John Oliver Explains Why We Need Stronger Legal Protections for Abortion


Last Week Tonight with John Oliver finally got around to breaking down one of America’s wedge political issues: abortion.

As with Oliver’s many comedic exposés on America’s judicial system, the “Common Core” education system, and the country’s approach to screening Syrian refugees, Sunday night’s segment focused on why the United States’ approach to abortion legislation is broken.

Rather than entering the debate, Oliver focused on how many states have circumvented federal laws protecting abortion with legislation such as TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) laws, which impose building regulations, waiting periods and other requirements on facilities that offer abortions.

These laws effectively outlaw abortion by making it impossible for women to reach a doctor who can carry one out. And, like in the days before Roe v. Wade, women who can’t receive proper medical treatment will find other means of ending their pregnancy, including one woman who asked a technician to walk her through performing an abortion on herself.

“Abortion cannot be theoretically legal,” Oliver said. “It has to be literally accessible.”

Watch the clip below.