Speed Reads


John Oliver is so excited about unmasking crisis pregnancy centers, he set up his own

John Oliver has already taken a look at abortion clinics — or the lack thereof — "but tonight we're going to focus on the exact opposite of an abortion clinic, something called a crisis pregnancy center," he said on Sunday's Last Week Tonight. These are "facilities whose primary purpose is talking women out of terminating a pregnancy — something they don't often make that clear," he said, and they now outnumber abortion clinics nationwide, 2,752 to 1,671 — or 38 to 1 in Mississippi, for example. "If they are that prevalent, people should absolutely know what they are," Oliver said.

"Look, if you believe abortion is immoral, you are of course allowed to set up a center dedicated to convincing women of that," Oliver said, "but what is happening with CPCs is that way too often, women with unplanned pregnancies are being actively misled." And CPCs often appear to encourage that confusion. Lots of them use the word "choice" in their name, something Oliver likened to false advertising, but they also "catfish" women searching for abortion providers online, try to physically intercept women visiting abortion clinics, emotionally manipulated or mislead them, and worse. He had plenty of examples. "And here's the thing," Oliver said. "For all the lengths that CPCs will go to to prevent abortions, many of them don't do a key thing that would really help that, and that's give women access to birth control."

"The real point here is, the tactics that CPCs often use are disingenuous and predatory, and it's absolutely critical that people understand that," Oliver said. "But they really don't." And to show how easy it is for religious organizations to set up legal CPCs, Oliver's legally recognized religious charity/tax shelter, Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption, set up Our Lady of Choosing Choice, a mobile "Vanned Parenthood" CPC. This isn't a dispassionate or neutral look at abortion, certainly, and there is NSFW language, and you can watch below. Peter Weber