John Oliver exposed the deceitful tactics of crisis pregnancy centers – the “exact opposite” of abortion clinics – on Sunday’s Last Week Tonight. The facilities, whose primary function is to persuade women out of terminating pregnancies, mislead the public with inaccurate medical information and shady business practices, Oliver explained.
There are currently 2,752 crisis pregnancy centers in the United States and only 1,671 abortion-providing facilities in the U.S. Oliver stressed it’s crucial to understand the differences between the two – especially since 16 states fund CPCs with taxpayer money.
CPCs, Oliver argued, use “emotional manipulation” to coerce women into their doors, like lying about the efficacy of birth control and an increased risk of breast cancer from abortion. Oliver highlighted an array of deceptive marketing and customer service tactics – including one facility that, over the phone, wouldn’t outright deny providing abortions. Some CPCs even use mobile clinics, equipped with ultrasound machines, which they often park outside of abortion clinics.
Since many CPCs are church-affiliated, Oliver argued that their mission extends beyond preventing abortions: “They’re about controlling women’s sexual behavior.”
Oliver also noted that the centers are “very careful to stop just short of the line where they will be regulated as health care providers.” The host did stress that some CPCs use their funding for objectively “great” causes, like providing free diapers and parenting classes. But that’s only “if those women want to be mothers.”
To demonstrate how easy it is to create your own CPC, Oliver closed the segment by unveiling the show’s Vanned Parenthood, the mobile unit of their newly established organization Our Lady of Choosing Choice. Rachel Dratch reprised her Season Two guest spot as “Wanda Jo Oliver,” emerging from the vehicle to spout some wildly inaccurate medical info.
“In this van, we are allowed to tell women whatever dubious information comes into our heads,” Dratch said. “I tell women if they get an abortion, it’ll make a ghost baby that’ll haunt their hoo-ha forever.”