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The Republican-controlled Supreme Court ruled last week in favour of a Mississippi law that outlaws abortion at 15 weeks of pregnancy while also overturning key precedents established by the 1973 decision in Roe v Wade, as well as an affirming decision in 1992’s Planned Parenthood v Casey.
Speaking on his topical HBO series Last Week Tonight, Oliver reflected on the much-criticised decision.
“It is hard to stomach some of the gleeful responses right now,” said the British-American comedian, after the Texas attorney general’s office’s declared 24 June an annual holiday for the office.
“You don’t get a holiday to celebrate the loss of rights for millions of people when you already have one, and it’s called Columbus Day.”
He then highlighted a statement from former Vice President Mike Pence in which Pence wrote: “Today, life won.”
“[This] is pretty tough to take given that for some, especially disabled people and other vulnerable groups, forced pregnancy could be a death sentence,” Oliver said.
“Even when planned, pregnancy is, best cast scenario, a major medical event that rips open your butt, rips out your organs and then puts them in wrong,” he continued.
“The idea that you can simply seek another abortion in another state is insulting on its face – even before you consider that some lawmakers are already openly looking for ways to punish out-of-state abortions.
“What the Supreme Court has just done is utterly devastating,” he added: “The message that the Supreme Court sends is pretty clear: We don’t care if pregnancy kills you, we don’t care if you don’t want to be pregnant, we don’t care about you at all.”
In the UK, Last Week Tonight can be streamed on Sky and NOW.