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Late Night Tackles Abortion Rights
May 16, 2019

Alabama's near-complete abortion ban was sponsored in the State Senate by Clyde Chambliss, a Republican lawmaker who said he's "not smart enough to be pregnant" and admitted that fertilized eggs in labs aren't banned in his "fetal personhood" bill because they're "not in a woman. She's not pregnant." Chambliss "really is dumb," Samantha Bee said on Wednesday's Full Frontal, soon after Alabama's female governor signed his bill into law, but Alabama isn't the only state trying to effectively ban abortion.

"There have been more six-week abortion bill than Godfather movies, so I guess men really don't love anything more than policing women's bodies," Bee said. "The one thing all these bills have in common is that the people writing them have no f---ing idea how the internal reproductive system works. That's why I'm going to do something that should have been done decades ago — I'm going to teach sex ed to senators."

And while some of Bee's class is NSFW, she really does teach. Her lessons include everything from the helpful "We don't know we're pregnant the moment it happens" to the very specific: "You can't reimplant an ectopic pregnancy, you old, tragic Kenneth from 30 Rock." There's "Miscarriage is incredibly common" and the useful "Birth control and morning-after pills aren't abortion" — "Neither of them causes abortions; banning them sure does, though," she added.

But there's one lesson "every single legislator should learn before writing abortion laws," even those on the left, Bee said: "What even is an abortion?" and as importantly, what isn't an abortion, specifically anything that happens when a baby is full-term. "That would be homicide," she said. "Look, there are plenty of crazy positions on the left — for example, I believe the term 'manatee' is too gendered — but no one is advocating for legalizing baby-murder." Watch below, especially if you're a senator. Peter Weber

May 16, 2019

"Right off the bat, I just want to thank the news cycle, because it's a rare treat for a late-night comedian when the subject of your comedy is legislation restricting abortion," Stephen Colbert joked darkly on Wednesday's Late Show. "But that's the big story, so here we go!"

"Yesterday, Alabama lawmakers passed a bill banning nearly all abortions," he began. "That is either an overreach by the Alabama GOP or some pretty intense viral marketing for the new season of Handmaid's Tale. I don't get it, if a TV show has to become reality, why can't it be Star Trek so they can beam me off this planet?" The bill would jail doctors for up to 99 years, and it makes no exception for victims of rape or incest "because the whole point of this law is to establish that a fetus is a person with rights," Colbert said. "Now, that is a bold interpretation of human development, but on the plus side, apparently pregnant women get to vote twice now."

Alabama's female Republican governor signed the nation's most restrictive abortion law on Wednesday, but all 25 votes in favor in the Alabama Senate came from Republican men, Colbert said, making an off-color but on-topic joke about those men. People have lots of different views on abortion, he noted, but the backers of this bill admit it's a cynical overreach to get the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, which they openly speculate is possible now because of President Trump's two high court appointees and — as Alabama Pro-Life Coalition head Eric Johnston said — one justice's questionable health. "So he's pro-life, unless it's Ruth Bader Ginsburg," Colbert said. "Quick, Justice Ginsburg, get pregnant! It's your only chance."

At Late Night, Amber Ruffin took a literal approach to not being able to control her own body, joined by Jenny Hagel and Ally Hord. Watch below. Peter Weber

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