Samantha Bee Condemns Catholic Hospitals for Abortion Stance: How Can Suffering 'Mean So Little to You?'

Samantha Bee went on a crusade against the Catholic Church on Monday for allowing its dogma to jeopardize the well-being of pregnant women.

Triggered earlier in the episode by presidential debate moderator Chris Wallace conflating partial birth abortions, which no longer exist, with late term abortions, the Full Frontal host examined the inner workings of Catholic hospitals and the religious beliefs that prevent them from terminating pregnancies even when the mother’s life is in danger.

“I don’t have a joke here… I’d like a word with the priesthood,” Bee declared, before launching into a thought-provoking monologue. “How can our suffering and danger mean so little to you? Modern obstetric medicine is a miracle. It’s the reason women in developed countries don’t have to choose between having children and being alive. A miscarriage is already the worst day of a woman’s life, and in a Catholic healthcare network, it could also be her last.”

Bee, flummoxed by one bishop’s decision to excommunicate a nun for approving an abortion to save a mother’s life, contended that the religious Powers That Be are stuck in the Middle Ages.

“Millions of decisions about American vaginas are being made by people who have never owned one or touched one,” she argued. “When I need reproductive advice from a virgin in a bathrobe, I’ll let you know.”

Watch the complete Full Frontal segment above, then weigh in below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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63 Comments
  1. Whatevah8 says:

    This makes me sad. How can we be so backward? It just goes to show we have a long way to go. PS I love Samantha Bee.

    • Collette says:

      I’m not a fan of SB but she’s right in this instance. IMO anyone naive enough [read stupid] to follow archaic doctrines put in place to control and manipulate the masses deserves what they get.

      • Ben says:

        Stupid guy here! Any amount of research and education into scholarly interpretation of the bible would tell you that they were not written to ‘control and manipulate the masses’. While they’ve been used that way many times in the course of history, so have plenty of secular laws.

        In fact, I’ll go a step further and say that, if you research the most women-hating and mysoginistic of the laws in the bible in their historical context, you’ll discover them to be socially progressive in favour of women. That is, women got a better deal in Jewish culture than in any of the surrounding cultures. What is a shame is that (despite the fact the bible makes it very clear it is NOT the way it should be interpreted), people pick and choose which archaic laws they want to talk about to justify their conservative agenda.

        The moment you call people stupid for believing the bible, you lose all agency in the discussion. It shows no more thought to do that, than the thought taken by a member of Westboro baptist spouting their own kind of hate.

        • Charissa29 says:

          You aren’t wrong, but way to latch on to the least important point. Just because the Bible was considered progressive TWO THOUSAND years ago, when it condoned slavery and the stoning of women, is no reason to allow it to dictate the health needs of almost 60 percent of the population today. Go Samantha Bee!

          • godfreyknows says:

            Um actually the Bible called for the stoning of BOTH men and women found breaking the law, especially committing adultery : Deuteronomy 22:23-24
            “If there is a girl who is a virgin engaged to a man, and another man finds her in the city
            and lies with her, then you shall bring them
            both out to the gate of that city and you shall
            stone them to death; the girl, because she did
            not cry out in the city, and the man, because
            he has violated his neighbor’s wife.”

        • Collette says:

          While I have less objection to the old testament than the new, it’s still outdated manipulation. The kosher laws which made sense in hot countries before refrigeration make little sense in the twenty-first century yet millions of families keep kosher. I’ve lost nothing in this discussion except in the eyes of a brainwashed cultist.

    • H says:

      Catholic doctors usually refuse to perform any kind of abortion anyway, even if there aren’t any orders from above.

  2. Rick Katze says:

    Unfortunately there is so much truth in what she said. Woman are dying based on a religious fantasy which cannot be determined to be true with a lot of evidence that it is false based on how it has changed as scientific evidence establishes truths inconsistent with what it claimed to be true. It is good to see TV actually raising real issues.

  3. IRON WILL says:

    What about the life of the child?

    Another perfect example of what Trump calls a “Nasty Woman”…

    • Csb says:

      So the life of the unborn child is more important than that of the mother? This is literally what they are talking about. They will not allow emergency abortions even to save the mother’s life.

      And if you say that they are equally important or should be left up to God, go tell that to the 2 year old at home waiting for their mother.

      • Kevin says:

        While I do not agree with it. This is a choice that many women make. They pick these religious hospitals for a reason and some woman would give it all up for the chance (no matter how small or impossible) that their child will survive.
        Is it a logical choice? no.
        Is it the best choice? Id say no
        but it is the choice these women make.
        And that has to be respected as much as a women’s decision to not save her child’s life.
        women’s right to make decisions doesn’t end when its a decision we don’t like. Choosing a catholic hospital is a very clear decision in my opinion.

        (as a note obviously many of the examples presented were of people who should not have been in this situation as they did not chose their hospital but the overwhelming majority of the people at these hospitals go there for these exact beliefs)

        • Pumpkin says:

          Actually, these women do not “pick” religious hospitals sometimes. Catholic hospitals are the only ones in the area.

        • No, in fact, these women aren’t choosing a catholic hospital. The ambulance is driving them to a catholic hospital.

          And, they aren’t choosing to give up everything for the child. They’re not choosing at all. That’s the freaking point.

    • Mary says:

      Did you actually listen to the segment? In many cases there was zero hope for the fetus and in most cases the mother would have died also with these late term “abortions”. My belief it is NOBODY business what one decides what is best for them. Yes a perfect example on why Trump and many of his supporters are clueless on many aspect of the real world.

    • Meghan says:

      Must be sad, being unable to read or think for yourself.

    • Bella says:

      So a baby who’s inevitably going to die at birth anyway (in many cases cited in the video), or will die alongside the mother when she dies, is more important than a mother who could live a long and healthy life? How a

    • Actually, this segment brought up cases where there was no life of the child. The child was going to die. In one case, ending the pregnancy of a dead fetus saved the life of the mother and the child wasn’t going to live either way.

      In the other case, the child went through more pain for no life.

      You might want to pay attention before you bring up these questions.

      • godfreyknows says:

        So we change an entire system based on 2 or 3 cases? Like how all men are now considered rapists because of a few cases? Majority trumps minority. That’s why we vote and the person with the most votes win.its not a perfect system but its what we have. There will always be casualties anyways,just like there were when monarchs ruled the world.get over it
        No system has been formed under the sun that doesn’t put other individuals,no matter how few, at a disadvantage,or in real danger.

  4. Preacher Book says:

    Preaching to the choir here Sam. I have a lot of trouble with the Church putting theology over medical needs.

  5. Raul J says:

    No doubt Samantha Bee will have absolutely no need for warm clothes in the afterlife.

    • Steven says:

      How is she wrong though? Please enlighten me.

      • Ben says:

        I don’t think she is wrong on the bottom line, but from a Catholic doctrine perspective…

        Giving up eternal life to survive in this life isn’t an equation that makes sense, if that’s what you believe.

        The tagline at the start of this article is ‘how can suffering mean so little to you’. The stance taken by some Catholics on abortion is about suffering meaning so MUCH to them that they would not do anything to doom someone to eternal suffering. So, in this case SB so deeply misjudges the motivations of the people who won’t do abortions.

        Now, again, I think SB has the bottom line right. I don’t like the Catholic stance on abortion. But putting it the way she puts it only serves to pander to those who hate the Catholic church already and do absolutely nothing to address the underlying doctrine – not that she could anyway. That’s what a progressive pope is for.

        That’s where SB is wrong – she’s wrong because she puts fostering hate of these people above resolving the issues. I think the Pope would also critique this choice, but the Pope would be able to do it better.

        (Coming from someone who isn’t catholic, by the way, but I do believe we live an in era of such terrible religious intolerance that we are actually forcing people into defensive entrenched positions by being so aggressive towards religion).

        • Steven says:

          As someone who is an atheist I find that to be a terrifying stance. You’d rather people suffer on the off chance that there is something after this, then end their suffering? People who believe this should not own a hospital and put that belief onto others.

          • Ben says:

            To those people, it’s not an off chance. I understand you see it that way as an atheist, they see it as a certainty.

          • Ben says:

            And like I say, I don’t think the issue here is ‘whether they should own a hospital’ but ‘how do you critique to make a difference’.

            Samantha Bee’s approach here is more likely to entrench people and harm the chance for change than the opposite. In this day and age I think we’ve often lost the art of diplomacy to the altar of the right to voice your opinion loudly, and I think you need look no further than that to explain why we are developing unbridgeable rifts and far apart sides in society.

          • godfreyknows says:

            Can someone tell me? How many hospitals are actually run by atheists? Or atheist-professed organisations?Most seem to be run by churches and governments. And governments are decidedly religious (swearing by the Bible in court,”in God we trust”on our currency,that “so help me God” at the end of the swearing in of a new President)

        • RS says:

          This is the calmest and most intelligent comment I’ve seen on the topic in a long time. Thank you.

        • “Giving up eternal life to survive in this life isn’t an equation that makes sense, if that’s what you believe.”

          Bare in mind that the women in this segment aren’t the ones making the decision. It’s the Catholic Church making that decision for them. Even under Catholic Doctrine, that doesn’t save their souls, because they still want the abortions of dead fetuses and aren’t repenting of that desire before they die.

          No souls saved this way. A woman dies and, under Catholic doctrine, still goes to Hell. The only thing gained out of this is that the Catholic Church gets to maintain an obsession with self-aggrandizing legalism as more important than human freaking lives. And, if you’ll look at the Bible, that’s against Catholic dogma, too.

          Let’s also bare something else in mind. The Catholic Church isn’t responsible for all these hospitals existing. It is responsible for merging with them or buying them and then making it so that they’re the only game in town in a lot of cases, giving them power to make those decisions for other people when they’re at their most vulnerable.

          “That’s where SB is wrong – she’s wrong because she puts fostering hate of these people above resolving the issues.”

          I don’t think she’s fostering hate. I think she’s pointing out a valid issue and doing so with an entirely appropriate level of passion. These are human lives that the leadership in the Catholic Church is treating as less important than strict adherence to overly simplistic rules that don’t acknowledge realities in front of it.

    • Meghan says:

      What afterlife? Still buying that lie?

      • godfreyknows says:

        Let’s not argue about that one…we will all know soon enough anyways…doesn’t hurt to play it safe thou…loool

    • Simon Jester says:

      @Raul – Apparently, neither will you. “Judge not lest ye be judged” is *also* part of the Bible, you self-righteous cretin.

    • So, you’re saying that God will send Samantha Bee to Hell for the grave crime of advocating that women’s lives be regarded as more important Catholic dogma regarding abortion?

      You do realize you’re saying God is evil, right? Because, that would be an evil thing to do.

      • godfreyknows says:

        She maybe on to something;but what she doesn’t know is that with religions you won’t change anything by cute statements and witty lines that demonstrate hatred.that just doesn’t fly. You will speak until your mouth bends or until you offend the wrong people(if Catholics own hospitals makes you wonder what else they own! Ever wonder why the Catholic Church enjoys a monopoly in Hollywood movies?) When it comes to that church tread carefully. There is a reason why even though priests get caught molesting boys not even 1 priest has ever seen the inside of a prison. Be sassy all you want.(And be correct all you want) but have a limit.this is not a matter of right and wrong.its a power thing.

  6. kimo says:

    Sorry to go against the flow here, but I develop my beliefs on research and my own (and others’) experiences. I’ve looked up Partial Birth Abortion (and Ban Act) on NPR, Wikipedia and NRL – I like to get all sides of an issue. The shortest and easiest to read is on the NRL site (http://www.nrlc.org/archive/abortion/facts/pbafacts.html) if anyone chooses to look.

    However, after going through the birth process myself a few times, and dealing with friends (both religious and anti-religious) who have had abortions, I would say that giving birth is the way to go. Unwanted babies can be given up for adoption to families desperate to have children but can’t. Women who have abortions can never have a do-over, very often live with at the least, regrets, and at the worst, life-long guilt feelings – whether they are religious or not. Women (and often men – the fathers) are constantly seeing other children at various ages, wondering what their child would have been like, wondering what their relationships would be with those children if only they had made the “other choice.” No condemnation here, just sadness and sympathy for those in this situation who must live the rest of their lives with it.

    • thisismenow says:

      Good job on not watching the video and missing the point. This was about cases where the child was going to die regardless, and the mother’s life could be saved.

    • Collette says:

      Are you aware that 37% of the children in foster care are black and have virtually no chance of being adopted? Black couples seldom adopt and other ethnicities tend to adopt from their own. Given a choice, white couples [the most likely to adopt] faced with a shortage of white babies will go Asian as a second choice.

  7. Colleen Maloney says:

    My 28 year old Grandmother, Catherine, mother of five, died dutung labor. She was very ill during her pregnancy. It was known that she would die. She could have been saved if abortions had been legal. My father was 3 years old at the time.. This was indeed tragic for my grandfather, my father and his 4 siblings.
    My father and his brother lived with cousins. His sisters remained with their father. My grandfather never remarried.

  8. Denis Donovan says:

    If women refused to use obgyn’s who affiliated themselves exclusively with catholic hospitals matters would change.

  9. Mr. Smith says:

    It isn’t backwards when you have a child that is killed. There are extenuating circumstances where an abortion should be done, but in 99% of all pregnancies, the baby/child is viable. The choice of whether to have a baby (other than these circumstances) should be made when the couple is having sex.

  10. Nannette says:

    Why is it women that the church has to take away rights from? Why aren’t they against the NRA and guns for all? Having the choice to buy a killing machine is just fine. But a woman needs to have the government and a priest all up in her bodily business? I sure wish the church would take Viagra away! Then you’d hear from the men of this country. Medical science is wonderful. It’s provided all kinds of advancements in this world. Why can’t a woman make her own choice about her body? It’s very sad and so unfair.

  11. datdudemurphy says:

    The point she wants to make here is valid.
    The church should re-examine their stances.

    but what exactly made this Samantha Bee video more “coverage-worthy” for TVLine than all of her other videos?

    • Full Frontal With Samantha Bee has been covered since its debut, just like every other late-night show.

      • Gregory House. says:

        Or you’re just an ignorant piece of garbage getting opinions about medical procedures from a similarly ignorant ‘comedian.’
        ‘Partial birth abortions don’t exist.’
        There is a difference between what is illegal and what happens in real life. If you ever manage to pull yourself away from a TV set, you might actually read up on what a late term abortion actually entails and how unenforced laws do not prevent abominable procedures from occurring.

      • datdudemurphy says:

        It was a sincere question…..I come here nearly daily, and could not recall seeing her covered. I have seen Fallon and Colbert and Kimmel…. I thought it was odd that all of a sudden she got covered.
        Thanks for the links….and the thinly veiled ‘tude.

  12. Sam B is just spouting the usual lefty line of deception, think of the fringe case! Think of that half of a fraction of one percent of women who need abortions due to unusual circumstances! Ignore the fact that 40-50 million (World Health Organization) abortions occur EVERY YEAR. Yes, 40-50 million. I know in their little safe spaces all that matters are your feels, but in the real world, she can never win this moral argument because there are these crazy little things called facts and statistics. They can bend the semantics any way they see fit, the context is irrelevant, the fact remains that they are advocating the murder of babies, 99.5% of which are healthy and pose no threat to the mother. And when they do this, they end up sounding like a mirror of the alt right. The same things they say to justify their racism, or homophobia, the left say to justify their boundless love of abortion and disdain of Christians. I also find it funny; The left is so quick to scream Islamophobia, yet they wear their bigotry toward Catholics on their sleeve like a badge of honor. I am a centrist Catholic. I lean to the left on most issues (most of us do really) yet you constantly try to push us right. Other than Bill Maher who seems to be the sole voice on the left with integrity, I’ve never seen the left attack faiths that murder gay people. I never see them attack religions that promote child abuse. I never see them attack religions that subjugate women. Yet they never miss a chance to attack us, when we are the most progressive faith on the planet. Then again it’s all hypocrisy, if these fake “moral crusader” celebrities attacking my religion actually cared about this as much as they say they do than they’d be voting for Jill Stein and not the ticket with the Catholic VP.

    • Jim says:

      And we already have well over 7 billion people in the world and that number goes up by 90 million a year. Overpopulation is one of the main reasons for global warming. Whether you are against abortion or not adding more to the birth rate will accelerate this planet’s downfall. Not to mention our streets and jails are already full of people nobody wanted or took care of. Abortion may not be an ideal answer but if you stop it you’re going to create way more problems than you fix.

    • KatsMom says:

      Most progressive faith on the planet? You must be joking. . . and I think quite a few Protestants and Jews would take issue with you suggesting the Catholic Church is more progressive than they are.

      • The usual bait reply. First you deflect and pivot away from what I actually said, then you lay a trap so you can call me some variant of -ist guilty of some form of -ism. :( Sorry, you don’t get to call me Anti-Semitic. I hate to disappoint you, but I have great respect for Protestants and Jews. Those faiths hold many progressive followers as well, the Episcopal Church for one, has done a great job in being inclusive and supporting trans / gay issues. In that regard they are more progressive than we are and we need to catch up. See that, that is an actual fault you can attack my faith over. Now that I’ve addressed your fictionalized slight, how about you address my actual point instead of deflecting. Why does the left constantly attack Catholics, while ignoring actual human rights violations committed by various other faiths? If being pro-life in your view is misogynist, where is the outrage over faiths that view women as property? Where is the outrage over faiths that still have child brides? For example, two weeks ago in Indonesia a woman was canned 23 times for standing too close to a man. Did Sam B do a fiery segment on that? Did CNN cover it? Where is the consistency? It’s not even the bigotry against people of my faith that bothers me, it’s the insane level of hypocrisy and vapid self-indulgent self-righteousness. If they actually cared about any of this stuff they’d hold the same stance as Bill Maher. It’s all, bad, it’s all outdated. It all needs to go away. But they don’t. Why? Because it’s all an act. They get praised for taking a stand that involved no risk and they themselves get to behave in a bigoted fashion without repercussions. Let me flip your trap back on you. If she said the same thing about Jewish hospitals and certain faith based things they practice, what reaction do you think she’d receive from her base? She’d be labeled anti-Semitic. If she attacked Islamic Hospitals that perform female circumcision, she’d be called an Islamophobe. But when she attacks Catholics and Christians… Hypocrisy. It’s just so… cowardly.

      • godfreyknows says:

        I’m Protestant,but I’m still waiting for someone to address my Catholic brother’s point on the left never criticising religions that boldly harm women and are proud of it,namely Islam. Can someone respond please? Anyone?

  13. S says:

    Allow me to be the Catholic who corrects this IMMEDIATELY….abortion is not denied if the mothers life is in danger. Never. Nor according to Church doctrine is it considered a sin in this instance.

    • Helena Farkas says:

      tell that to the woman in ireland who died of sepsis after her decomposing baby poisoned her because Catholic doctors wouldn’t remove it. Or more recently, the woman in italy who died under very similar circumstances

  14. Mac says:

    There is no such thing as partial birth abortion and there never was. It was something concocted by the anti-abortion people to make people go eewww and side with them.

  15. Ronald Kolman says:

    Who cares what her opinion is. If she doesn’t like it, don’t go to that hospital! Go to one that will abide by her beliefs. Just because she does not agree with the Catholic beliefs, they should not have to change their ideals. It is a private hospital.

    • Eileen says:

      Did you watch this clip? It is very clearly stated that there are many areas I this country where catholic hospitals are the only choice.

      • godfreyknows says:

        Then that’s something they need to pick up with their local government. After all they voted for it. Am I wrong?

  16. toughcritic says:

    You know the religious policy. If you want to kill your baby don’t go to a Catholic hospital. There are plenty of hospitals with conscience challenged doctors who will do it for you. Only in the most extreme cases is giving birth to a baby life threatening to the mother.

    • mikeslie says:

      Watch the clip… it is stated very clearly that there are parts of the country where the catholic hospital is the only choice. And the extreme cases are often emergencies where the mother doesn’t have time to go to another hospital that is far away.