John Oliver, the colorful liberal host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight, predictably took aim at a typical target last Sunday: Pro-Life Pregnancy Resource Centers (PRCs). This perpetuated the Left’s trend of attacking and even mocking these non-profit organizations seeking to deter women from undergoing the life-ending and life-altering procedure of elective abortion by fostering a loving relationship between the mother and her preborn child. During his affront on PRCs, Oliver’s misplaced righteous indignation lacked a factual basis to substantiate his hysteria. However, what Oliver lacked in facts about these Pro-Life social services, he made up for in unimaginative jokes, sanctimonious smears, and an abundance of cognitive dissonance.
The most consistent theme of Oliver’s twenty-minute diatribe involves his grievance over PRC’s supposed deceptive marketing. These pregnancy centers, he claims, provoke women into being “actively mislead while trying to access healthcare.” Of particular concern to Oliver is the rising number of PRCs, which significantly outnumber abortion facilities. The increasing incidence of PRCs combined with more efficient messaging strategies increasingly compel anti-Life legislators to enact discriminatory laws (which are most likely unconstitutional). Now, Oliver is following their lead.
His criticisms extend to the buses run by PRCs, which are often the last opportunity for the Pro-Life movement to communicate to a woman facing an unexpected pregnancy before she enters an abortion facility, whose employees will certainly encourage her to end the life of her preborn child. The prospect of this last line of defense dissuading women from getting elective abortions undoubtedly agitates Oliver, as he spends a considerable amount of time divulging his unsubstantiated concerns over these PRC buses—even going so far as to disparage the free ultrasounds these buses provide.
Oliver’s show is typically composed of profanity-ridden segments ridiculing whatever conservative cause he finds irksome that particular week and his long segment maligning PRCs is no exception. Tellingly, this segment is not the first Oliver has used to vilify the Pro-Life movement. Two years ago, Oliver dedicated sixteen minutes to rant against Pro-Life legislation, which the comedian finds unfathomable. While Oliver continued his vulgar sophistry against the Pro-Life movement last Sunday, he unfortunately turned to tried manipulative euphemisms and stale pro-abortion talking points. He outright denies there is any evidence for a connection between abortion and breast cancer (there is), he endorses chemical birth control (including abortifacients), and he sexualizes children with condom jokes (appalling). Yet, Oliver’s audience is expected to adopt his outrage at these non-profit, no-cost, Pro-Life social service providers.
Oliver is particularly frustrated that the Pro-Life movement has schemed to secure government funding for PRCs in sixteen states, including Texas. Unfortunately, Oliver fails to mention that Pro-Lifers themselves are also exceedingly frustrated over government funding in all 50 states that directs taxpayer dollars to the abortion business Planned Parenthood. The United States’ largest abortion business receives hundreds of millions of dollars annually through Medicaid reimbursements and federal Title X grants. And unlike PRCs, Planned Parenthood is in the business of ending lives – and makes a profit on selling women that “healthcare service.”
For the anti-Life movement, abortion has transformed into not only a societal necessity, but an inherent social good. Oliver made that clear. His rant elucidates the fundamental truth of the abortion industry; everything revolves around abortion. PRCs exist to give women choices—life-affirming choices—yet they are under assault by anti-Life devotees because they do not proselytize the only choice pro-abortion activists deem ideal. At one point, Oliver affirms the belief that abortion would have been the “responsible” choice in a complicated socio-economic situation. In his twisted analysis, Oliver rants against what he sees as the real “tragedy” of denying a woman an elective abortion.
In addition to those listed above, Oliver’s PRC rant brims with many other fallacious assertions and hypocritical statements. Oliver objects to the lack of choices provided by PRCs, but this accusation is wrong. PRCs offer many choices: parenting classes, adoption referrals, ultrasounds, prenatal care, and more. The one choice PRCs don’t provide and facilitate is abortion, which is probably Oliver’s real objection. He further objects to the word “choice” within the name of many PRCs. However, he finds no irony or concern that the word “parenthood” is used in the name of the largest abortion provider in the United States.
Moreover, Oliver uses a few anecdotes to infer broad conclusions. According to Oliver’s own statistics, there are 2,752 PRCs in the United States. Transferring the conclusions of a handful of examples to thousands of PRCs is irresponsible. For example, in his segment on PRC buses, he used one story of words being displayed on ultrasounds to conclude doing so is general practice.
This segment was disappointing, if not surprising. For someone who castigates the non-partisan book of the daughter of Vice President Mike Pence, such diatribes may be expected. Instead, we receive a luminous view into the beliefs of the anti-Life movement: promote abortion, and annihilate any dissenting beliefs. This strategy has been used in California and in the Texas Legislature and Pro-Lifers must continue to counter with the truth about what we believe and how our movement seeks to protect women and children from the injustice of elective abortion.
Oliver using his expansive platform to degenerate PRCs is unfortunate, especially given the upstanding mission promulgated by PRCs. Fortunately, another mudslinging attack will not so easily dissuade PRCs from continuing to selflessly serve women facing unexpected pregnancies in our communities.