John Oliver, SNL Take Jabs at Arizona Lawmakers Over Abortion Ban

Source: Wikimedia/Steve Jennings for TechCrunch

Last Week Tonight host John Oliver knows how to preach the truth in a hilarious and sarcastic way – much like Jon Stewart used to do at Comedy Central in the 2000s. On April 14, Oliver used his opening statement to trash Arizona lawmakers for reinstating a Civil War-era abortion law – here’s what you need to know!

1864: Arizona Enacts Near-Total Abortion Ban

In 1864, Arizona passed a law that banned anyone from providing, supplying, or administering an abortion or abortion drugs. Anyone found guilty of doing so would face a state prison sentence of two to five years. 

Source: Douglas Rissing from Getty Images Signature via Canva

The near-total ban on abortion didn’t have an exemption for rape or incest, but did have an exception for when the mother’s life is in danger – other than that, abortions were outlawed completely. The law was codified in 1901 and 1913.

1973: Roe V. Wade Brings Ban To A Halt

In 1973, the SCOTUS ruled that state abortion laws were unconstitutional in one of the most controversial decisions in American history. As a result, abortions were legal at the federal level and far more accessible than in years past. 

Source: zimmytws from Getty Images Pro via Canva

The court argued that being forced to continue a pregnancy can put a lot at risk for a mother – including physical health, mental health, financial burdens, and social stigmas. In some cases, they saw abortions as beneficial to the mother.

2022: Roe V. Wade Overturned By SCOTUS

In June 2022, the Supreme Court officially reversed its 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling – effectively ending an individual’s constitutional right to an abortion. Instead, whether or not abortions were legal was 100% up to the states. 

Source: P_Wei from Getty Images Signature via Canva

Over the past two years, states have taken full advantage of the decision and have begun to pass their own abortion laws and restrictions. Unfortunately, it’s leaving millions of Americans in a difficult position – especially if they have a real need for an abortion. 

2024: Arizona Reinstates Near-Total Abortion Ban

On April 9, the Arizona Supreme Court decided to reinstate the near-total abortion ban that was initially enacted back in 1864 – 160 years ago to this day. Many people were critical of the decision, arguing that it sent the state back to the Civil War era. 

Source: Thinkstock from Photo Images via Canva

“Let me be completely clear, as long as I am Attorney General, no woman or doctor will be prosecuted under this draconian law in this state,” said Attorney General Kris Mayes. President Joe Biden also spoke out against the ruling. 

John Oliver Makes Fun Of Jim Acosta

On April 14, John Oliver dedicated his opening segment on Last Week Tonight to the Arizona ban – which he described as ‘horrifying.’ He argued that the law came from a time period when doctors prescribed chloroform for asthma, cocaine for hay fever, and tobacco-smoke enemas for cholera. 

Source: Flickr/Gage Skidmore

“And by the way, no thank you, I’ll just go ahead and die from the cholera if it’s all the same to you,” he said. He then zeroed in on a hilarious and ironic encounter between CNN host Jim Acosta and a strategist – who happens to be a black man.

What Did Acosta Say?

“Do you really want states going back to Civil War-era laws on reproductive freedom? I mean, women didn’t even have the right to vote at that point,” Acosta asked the strategist – who had the perfect response. 

Source: Wikimedia/Legoktm

“I mean, Jim I don’t want states going back to pre-Civil War on any issue, for obvious reasons here, right?” the strategist said with a chuckle. Acosta quickly realized his gaff, and said, “Point taken.” 

Oliver Scoffs At Acosta’s ‘Cluelessness’

Joking about the exchange, John Oliver pointed out Acosta’s cluelessness to talk about how bad the 1860s were for women in front of a black man – whose ancestors endured far more discrimination than women did in the 1860s. 

Source: Wikimedia/Legoktm

“I love the cluelessness of looking at a Black man and saying that the 1860s were bad because women didn’t have the right to vote. I mean it’s true, but also, maybe not the worst thing people didn’t have the right to do back then!” he said. 

Takes Aim At Kari Lake, Who Supports The Law

Oliver didn’t stop there, taking aim at Kari Lake – a former news anchor who is running for the Senate in Arizona. Or, as Oliver describes her, a “current senate candidate and possessor of big local real estate agent energy.”

Source: Flickr/Gage Skidmore

While Lake criticized the ruling after it was issued, Oliver couldn’t help but point out a 2022 quote from Lake, who called it ‘a great law that is already on the books.’ Oliver joked that if you’re going to backtrack on an issue, make sure you haven’t already said the exact opposite on national television two years prior.

State Sen. Shawnna Bolick’s Hypocrisy Revealed

Oliver also called out state Sen. Shawnna Bolick for her hypocrisy over the near-total ban on abortion. Shope was one of the lawmakers who voted for a bill in 2022 that resembled the 1864 law – albeit a little less restrictive. 

Source: Flickr/Gage Skidmore

In the moments following the legislature reinstating the law, Shope backtracked and called for a repeal of the decision. Oliver also noted that Bolick is married to Clint Bolick – a justice appointed to Arizona’s Supreme Court in 2018. He was one of the justices to vote in favor of the ban.

State Sen. T.J. Shope Is Full Of Excuses

State Senator T.J. Shope is another congressman who voted for the law back in 2022, but is now speaking out against the law after being reinstated. He gave quite a lame excuse as to why so many lawmakers voted for the bill. 

Source: Flickr/Gage Skidmore

His excuse? He didn’t think ‘that any of us really actually believed that Roe v. Wade … was going to be overturned. So it was definitely more of a theoretical, I guess, than an actual.” The decision on April 9, however, wasn’t theoretical – it was ‘an actual.’ 

Republicans Fought Hard To Overturn Roe V. Wade

John Oliver went on to applaud (sarcastically) the Republicans for getting the exact thing they were hoping for when they helped overturn Roe v. Wade in 2022. And now, those same Republicans will have to deal with the result. 

Source: adamkaz from Getty Images Signature via Canva

“That is the thing,” Oliver said, “Republicans own this. They got what they wanted — overturned Roe v. Wade, and now they have to deal with the consequences of that.”

SNL Does ‘Weekend Update’ About Arizona

Oliver wasn’t the only comedian to take shots at Arizona lawmakers – Saturday Night Live also got in on the action during their popular ‘Weekend Update’ segment. For example, they joked that President Biden was critical of the ban – just as he was when he voted against it in 1864 (a swift nod to his old age). 

Source: Flickr/Seton Hall University

“But it’s probably not great to adopt healthcare rules from a time when the only two things doctors prescribed were prayer and cocaine — Saturday and Sunday,” comedian Colin Jost added during the segment.

What do you think?

200 Points
Upvote Downvote
Ryan Handson

Written by Ryan Handson

Leave a Reply


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings

New Tennessee Bill Banning Chemtrails Supports The False Theory That They Control People 

Teen’s Future in Jeopardy Over ‘Illegal Alien’ Comment in Class