COLUMBUS, Ohio – In a televised segment that has gained widespread media attention and approval since first airing Sunday night, HBO's Last Week Tonight with John Oliver took aim at the 2,752 locally funded pro-life pregnancy help centers and ultrasound-equipped medical clinics serving women with free help in unexpected pregnancies.
Oliver spent over 20 minutes of his show slandering pregnancy centers that offer alternatives to abortions. Among his profanity-laced tirade, Oliver accused pregnancy centers of operating deceptively by choosing locations near abortion businesses and by choosing names insufficently descriptive to meet Oliver's standards.
Heartbeat International president Jor-El Godsey responded with the following comment:
It is unfortunate, though unsurprising, when abortion extremists slander the good work of pro-life pregnancy help centers. These vital, community-funded centers exist only to empower a woman to make the healthiest choice for everyone involved in an unexpected pregnancy. To some, the only legitimate action in an unexpected pregnancy is to end the child’s life through abortion, but women deserve better than abortion.
Women deserve true choice. No mother should ever feel so alone or pressured that she feels she has no choice other than abortion.
Rather than attacking Christian pro-life individuals and groups who offer women alternatives to abortion, perhaps abortion backers would do better to police their own industry, which profits from a woman’s despair by ending her child’s life through abortion.
Oliver becomes the latest comedian to devote a significant amount of airtime to lash out against pregnancy centers. In 2015, Patton Oswalt appeared on Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, where the duo depicted pregnancy centers as "the ultimate hustle." That segment ended with one mother, a noted abortion activist named Cherrise Scott, saying she wished she had aborted her now 15-year-old son who she chose to carry to term after visiting a pregnancy center.
Starting last summer, Lizz Winstead -- a co-creator of Comedy Central's The Daily Show -- launched an anti-pregnancy center crusade where she and a small group of abortion advocates harass local pregnancy centers online and in person.
With as many as 99 percent of pregnancy center clients reporting a positive experience, none of the campaigns have gained traction, particularly among pregnancy center clients, who primarily hear about centers through word of mouth.