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John Oliver slams Roe v. Wade reversal, calls Supreme Court's verdict 'utterly devastating'

News Agencies | Updated on: 27 June 2022, 15:10 IST
'Last Week Tonight' host John Oliver

John Oliver, the popular show 'Last Week Tonight' host, wasted no time addressing the raging topic of the United States Supreme Court's reversal of Roe v. Wade, the landmark verdict that made abortion legal in 1973.

On Sunday's edition of his HBO show, Oliver said the move is "absolutely horrifying" given that about half of the 50 U.S. states are likely to ban abortion, as per The Hollywood Reporter.

"It is hard to stomach some of the gleeful responses right now," Oliver said, pointing to the Texas attorney general's office decision to close its offices on Friday at noon and declaring June 24 an annual holiday for the office going ahead. "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," Oliver added.

He also noted former Vice President Last Week Tonighte's statement, which read, in part, "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."

He also dismissed arguments from supporters of the reversal that adoption or abortion are "reasonable" alternatives in a state where it's legal.

"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. 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," he added.

Oliver also argued that this would not go back to the "pre-Roe days" as some people have said, but was actually "uncharted territory" as any loss of pregnancy could be investigated as a criminal act in states that have now banned abortion. This means investigators can access electronic records, search histories, text messages and the like if they suspect someone has had an abortion, which was evidently unavailable prior to the 1973 ruling.

"What the Supreme Court has just done is utterly devastating. 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," said Oliver.


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First published: 27 June 2022, 15:10 IST