The exchange occurred two days after Politico’s bombshell report that a leaked Supreme Court draft decision indicated its intention to overturn Roe v Wade, the landmark ruling protecting abortion rights at the federal level in the US.
The incident started when Gutfeld began attacking pro-choice advocates, saying women who support abortion are “more concerned about what they will lose than what they will gain,” claiming that they would realise their lives were “nothing” without children once they gave birth.
“A pro-choice mom can look at her adorable two-year-old and think, ‘my life would be nothing without her,’ in 2022. [But] in 2017, when she was young and single, didn’t have a kid, she could only imagine the loss of her freedom. Right? So that’s the issue,” he said.
The Fox News host left out the fact that many abortions are sought by women who already have children and who do not want another to ensure they can properly provide for the child or children they already have.
Gutfeld told Rivera that the news was something “to celebrate, to cherish to shout,” because American women, in his estimation, should embrace motherhood.
Rivera shot back, arguing that motherhood should be voluntary.
“That’s baloney. That’s baloney. Cherish the wire hanger stuck up their privates?” Rivera said, referencing dangerous self-aborting practices women resorted to prior to Roe v Wade.
Gutfeld mocked Rivera’s empathetic plea on behalf of women who were forced to seek back-alley abortions prior to the ruling, which only incensed the correspondent further.
“You are an arrogant … you insulting punk,” he said.
Earlier in the segment Rivera argued in favour of women having abortion rights.
“What am I going to tell my daughters now, that they don’t have control over their body? That they can’t make those choices for themselves?” he asked. “That some old man scratching his belly in some other state is going to [make that choice for you]?”
Fox News viewers attacked Rivera on social media after the debate, but he earned praise from liberals for standing up for his beliefs and for the rights of women.