Joy Behar explained that her passion for reproductive rights stems from her own harrowing health scare back in the 1970s.
On Wednesday’s episode of The View, the talk show host and her cohosts, Whoopi Goldberg, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Sunny Hostin, and Sara Haines, discussed the decision by Kansas voters this week to preserve abortion rights, as well as the ongoing national debate regarding the overturning of Roe v. Wade. During the conversation, Behar revealed that she “almost died” from an ectopic pregnancy in 1979. She began by explaining that an ectopic pregnancy occurs when an embryo begins growing in the fallopian tube instead of implanting in the lining of the uterus. According to the Mayo Clinic, ectopic pregnancies can also occur in other parts of the body, such as an ovary, the abdominal cavity, or the cervix.
The comedian continued, “There’s nowhere to go from that. You can}t give birth from your fallopian tube and the fetus will not grow. It grows, but not to full term. So it will grow just enough to make the tube burst. What happens then, you bleed internally and then you die.” She explained that in her own experience, she had to be rushed to the hospital. “The doctor the next day said, ‘We almost lost you.’ I was in the situation where I could go to Beth Israel Hospital, and they took care of it there.”
Joy Behar also clarified to Hasselbeck that an ectopic pregnancy is “not a miscarriage” and “not an abortion,” and that it is situations like hers that make her even more alarmed by the overturning of Roe v. Wade and the way women’s access to reproductive health care is being curtailed in this country. Referencing pro-life politicians, and in particular the Republican nominee for the Georgia Senate race, Herschel Walker, she asked, “What are these people thinking about when they talk about the health of the mother? People like that, they cannot be in positions of power.” Nine years after that life-threatening event, Behar went on to welcome a daughter, Eve, with her then husband, Joe Behar.
Following the Supreme Court’s controversial decision to put abortion access in jeopardy this June, the View host hasn’t been the only celebrity to open up about the life-saving medical care they’ve received. In the days following that ruling, The Hills star Lauren Conrad, who is a mother of two young sons, also revealed her own ectopic pregnancy six years ago. “Yesterday I read about a woman with this same condition having her ectopic pregnancy rupture—and facing death—while waiting for treatment,” she wrote on her Instagram Stories at the time. “Because her doctor was on the phone with his lawyer out of fear of losing his medical license (for using a D&C as a tool to help establish the diagnosis of an ectopic pregnancy). This is heartbreaking.” She added, “Many women in my life have had their own experiences with abortion. I am so grateful that in each case they were able to safely receive the health care they needed and were free to make their own decisions.”