Sandra Bernhard Loses Gig After Attacking Palin on Abortion, Rape Comments

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 1, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Sandra Bernhard Loses Gig After Attacking Palin on Abortion, Rape Comments

by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 1
, 2008

Boston, MA ( — Comedian Sandra Bernhard has lost her slot as a keynote speaker for a women’s shelter in Massachusetts after attacking vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin on abortion. In a monologue criticizing the Alaska governor, Bernhard made crude comments about rape that cost her the gig.

The comments came in a one-woman stand up show Bernhard did last month in Washington, D.C.. During the event, Bernhard said Palin would be "gang-raped by my big black brothers" and the comments came in a diatribe against Palin’s pro-life views.

Bernhard was supposed to be a featured speaker at the October 16 event "Funny Women … Serious Business" put on by the Boston-based Rosie’s Place, a domestic violence shelter for women.

Public relations director Leemarie Mosca told AP about the cancellation and said the comments were offensive to many of the victims the shelter helps as well as its staff and volunteers.

"In light of our mission, we don’t think violence against women is a laughing matter," she said.

"Right now, our main focus is our event and making sure the event is a success," Mosca said. "And for us, that means not including Sandra Bernhard at this time."

Sue Marsh, Rosie’s executive director, also weighed in and told WCVB-TV in Boston that the center was "shocked and deeply disturbed" when it heard about the comments.

"Rosie’s Place provides a safe haven for poor and homeless women, some of whom have experienced violence in their lives," Marsh said. "Therefore, we do not believe that violence against women is a joking matter and will not be including Ms. Bernhard in our upcoming fundraising event.”

Bernhard defended the comments in a post on her web site and said they were part of a larger attack on Palin, the Alaska governor, because of her pro-life views. She said the comments were about "racism, freedom, women’s rights, and the extreme views of Governor Sarah Palin – a woman who doesn’t believe that other women should have the right to choose."

"I certainly wish Governor Palin no harm – I’d just like her to explain to me how she can hold such outrageous views … and then go back to Alaska," Bernhard said.

This week, Palin gave an inteview to Katei Couric in which she explained her views on rape and abortion.

The governor said she would encouraged women victimized by rape to choose life for her baby.

“I would counsel to choose life,” she said. “But I would also like to take it one step further. Not just saying I am pro-life and I want fewer and fewer abortions in this country, but I want them, those women who find themselves in circumstances that are absolutely less than ideal, for them to be supported, and adoptions made easier.”

Asked to follow up on abortions in cases of rape or incest, Palin reaffirmed her pro-life stance against them.

“I’m saying that, personally, I would counsel the person to choose life, despite horrific, horrific circumstances that this person would find themselves in,” Palin said.

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