In an unprecedented special, John Oliver did two main stories in his Sunday episode of "Last Week Tonight" for a 45-minute show addressing the recent release of Justice Samuel Alito's decision about abortion.
He began by citing the British judge from the 1700s that Alito quoted and the history that judge had with executing witches, supporting marital rape and denouncing women who were "bold" and "loud."
Oliver noted that it was important to talk about abortion like adults and to tell the truth about it, something that is frequently distorted by the anti-choice.
He cited Fox hosts who have argued that this is nothing more than the Supreme Court turning the issue back over to the states and that people "still have a choice." Oliver destroyed the talking point by noting that the idea of a kind of "abortion free-for-all" is a little absurd, like they cross the state lines and people are stopped by the highway patrol and given an abortion.
"It's not about whether you have the 'right' to go somewhere else, it's about whether you have the resources and ability, and many may not because it will disproportionately affect those with disabilities, those who are transgender, immigrants or people of color," Oliver said.
He showed one Texas woman who couldn't get an abortion in Texas because she is six weeks and one day along in the pregnancy. Six weeks is generally about two weeks after a missed menstrual cycle. Oliver noted there are a lot of reasons a woman might miss her period like being sick, over exercising, a drastic change in diet, or just the major stress that comes with living in a country run "as a misogynistic theocracy run by five of the biggest weirdos in the country including Justice Beer Pong here," he said pointing to Brett Kavanaugh. "And Justice My-Wife-Helped-Plan-A-Coup-And-All-I-Got-Was-No-Consequences-What-So-Ever," he said, showing a photo of Clarence Thomas.
He went on to cite that half of the women who get abortions are below the poverty line and a quarter of them are "very close to it." A ProPublica report estimated 75,000 women who will want but won't be able to get abortions, "and some of those people will die because pregnancy is a major medical event."
Oliver went on to shame Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) for the claim, "this isn't your father's Republican Party, it's Donald Trump's Republican Party." The reality is that the GOP has long fought against things like abortion, contraception, women in the workplace, LGBTQ+ equality, same-sex marriage, and a slate of other policies that are well outside of the mainstream.
Oliver went back to a 1973 report from just after the Supreme Court approved abortion for all Americans and a right-wing lawyer who explained that the woman's right is really just one-third of the equation because the father and the fetus have an opinion too.
"Wow, women have one-third of the rights involved," Oliver said, quoting the interview. "Honestly, that is kind of perfect because if there's one thing we love to do in America its turn everyone who isn't a straight, white, man into a f*cking fraction. That is something that is 'deeply rooted in the country's history and traditions.'"
He went on to call on former President Bill Clinton for his quote about abortion being "safe, legal and rare" casting it as a necessary evil and not a key part of personal freedoms in the United States. He then called out former President Barack Obama, who made it clear that the "freedom of choice" bill that would have codified abortion as a right was "not my highest legislative priority."
He closed by citing some of the things Republicans say women are simply being "hysterical" about, like leaders who have said they want to take away contraception, a bill in Louisiana passed out committee banning abortion at all stages, including an embryo in an IVF facility and turning it into "homicide."
Meanwhile, now predominantly Catholic countries like Ireland, Mexico, Argentina and Columbia have more freedoms for women than the United States.
He closed by saying that ideally, the law that would be passed in the United States would be a constitutional amendment that would give women 100 percent freedom and autonomy to control their own lives and health. Oliver made it clear that he understands how annoying it is to hear another person screaming at them to vote all the while, the right to vote is being stripped away, but it's still the only system we've got.
"I promise you, anti-choice advocates worked really hard for a really long time to ensure that Roe would not be permanent," he said. "But the thing is, its undoing doesn't have to be either. This week we have all been reminded what the most marginalized people in the country have known for years: that freedoms are never guaranteed. They are hard-won, and they are easily lost. Progress contains a consistent, sustained struggle, a willingness to disrupt everyday life, and actual courage from the people who choose to lead us."
See the video below at the 41-minute mark:
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver 5/8/22 || HBO John Oliver 5th May, 2022 LIVE 720HD www.youtube.com