring, marrying young and staying married for life, “happily ever after,” lacking financial pressures, etc.
The sole exception is Merida, whose film is all about her opposition to getting betrothed at the age of sixteen and (spoiler alert, but come on, the film came out in 2012) she does end the story alone, having successfully convinced her parents, the King and Queen, to break with tradition and allow her to marry whenever she choses.
So Merida is practicing the most perfectly foolproof method of birth control: abstinence.
Jezebel probably doesn’t want to celebrate that.
The real problem here isn’t the fact that Jezebel is ignorant about Disney Princesses, but that yet again, a liberal cause has attempted to co-opt some form of popular entertainment to promote their ideas. The Princesses aren’t having abortions — that’s absurd — but I do find it interesting that same crowd who used to say they wanted abortions to be “safe, legal, and rare” is going to such lengths to try to associate abortions with something as cheerful and beloved as Disney Princesses.
Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker.