Two comedy shows next week benefit New Orleans Abortion Fund (NOAF), the organization which advocates for and helps defray the cost of abortion access for local women.
At Night Church, the weekly Thursday-night show at Sidney's Saloon, donations for NOAF are accepted to see a slate of local comedians including Mary-Devon Dupuy, Chris Lane, Addy Najera, Camille Roane and Kamari Stevens. Chicago guest comedians Gina Gephardt and Geoffrey Asmus also appear, and Paul Oswell and Benjamin Hoffman host. There's also, as usual, free ice cream.
Resistance Is Fertile: A Comedy Show and Dance Party takes place Jan. 20 at Poor Boys Bar. Chris Lane hosts comedians Roane, Ashleigh Branch, Saya, Moxie Rogue and TK Fairley, with a dance party after the show. The event is scheduled to follow this year's Women's March, which takes place earlier that afternoon.
Roane, who is a member of the Black Girl Giggles women's comedy collective, appears on the lineup of both shows. She says she's proud to support organizations that promote reproductive rights in a climate that is often openly hostile to women's health care and abortion access.
“I really respect [NOAF] because they do such a good job of trying to de-stigmatize the [abortion] issue," she says. "It’s always spoken of in whispers, behind closed doors, when the reality is lots of women have abortions."
These events are part of NOAF's second annual "Roar into Roe" week, which celebrates the 1973 Supreme Court Roe vs. Wade decision that guaranteed abortion rights for American women. At the shows, NOAF will sell T-shirts, bumper stickers and a poster from last year's Women's March designed by French Quarter artist Isabelle Jacopin.
Though to the casual observer, abortion might seem like an unlikely theme for a pair of comedy shows, Roane says the hush-hush stigma with which people sometimes treat a routine procedure makes it a natural subject for comedians to mine.
"That’s the humor, that’s the joke ... The way society treats it is funny," she says. "[This event] is going to be about as fun as a night about abortion can be."
Night Church begins at 8:30 p.m. Jan. 18 at Sidney's Saloon. Resistance Is Fertile: A Comedy Show and Dance Party is at 9 p.m. at Poor Boys Bar Jan. 20. Donations are accepted at both shows.