With Friday’s supreme court ruling overturning Roe v Wade, “women in America just lost control of their own bodies,” said Trevor Noah on Monday’s Daily Show. “Which, I don’t care who you are, is a horrifying thing to be faced with.”
The fallout from the Supreme Court’s surreal, infuriating Roe v. Wade ruling: pic.twitter.com/kZIf1YEFas
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The 6-3 ruling overturning half a century of precedent was “especially crazy, when you consider that countries like Mexico and Ireland are moving forward in the opposite direction”, he added. “You do realize how weird that is, right? Ireland has had violent conflicts between Christians and other Christians, and even they are looking at America like, ‘Don’t you think you’re taking it a wee bit too far with the Jesus stuff?’”
Noah also went in on performative responses from Democratic leadership which had two months since a leaked draft opinion to prepare for such an outcome, such as Nancy Pelosi solemnly reading a poem during a press conference. “People just want things done,” he said. “No one cares about kente cloths or singing on the Capitol steps, and especially not poetry.”
The Biden administration, meanwhile, promised to protect women who crossed state lines for abortions from prosecution, thus “coming through with both too little and too late, the full range”, said Noah.
“Conservative extremists aren’t going to stop fighting just because they got Roe overturned,” he reminded. “They just won a huge victory – why would they quit now?
“I know many people around the country feel infuriated, depressed and like there’s no hope. But there is, there really is,” Noah concluded, pointing to grassroots, local organizations already doing the work on the ground in need of donations and volunteers.
“And as for the Democrats in power, there is something you can actually do,” he added, with a poem addressed to Democratic lawmakers: “Roses are red / Violets are blue / The people voted, so how about doing your fucking job passing laws to codify contraception, marriage equality and all the other rights the supreme court has basically threatened to take away / And so are you.”
“So, reproductive rights in America lasted for less time than the Young and the Restless,” joked Stephen Colbert on the Late Show, referring to the long-running soap opera. “Jack Abbott’s evil twin is going to be so shocked when he comes out of his fifth coma.”
Colbert pointed out that the ruling opinion, written by Samuel Alito, overturned not only Roe v Wade but also Planned Parenthood v Casey, the 1992 decision that upheld Roe and declared the court’s “obligation” to “define the liberty of all, not to mandate our own moral code”.
As the court put it then: “The underlying constitutional issue is whether the State can resolve these philosophic questions in such a definitive way that a woman lacks all choice in the matter …
“What the court appears to be doing now is mandating its own moral code,” Colbert explained. “Of course, they might argue ‘No it didn’t – we specifically ended our opinion by saying we return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.’
“Have you met the people’s elected representatives?!” he exclaimed. “I have! Louis Gohmert is one of them. I’m not sure that he knows where babies come from.
“But even the fact that we got a leaked copy almost eight weeks ago did not emotionally prepare the country for last Friday’s seismic shift in the political landscape,” he continued, as the decision eliminated, for the first time in history, an established constitutional right involving autonomy over one’s body. “And having more personal rights is kinda America’s whole thing. We invented it,” he said. “Americans having rights taken away is like KFC changing its slogan from ‘We Do Chicken Right’ to ‘There Is No Constitutional Right to Chicken’.”
And in Los Angeles, comedian Chelsea Handler filled in for Jimmy Kimmel, who was “off doing whatever the fuck he wants with his body”, she joked.
“At this point, I’d probably have more rights if my vagina were an AR-15.
“Not only has this decision further divided our country,” she said, “most families now have two separate group texts going: one with the relatives who support the rights of women and one with the relatives who live in Florida.”
Handler then turned her sights on Justice Clarence Thomas, whose concurring opinion suggested that the court next target the rights to contraception and marriage equality. “I was thinking to myself, ‘who would ever marry a pig like Clarence Thomas?’” she said, pointing to evidence that his wife, Ginni Thomas, not only worked to foment election fraud conspiracies but actually attended Trump “Save America” rally on January 6.
“That’s right, she was working behind the scenes to overturn a democratic election. Isn’t it so beautiful when two disgusting and awful people find each other?” she added, referring to the Thomases as “the ultimate abuse of power couple”.
The ruling was “especially upsetting”, she said, because it was made with three justices who were “appointed by a man with over a dozen sexual assault allegations, who lost the popular vote twice, was impeached twice, and attempted a coup because he’s such a little fat big baby loser”.
And yet Republicans intend to press further, as the House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy, made clear on Friday: “We will continue to look wherever we can go to save as many lives as possible.”
“Just as long as that life doesn’t need baby formula, affordable healthcare, or a place to learn without getting shot,” Handler said.