Samantha Bee — host of the TBS talk show Full Frontal — took on the pro-life movement on Monday in a segment featuring her friend Patton Oswalt. During the segment, comedian Samantha Bee addressed the serious issue of “crisis pregnancy centers,” which are being used to manipulate woman into not having an abortion.
According to the segment, Georgia State Senator Renee Unterman sponsored a bill that made it possible for state tax dollars to be funneled into these centers.
Samantha Bee shows us that a crisis pregnancy center lures woman into their complex (many times they’re actually located in the same building, or very near actual abortion clinics) by using aesthetically similar logos, names that one might associate with a real abortion clinic, and in the case of Cherisse Scott (who is in the video), she says that she went to one of these fake clinics because they had the “largest ad” in the phone book.
Salon reported that these clinics used to use online ads attached to search engine results, which would pop up when the user entered words like “abortion,” but that after their campaigns had been stopped by top search engines, the clinics had taken to using other forms of advertisement like billboards featuring text tantamount to scare tactics.
Scott was told that if she had an abortion there was a good chance that her uterus would be ruined and that she would no longer be able to bear children. In a web extra of the Samantha Bee video, Scott said that the potential of not being able to have kids in the future was the main reason that she kept the baby and that when she fell on tough times (like when she couldn’t get child support from the father) the clinic that manipulated her wasn’t there to help her.
“They con women into thinking that they provide the full range of reproductive healthcare services when they absolutely do not,” said Vicki Saporta, who is the CEO of the National Abortion Federation, and is featured in the Samantha Bee video. “Most of these fake clinics do not have licensed medical staff. Woman are often given false ultrasound results to make it seem like they’re much further along in their pregnancies than they are.”
Besides the questions about separation of church and state that come to mind, the issue here is that these organizations don’t know the reason that somebody is trying to have an abortion, and they shouldn’t have the right to manipulate people into such a life altering decision. The person could have a medical complication, they could not be mentally ready to be a parent, or in the case of Cherisse Scott, she wasn’t financially stable enough to comfortably have a child on her own.
Samantha Bee and Patton Oswalt show that by citing their first amendment rights, these clinics are apparently allowed to give you fake medical information and that when they look, feel, and in a sense carry themselves like a real abortion clinic, many people are going to be inclined to follow their advice.
Vox reported that other states which have these centers are battling back, however, saying that in California there have been attempts to force centers to disclose that they do not actually provide any medical services by trained professionals, and to tell women that they do have a right to get an abortion if they want one.
This is not the first time Samantha Bee has taken on Christian fundamentalists as back on May 6, The Inquisitr reported that The Huffington Post had said that Samantha Bee mocked Christian claims of being bullied and intimidated by people of the LGBT community.
Samantha Bee is a former Daily Show correspondent, where she took on everything from coverage of the 2004 Republican National Convention to the death of Michael Brown. She became the host of Full Frontal in February of this year.
[Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images]