Ahead of the biggest Supreme Court abortion case in decades, Samantha Bee's Full Frontal on Monday night featured an interview with Texas state Rep. Dan Flynn (R), one of the architects of the Texas anti-abortion law that the justices will rule on.
And Bee showed that Flynn doesn't know the basic facts about how an abortion is performed.
Flynn co-authored HB2, the omnibus anti-abortion bill that has closed about half of Texas's abortion clinics. If it's upheld, it will close even more clinics, and possibly inspire other states to get bolder with their anti-abortion lawmaking.
Bee started off by confronting Flynn about how his bill has forced abortion clinics to close:
Dan Flynn: This was to be sure that we provided health care, safe health care for women.
Samantha Bee: How does removing access to health care increase access to health care?
DF: We're not removing access to health care. We're improving it.
SB: So the intention of the law was not to do away with abortions.
SB: It was just to make them impossible to acquire.
DF: You know better than that.
SB: Do I?
DF: What do you mean impossible? I'll tell you what, anytime you start cutting on people's body you need to have it in a procedure where it can be healthy.
SB: Of course. You don't cut a woman during an abortion, though.
Then Bee cut away to the infamous "Red Wedding" scene from Game of Thrones and said (spoiler alert): "To be fair, Flynn grew up in ancient Westeros, where they did abortions the old-fashioned way."
Westeros aside, Bee is right. Despite being called a "surgical abortion," most abortions don't actually require any surgery or cutting. Everything happens through the cervix, which is slightly dilated so a vacuum aspiration tube can pass through. A first-trimester abortion is an outpatient procedure that takes five to 10 minutes and is usually performed with mild sedation or local anesthesia.
"I'm not a doctor, I don't know," Flynn said after that. "But I listened to many doctors tell me about the procedures that happen when you do an invasive surgery."
"You don't seem to know anything specifically about abortion, really at all," Bee countered. "And yet you did all this with building regulations."
As Bee pointed out, HB2 wasn't exactly Flynn's brainchild even though he co-authored it. That credit goes to Americans United for Life, an anti-abortion lobbying group that prewrites model legislation for abortion opponents in state legislatures to use. Their efforts have helped launch a massive wave of anti-abortion lawmaking in the past five years.
If Flynn doesn't understand how abortion works, though, he's not alone. As Vox's new poll with PerryUndem Communications showed, most Americans have no idea that abortion is a very safe procedure.