‘Squeamish In Their Defense Of Abortion’: John Oliver Says Obama, Clinton And Democrats Didn’t Do Enough

[Youtube/Screenshot/Last Week Tonight]

Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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Comedian John Oliver slammed Democrats on Sunday for failing to codify abortion rights as the Supreme Court appears poised to overturn Roe v. Wade.

“Our first story tonight concerns the fact that this week saw the leak of a draft opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito that looks set to strike down Roe v. Wade,” Oliver said during “Last Week Tonight.”

“And while the fate of Roe may not have been a surprise, the draft itself was still a horror show.”

Oliver suggested that the court is attempting to restrict the right to abortion nationwide and that the court was stripping women of bodily autonomy.

“Some who get abortions are survivors of rape or incest, others might need one for medical reasons, but also just to be clear, some will be seeking abortion because they fucking want one, and this is very much about them, too,” Oliver said. “This is a fight for people’s right to have control over their bodies. It’s about bodily autonomy.”

Oliver laid into Democrats for their inability to codify Roe v. Wade after praising former New York Democratic Rep. Bella Abzug, who called for Congress to codify Roe v. Wade in the initial aftermath of the Roe ruling.

“But, of course, they didn’t do that. Nor did they do it as the anti-abortion movement kicked into high gear in the late 1970s, with the support of evangelical leaders like Jerry Falwell, who helped elevate the abortion issue as a way of motivating conservative voters to the polls. They didn’t even do it as anti-abortion legislators managed to pass a thousand restrictions into law at the state level,” Oliver said.

The host then claimed former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were “squeamish in their defense of abortion.”

Clinton said abortion should be “safe, legal and rare” in 1992. (RELATED: ‘Democrats Don’t Understand!’: Scarborough Tears Into Schumer)

Oliver lambasted Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer for “pointing the finger of blame firmly in one direction” at Republicans despite Republicans having “been advocating for this exact outcome for decades now.”

“This is just not a recent development at all,” Oliver said. “Because while, yes, Trump did pick 1/3 of this court, including a seat for [Neil Gorsuch] that was stolen for him, that was the result of decades of work by anti-abortion forces. Long before Trump ever even considered running for office, conservatives were openly announcing their intention to overturn Roe.”

“We need elected officials to stop tiptoeing around the issue of abortion and take steps to properly safeguard it,” he said. “The dream version of this would be a constitutional amendment that’d support people’s fundamental rights to make personal decisions about contraception, pregnancy, marriage and family life.”

A draft majority opinion leaked to Politico appears to show the court is set to overturn Roe v. Wade.

“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Alito reportedly wrote. “We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”