OITNB's Big Boo, Dressed as Clown, Explains How Abortion Reduces Crime


Perhaps you’ve noticed that a magical bird of the internet dropped Season Three of Orange is the New Black a little early Thursday night, and perhaps you have already watched the entirety of the series. (If so: go to bed.)

Jezebel staffers made it to various levels of binge-watch, but I believe Erin Gloria Ryan and I have tied for the championship by watching a whopping 2.5 episodes each, before respectively forcing ourselves to sleep on account of having to wake up early for this job. But that means we got to see this excellent Big Boo monologue in Episode One. (Now I will drop some spoilers, take heed.)

Episode One, entitled “Mother’s Day,” depicts the inmates and staff of Litchfield preparing for a new kind of lenient Mother’s Day, in which Caputo is allowing a prison carnival of fun for visiting children. There are games, puppies (?) and, as you can see, extremely freaky face-painting. Big Boo’s dress may be clownish (I kind of want it, though) and her face—part calaca, part chola—may be slightly terrifying, but her monologue is, like many Big Boo monologues, the best.

In the scene, Pennsatucky (Taryn Manning) is mourning her five abortions, having made little grave marker out of popsicle sticks representing each. Deep in the throes of blaming herself for her “wicked” ways, Boo (Lea DeLaria) approaches and offers a little compassion, which ultimately turns into a monologue, based upon Freakonomics, about how Roe v. Wade (and Pennsatucky’s ability to obtain an abortion) may have kept her hypothetical children from becoming criminal “methhead white trash pieces of shit” such as herself.

‘Tucky is immediately soothed from the different perspective, most likely because she is A. not really anti-choice (obviously) and B. such a complicated character, more nuanced and smarter than her rigid reactionary statements often allow. (Still a redneck, though; she says some sideways racial shit later on in the series, as ever, but moments like these subtly consider how much of her awful nature is, in fact, nurture.)

Here’s the clip, in case you haven’t yet seen it in your initial run of bingesplosion last night. Happy weekend on your couch.

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Image via Netflix/screenshot.

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