The Daily Show spreads lies about pro-lifers and abortion

The Daily Show

While serving as temporary host of The Daily Show last week, comedian Wanda Sykes was joined by The Nation’s Katha Pollitt, and together they disseminated misinformation about abortion and pro-lifers in the United States. Sykes and Pollitt, the latter of whom is an outspoken pro-abortion author, specifically attacked abortion-related terminology and made shockingly inaccurate comments about pro-lifers.

What is an abortionist?

The conversation on abortion began with Sykes accusing pro-lifers of utilizing “scare tactics” when discussing abortion with language such as “partial-birth abortion” and “abortion doctors.”

“Like, no one goes to college and go, you know, ‘What are you going to be?’ ‘I’m going to be a cardiologist. What are you doing?’ ‘I don’t know; I think I’m going to work with feet. What about you?’ Abortion! That’s all I’m doing. Just abortions.’ There’s no such thing as an abortion doctor.”


Pollitt replied, “They used to call them abortionists. So, that’s like really not a real doctor.” She added, “You don’t want to go to an abortionist. Abortion doctor is a demeaning term. OB/GYN is a good term. Providing care for women is a good way to put it. And it’s all intended to make it seem as though abortion is not part of health care and the very important thing that everybody has to think about is abortion is part of health care.”

“Abortionist” is the proper term for someone who commits abortions, especially because they aren’t always doctors and they aren’t always OB/GYNs. Several states allow “non-physicians” to carry out abortions such as Connecticut, which allows Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) and nurse-midwives to commit some abortions. States allow this because abortion businesses sometimes struggle to find a doctor who is willing to commit abortions — which in Connecticut, led to an average wait time of 12 days for an aspiration abortion.

Other states allowing non-doctors to commit abortions include Hawaii and California.

In Louisiana, an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) and a radiologist were committing abortions at the June Medical Services abortion business, which had failed to inquire about the previous training of doctors before hiring them. When the goal is profit, abortion businesses need staff — and most OB/GYNs choose not to commit abortions.

“… [T]he vast, vast majority of OB/GYNs do not participate in them,” explained Dr. Alicia Thompson, a private practice OB/GYN who doesn’t commit abortions. “One study came out and said it was 85% of OB/GYNs do not perform abortions, and then one came out even later, more recently… [that] said… that of private practice OB/GYNs… 93% of us do not offer abortions in our private practices. And of those 93%, a majority of them don’t even refer [for abortions].”

In California, nursing and other medical licensure will be expedited if the applicant states that he or she is willing to assist in or commit abortions. In September of 2022, California’s Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 657 into law, mandating the medical board to expedite applications for healthcare workers providing abortions, in direct response to the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Newsom also signed a slew of other abortion expansion measures, including a bill intended to increase the number of abortionists by training midwives and nurse practitioners to commit first-trimester suction aspiration (also known as suction D&C) abortions.

In addition, it’s interesting that Pollitt would say that “abortion doctor” is a “demeaning term.” It would imply that the person is a doctor who commits abortions — and if induced abortions are health care as she claims, then why would the title of “abortion doctor” or an “abortionist” be demeaning?

But demonstrably, induced abortion intentionally ends the lives of human beings who are too small and too young to defend themselves. Abortion does not save lives or improve a person’s health, because even when a pregnancy must end to save a woman’s life, intentionally killing the child to end that pregnancy is not necessary. The child can be delivered alive and given age-appropriate medical care in hopes of survival. Children born as young as 21 weeks have a chance of surviving preterm birth when given proper medical care, while the purpose of an induced abortion is to ensure the child dies.

What’s next for the pro-life movement

Sykes went on to quote House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.), a pro-lifer, who said that the fall of Roe v. Wade was “only the first phase in the battle. Now the next phase begins.” Sykes asked, “Like, what is that next phase? What, you know, what do you think that means?”

Pollitt’s reply was devoid of common sense. She said, “I think it means contraception. Going after contraception. That, you know, there are right-to-lifers that believe that the birth control pill is what they call a chemical abortion.”

If there are any pro-lifers who believe this, they would be incorrect; the birth control pill (hormonal contraception) is not the same as the abortion pill (chemical abortion). Though hormonal contraception has its own risks, the intent and function of hormonal contraception are not to end an established pregnancy, but to prevent pregnancy. Birth control may act as an abortifacient by preventing a newly created human being from implanting in the mother’s uterus, but it mainly works to prevent pregnancy from occurring by preventing ovulation.

The end of Roe v. Wade was not the end of abortion in the United States, and pro-lifers have not moved on from abortion to focus on the use of birth control. Abortion is still legal throughout the U.S. and is even now claimed as a constitutional right in a handful of states. There is clearly still much work to be done to end abortion in the U.S., and pro-lifers are focused on the best ways to achieve this goal.

How birth control, the abortion pill, and the morning-after pill differ

Pollitt, who projects herself as a person of expertise in pro-abortion language, added, “[Pro-lifers] think that the morning-after pill is what you take to prevent a pregnancy, is actually an abortion. They think the IUD is an abortion. It’s like it’s in there, it’s performing abortions every day. They have their own facts…”

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Certain hormonal birth control can cause an accidental abortion and it’s important for women to understand this and the other risks of hormonal birth control before they begin using it. But, pro-lifers don’t think that IUDs are “performing abortions every day” or that the morning-after pill is an abortion (unless they are woefully misinformed). Hormonal birth control and the morning-after pill both, as their primary mechanism of action, act to prevent ovulation. This is not the case for the abortion pill (mifepristone), which acts to suppress progesterone, a hormone needed to sustain an established pregnancy.

Raising awareness about potential abortifacients is not the same as attempting to ban the use of birth control, and will help ensure women know what the ramifications of hormonal birth control could be for them.

Did you know that as little as $10 a month is enough to reach more than 3,000 people with the truth about abortion that no one else is telling them? Click here to start saving lives 365 days a year.

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