If there were ever a good time to see a female host in the late night landscape, it was yesterday, for the first show following the Supreme Court’s expected but devastating reversal of Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 case that guaranteed the right to abortion on the national level. The Guttmacher Institute predicts that abortion will quickly become illegal in 26 U.S. states.
Chelsea Handler, filling in for Jimmy Kimmel, clearly articulated the fury that so many of us have been feeling since the decision was handed down on Friday. The comedian was, fittingly, wearing a black pantsuit. She began by explaining that Kimmel is away this week, “doing whatever the f—k he wants with his body.”
“At this point I would probably have more rights if my vagina was an AR-15,” she added.
Responding to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s claim that if his party wins back control of Congress in the upcoming elections, they will “save as many lives as possible,” Handler questioned exactly which lives he was referring to, explaining, “just as long as that life doesn’t need baby formula, affordable health care or a place to learn without getting shot.”
Addressing McCarthy by name, Handler continued, “since you mention it, let’s talk about what it means to be pro-life. Universal healthcare, that’s pro-life. Restricting guns, that’s also pro-life. Fighting climate change, that's also pro-life. Listening to doctors during a pandemic, also pro-life. Not forcing women to give birth like livestock, pro-life. But your party opposes all of those things.”
“Calling republicans pro-life is like calling O.J. Simpson pro-wife,” Chandler concluded, eliciting a huge cheer from the live audience.
After showing a clip of Georgia congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene’s reaction to the ruling — “Praise God!” — Chandler’s face expressed perfectly the mix of disgust, exhaustion, and disbelief we have all been feeling since Friday.
Handler did have a suggestion for remedying the current situation, and it involves the ‘pull out method’: “when you pull Clarence Thomas out of the Supreme Court.”
If only we could employ this ‘pull out method’ on enough Senators to pass legislation that would guarantee reproductive rights.