On Monday’s edition of The Cycle on MSNBC, Catlin Moran, author of the provocative book “How To Be A Woman” was brought on the show to brag about controversial women’s issues. The British author came on to talk about a variety of topics, beginning with more lighthearted fare like her hatred of high heels and delving into serious issues like her defense of pornography and her decision to have an abortion, which she insists she doesn't nor never has regretted.
Following a question by Toure Neblett, Moran argued that she didn’t understand the argument -- that both social conservatives and many left-wing feminists actually agree on -- that pornography is bad for women. Moran bragged that ”pornography is just people having sex that we’re watching” and “We just need to make some good pornography." [Video coming soon. MP3 audio here.]
Co-host Krystal Ball signaled her hearty agreement with Moran on the issue of pornography but then turned to the topic of Moran's abortion, which she addresed in her book.
Moran nonchalantly recounted her decision to abort her child, saying it was an easy of a decision it was for her, the mother of two children. Insisting that women who had abortions can simply choose to not hold any regrets, she also urged them to be open with others about having had an abortion, claiming that:
the fact women keep having abortions secret is very worrying because we fought very hard for that law. But if no women are ever admitting that they are taking advantage of that law, then that's a law that could very easily be taken away from us again as in America you are finding now.
The Cycle's lone conservative, S.E. Cupp, remained silent during the Moran interview, although the camera caught what appeared to be visible disgust or horror at Moran's claims, particularly her nonchalance about her abortion.
See relevant transcript below.
3:23 p.m. EDT
TOURE NEBLETT: Why is better porn for women something the world needs?
CAITLIN MORAN: Well, I didn't understand the sort of old school feminist argument that pornography is bad for women. Because pornography is just some people having sex that we're watching. And I can't see why as a feminist it would damage me to see people having sex. All through history we've seen people having sex it's on vases and veloms and scrolls and that's fine. And it didn't damage us as people. And now more than 90% of teenagers in the world get their sex education from pornography. So as a good and strident feminist, I think the thing to do is not to try and ban pornography cuz you never can, we just haven’t got the time to do that. We just need to make some good pornography, in which we see women with hair that I like in outfits that look comfortable actually enjoying themselves rather than being thrown around by jocks called Brad.
KRYSTAL BALL: I wanted to turn to a more serious subject. You wrote about something in this book that almost no one writes about, which is your personal decision to have an abortion.
BALL: And I was wondering if you could take us through that story. How you made the decision, what the actual procedure was like and what it was like for you looking back on it?
MORAN: What the decision to write about it or the actual procedure itself?
BALL: The actual procedure and personally what it was like for you.
MORAN: All right. Well, I mean it was quite an easy decision really. As I put in the book. I know that I don't want to be blonde. I know that I don't want to backpack around india. I know that I don't want to learn how to ride a horse. And I also know that I don't want to be a mother again. I’ve already got two children. And a decision that’s so big and life defining as that, I think most women know if they want to do that or not. So I found that decision to have an abortion quite easy really cuz I just thought am I prepared to put that amount of life and pain and effort into doing a job properly for the rest of my life. Realistically, no. I must be honest with myself. I don't want to do it. And the reason that I wrote about it, is I realized I’d never read anyone else's account of doing that, which seems weird, kind of in the 21st century, in 2012, one in three women will have abortions. But I've never read anybody describing what that process is like. And I think the fact women keep having abortions secret is very worrying because we fought very hard for that law. But if no women are ever admitting that they are taking advantage of that law, then that's a law that could very easily be taken away from us again as in America you are finding now.
BALL: And one thing you write about as well is after you had an abortion you thought that down the road you might feel some regret or some sense of loss. Was that, in fact, what happened?
MORAN: I mean there's almost a kind of laziness or-- the thing is, women aren't honest about their lives and what the process of being a woman is like, then we get into trouble. And the very few accounts that I’d seen of women who’d admitted to having abortions always start the piece with, well of course, it was a very difficult decision and I regretted it for the rest of my life, every year on the date that the child would have been due, I feel upset. I know that I have in some way ruined my life, but it was the best choice between two difficult ones. And I didn't find that to be the case. And all the friends that I had who’d had abortions did not find that to be the case either. I'm not saying that there aren't women out there who will regret it and will struggle with that decision, but just to know that it’s not, that it is an option not to feel guilty. You know, some women statistically will find that decision quite easy and be fine with it. So, you know I felt very privileged to be the first person, as far as I know, to have written where you describe what the process is like, and what the people are like that you meet when you're there and how you feel afterwards and let women know who are maybe going through a similar thing that dude it is actually an option to feel fine about this.