John Oliver took a few minutes off Last week tonight to discuss the recent ruling by a US district judge regarding mifepristone, the most widely used method of abortion.
Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, a Trump appointee, ordered federal approval of the drug suspended in a decision that overturned decades of scientific approval. At the same time, U.S. District Judge Thomas O. Rice, an Obama appointee, ordered essentially the opposite, ordering U.S. authorities not to make changes that would limit access to the drug in at least 17 states where Democrats were suing in a attempt to protect drug availability.
“Like every fight you’ve had with your uncle since 2016, we’re going to start with abortion — something that Republican men are almost as happy to ban as they’re happy to pay in secret,” Oliver joked at the start of his HBO talk show.
The Food and Drug Administration approved mifepristone in 2000 — 23 years ago — after studying the drug for “three times the average amount of time” it normally takes to study drugs, according to a CBS evening news report that Oliver showed.
“Yes, the judge in question, Matthew Kacsmaryk, argued that a drug that has been on the market in the US for 23 years is somehow too dangerous, which is wild considering that it is now widely available for a full Kiernan Shipka,” said Oliver. , referring to the 23-year-old Hair-raising adventures of Sabrina actress.
He then showed a CNN report citing an analysis of FDA data showing that the risk of death from penicillin is five times greater than mifepristone and the risk of death from Viagra is 10 times greater.
“Once it’s clear that something is safer than both treating strep throat and giving an old man a boulder, it’s pretty hard to pull the public health card,” Oliver said.
As a Trump appointee who has expressed his anti-abortion stance, “we always knew where Kascmaryk would go with an abortion case, but the way he got there was still shockingly unfair,” Oliver said, noting that his statement was an cites a statistic that “77 percent of women who had a chemical abortion reported a negative change as a result.”
However, the sample for that study was based on 98 blog posts on an anti-abortion website, Abortion Change You.
“That’s a heavy bias for confirmation,” Oliver said. “…Using that as your source is like claiming that abortion makes you better at Frisbee golf by citing a poll on the website AbortionMakesYouBetterAtFrisbeeGolf.com.”
On a side note, Oliver noted that whenever he mentions a fake website on Last Week Tonight, the show has to buy the URL to make sure no one else buys it. So the show now owns the AbortionMakesYouBetterAtFrisbeeGolf.com domain. Visit the websiteand you are greeted with a white page with a logo and the message “Why are you here?”
Oliver noted that he had another thought on the website Abortion Changes You: “Not to be blunt here, but you know what else that does? A damn pregnancy. Because I have news for you: weeks after giving birth, that baby is not the only one in diapers. There is also a baby now.”
Oliver further explained that mifepristone is also used to treat miscarriages.
“So, like most anti-abortion policies, this ruling could also have serious consequences for people with medical complications from wanted pregnancies,” he said. “As this doctor points out, anyone who miscarries and doesn’t have access to a medicated abortion can be subject to intense suffering.”
He showed a WLS-TV interview with an OB/GYN, Dr. Mia Norlin, saying that someone who miscarries without access to mifepristone would need surgery or wait up to eight weeks for the pregnancy to be over. “And that’s brutal,” she said. “And that is, I mean, torture for people who go through miscarriages.”
Oliver replied, “Exactly. Can you imagine getting the worst news of your life and then having to painfully carry it around for eight weeks, all because some Disney Channel deputy executive from Texas decided to play doctor for the whole goddamn country?
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court temporarily blocked Kacsmaryk’s order and put it on hold until Wednesday midnight.
“So there’s a lot up in the air here,” Oliver said, “but it’s not ideal that the dream team that toppled Roe V. Wade decides anytime soon whether to get the go-ahead for the sequel, because the toppling of Roe clearly was never about returning. it to the states. It was always a step towards a complete ban on abortion, and it is frankly both absurd and infuriating that such a vital healthcare system for everyone could be thrown into chaos because of this son of a bitch’s ill-informed decisions,” he said, referring to Kacsmaryk.
He continued: “It seems that abortion in this country has become a Schrödinger right that people simultaneously have and don’t have, depending on where they live, who sits in the White House, and what the craziest judge in America feels like. . That’s why it’s so important that it be protected by law, ideally in the Constitution, and that it be recognized for what it is: a fundamental right, a human necessity and something that I hear – and I got this from a completely reputable website – could even make you better at Frisbee golf.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.