John Oliver lays bare the South’s abortion-clinic nightmare: “Mississippi now has four times as many S’s as it does abortion clinics”

Doctors and patients treated as sex offenders: “It’s a move that’s now commonly known as a reverse-Cosby”


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Brendan Gauthier
February 22, 2016 1:40pm (UTC)

John Oliver began Sunday night by excusing the 19% of people who think abortion should be illegal, telling them to rejoin the program at 11:29 p.m., the final minute of the show, to watch a video of "a bucket of sloths," which he called "almost violently delightful."

Oliver noted four states--Mississippi, Missouri, and the Dakotas--that now only have one abortion clinic each, adding, "Mississippi now has four times as many S's as it does abortion clinics."

The decisive Supreme Court case on the matter is no longer Roe v. Wade, said Oliver, but, rather, the 1992 case Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which allows states to place restrictions on abortion clinics so long as those restrictions don't place "(a)n undue burden [or] substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion."

In other words, "Women can be asked to jump through a few hoops, just not too many," said Oliver. "Which might sound a little less insulting if those weren't also the rules for a dog agility course."

The 1992 ruling gave precedence to Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) laws, around which pro-lifers have woven a "women's health" narrative. Oliver showed some clips from the 2016 documentary "Trapped," highlighting several instances of these TRAP laws' damaging impact on clinics.

In one clip, Dalton Johnson, an abortion doctor in Alabama--in order to comply with unreasonably strict building code laws--describes cashing out his retirement (about $1 million) to relocate. In response, state lawmakers are now trying to pass another bill restricting clinics from within 2,000 feet of a school.

"They're treating me, the patients, the physicians as sex offenders," Johnson says.

"They're treating someone like a sex offender when he clearly isn't one," Oliver responded. "It's a move that's now commonly known as a reverse-Cosby."

Watch the entire segment below:

Planned Parenthood Clinic Reopens After Fatal Shootings


Brendan Gauthier

Brendan Gauthier is a freelance writer.

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