“Saturday Night Live” forcefully pushed abortion rights as a key voting issue and urged Americans to choose Democrats on the ballot in the NBC comedy show’s final episode before the midterm elections.
Host Amy Schumer began the show with an extensive monologue about her pregnancy and the quirks of married life, but first cracked a joke about the upcoming election.
“I can’t believe I have the honor of being the final host before the midterm abortions,” she said. “Elections! What did I say? Sorry, I was thinking of what’s at stake if we don’t vote.”
The opening words from Schumer, who is cousins with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., came after she aired a faux tourism advertisement for Colorado on her show “Inside Amy Schumer,” which not so cryptically urged people to come and visit the state should they need access to an abortion.
“Not that you need some big dramatic reason to come to Colorado,” Schumer said in the skit. “No one should have to justify a trip to Colorado. Maybe you just want to do with your own body what you want to do with your own body. If that’s ‘come to Colorado,’ that’s all right by us. … There are even organizations that will help you get to Colorado and experience Colorado and recover from Colorado, as discreetly as you please.”
The forceful pro-choice messages continued during SNL’s “Weekend Update,” where cast member Cecily Strong portrayed the character of Tammy the Trucker. Dressed in a trucker hat, a flannel, and sunglasses, “Tammy” stressed she was definitely on the show to talk about gas prices—not abortion.
“All I’m here to talk about is gas, even though the Supreme Court sent Roe v. Wade to that big pit stop in the sky,” she said, hitting the horn on her steering wheel.
After co-anchor Colin Jost prodded Tammy, asking if maybe perhaps she did want to talk about abortion, Strong broke character and began directly talking to the audience.
“I’m just trying to get through his moment, okay? Gas prices are up, and families are really hurting. But that’s not going to magically disappear no matter who you vote for. We’re in a global recession, fueled by corporate greed and war. Honk honk! Breaker breaker! But what will keep disappearing is safe access to abortion,” she said.
Strong added that Republicans want to criminalize access to health care, and that it has become so bad that “truckers” are out warning one another to delete period-tracking apps from their phones.
“I just want to know what week I wear my bad underwear, but I can’t, in case some d—head in Texas thinks my period is evidence of a crime,” Strong said.
The SNL cast member then admitted that she has felt helpless over the last year, and that it is hard to know what to say to make other “truckers” feel better.
“So there’s one thing I can say: There’s one mother-truckin’ thing we can do to fight for mother-truckin’ freedom to make our own health care decisions, and that’s vote. And I hope to hell everyone votes, because remember, we all love someone’s who had an abortion,” Strong concluded.
Strong was celebrated in liberal media for a similar skit last year when she played a clown as a means to talk about having an abortion in her 20s. Strong has often pushed her progressive politics on the show; in 2017, she and another cast member sang a gushing good-bye song to Barack Obama as his presidency ended, declaring him the “World’s Best President.”
Another NBC show was recently mocked for wading into political territory with its depiction of the end of Roe v. Wade.
A recent episode of medical drama “New Amsterdam” vividly portrayed the moment that the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade with its Dobbs decision in June. It featured distraught reactions from the series’ main characters as well as confusion and panic among the public depicted in the show, with critics joking it looked like a depiction of September 11 instead of a Supreme Court case.
Over the course of the two-minute scene, characters are shown checking their phones and reading the news of the decision, while their expressions slowly slipping into abject horror. A somber piano can be heard playing over the scene. As one character reads the news, her coffee cup slips out of her hand and hits the ground in slow motion.
Fox News’ Gabriel Hays contributed to this report.