You’d have to have spent your lifetime under a very large, vary dark rock to escape the fact that abortion is one of the most contentious issues in the United States. What you may not know is that even though it’s legal, some states make it virtually impossible for pregnant women to access abortion services. State legislatures can’t quite reverse the Roe v. Wade decision, but as Oliver put it, “women can be asked to jump through a few hoops, just not too many.” The so-called “TRAP laws” (targeted restriction of abortion providers) actually seek to prevent as many abortions as possible, and in their breadth and scope are fascinating examples of how federal laws can be skirted. Some states, for instance, only have one abortion clinic left due to forced closures. And if something is legal but not accessible, it may as well not be legal at all.
These legal maneuvers were the subject of Oliver’s main segment on Last Week Tonight. Watch the full segment above.