Temp host Wanda Sykes invited The Nation’s Katha Pollitt on to Comedy Central’s Tuesday edition of The Daily Show to lament the terminology of pro-lifers, declaring there to be “no such thing as an abortion doctor” and allow Pollitt to spread some debunked talking points about what pro-lifers really seek to achieve.
On the terminology front, Sykes declared, “Now in the terminology that they use, it’s like scare tactics, like, you know, like, partial-birth abortion, and abortion doctors. Like, no one goes to college and go, you know, ‘what you going to be’ ‘I’m going to be a cardiologist,’ ‘what 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 is no such thing as an abortion doctor.”
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Even if one accepts Sykes’s premise that there is no such thing as an abortion doctor, abortions are still preformed—that’s why Pollitt was on the show—and so to call that a scare tactic is simply wrong.
Still, Pollitt agreed, “They used to call them abortionists… So, that’s like really not a real doctor… 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 healthcare and the very important thing that everybody has to think about is abortion is part of health care.”
Shifting gears, Sykes wondered, “I am glad you said that, to hear that young women are active and they’re voting because we need them, because, you know, the House Majority Leader, Steve Scalise, said that Roe’s reversal and this is a quote, he said ‘only the first phase in the battle. Now the next phase begins.’ Like, what is that next phase? What, you know, what do you think that means?”
The obviously correct answer is that while Roe’s downfall was a necessary first step, the movement is now needs to turn to legislating. For Pollitt, however, the answer was birth control, “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. They think that the morning-after pill is what you take to prevent a pregnancy, is actually an abortion.”
That is completely false. Even Planned Parenthood felt the need to counter all the fear-mongering on the morning-after pill. Fact-checkers at outlets nobody would consider pro-life have also debunked this talking point.
Pollitt did not let a little fake news get in the way of a good narrative, “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 and I think that we are already seeing that contraception, which should be part of — if you are against abortion, you should be in favor of contraception, because that will prevent— but we are already seeing moves to make contraception harder to get.”
Wanda Sykes is the second temp host The Daily Show has had thus far in 2023 and the second to use her time to promote abortion and attack pro-lifers.