Much of what Full Frontal with Samantha Bee manages to do so well has to do with absurdity in the world of politics, but this week’s strongest bit finds focus on the politics of the body, specifically those of women. Bee and the show have made a point of criticizing the deserve-to-be-criticized facts surrounding legislation of abortion centers and, absurdly, rape kits. Senator Renee Unterman is responsible for all of that and, now, she’s responsible for allocating funds to anti-abortion centers, otherwise known as crisis pregnancy centers.
As the clip points out, these centers thrive on subterfuge that works to make women believe that these centers are indeed places where abortions are carried out. As the clip demonstrates, though, these centers are actually places that do not hire trained medical professionals and instead distribute anti-abortion propaganda that serves to dissuade pregnant women from seeking the procedure, leading to choices that they may sometimes regret.
This is all very serious, very important stuff, but the show manages to ground it in humor by employing skilled absurdist Patton Oswalt, who adopts the persona of an old-timey magician with all of the magical grace of Derek Zoolander. He doesn’t make much disappear, though the anti-abortion centers sure do seem pretty adept at fleeing the scene once they’ve convinced area women to carry a pregnancy to term. The testimony of a woman who was tricked and convinced by one of these centers, Cherisse Scott, is incredibly touching and infuriating.
Watch the clip below. As Bee and Full Frontal somehow always manage, it’s at once infuriating and hilarious, heartbreaking and motivational.