MSNBC's In-House Abortion Cheerleader: GOP Targets 'Women Who Need Abortions After 20 Weeks'

On Thursday's All In With Chris Hayes, MSNBC's Irin Carmon bewailed the apparent inevitability that the Republican-led Congress would reintroduce a proposed ban on abortions after the twentieth week of pregnancy: "I think even if this bill were to come back and it would have a broader rape exception, it would still be an attack on all of the women who need abortions after twenty weeks."

Carmon, the liberal network's resident pro-abortion absolutist, later played up that the bill, which House Republican leaders pulled from consideration on Wednesday due to supposed objections from several female Republican representatives, was conservatives' "preferred vehicle for a direct assault on Roe v. Wade." [video below]

Host Chris Hayes led into the segment with the correspondent by noting how "there was so much fury...among conservative, anti-abortion organizers, pundits, writers on social media last night directed at [Representatives] Renee Ellmers and Marsha Blackburn and [Jackie] Walorski over...what they perceive as a betrayal." He first asked Carmon, who had spent the day at the March for Life, "How did it manifest today?"

The MSNBC journalist emphasized that despite this development, the legislation would not only come up again for consideration, but that the Republican congresswomen would back it:

IRIN CARMON, MSNBC REPORTER: There was certainly a lot of anger in the grassroots. But I think that they know that the twenty-week ban will be back, as the House leadership planned. I mean, on the one hand, this was an enormous show of strength from the GOP women, and I don't want to underestimate that. I want understate (sic) how much this cost them in terms of base votes...this is a group of people that don't want to see any kind of rape exception – let alone a rape exception that involves reporting to the police....
...The vast thrust of the twenty-week ban will remain in place. These women have said that they will vote for it. This was not a strong show of solidarity for fellow women beyond the specific optics of rape. So while, yes, it's going to cost them with the base, and the people that I talked to today were furious, I think they know that ultimately – that they're going to deliver, and that this bill is their preferred vehicle for a direct assault on Roe v. Wade....It was no coincidence that this is what they wanted to pass today. I don't think it's going anywhere.

Hayes followed up with his assertion about the GOP's ongoing issues with the rape/abortion issue. Carmon emphasized the plight of women who obtain abortions after twenty weeks of pregnancy, and dropped her "attack" line just before the end of the segment:

CHRIS HAYES: So there's two issues: one, just quickly on this – on rape and why they keep having political problems with it. It seems to me the problem is, the philosophy to which most of the base adheres really doesn't want to make a distinction, because they think that the – the fetus is ultimately blameless. And so, that – philosophically, they're opposed to it; politically, it's a dead-end to include an exception for rape – to not include an exception for rape – which is why they end up doing this over and over.

CARMON: Right. Well, there's a – there's vast daylight between the activists who don't want to see any kind of exception; and the average American who, frankly, have, kind of, internally-contradictory views – which is to say they suddenly feel like they have more empathy for people who need abortions once you talk about sexual assault. There are lots of reasons why people gets abortions after twenty weeks that also involve desperate circumstances outside of rape.

But I think it's important to note that in 2013, when this bill passed, as you pointed out, people like Marsha Blackburn sponsored it. They stewarded it on the floor-

HAYES: With the same language!

CARMON: The exact same language!


CARMON: I feel like I'm the only person who remembers it was the exact same language! And no one made any issue of it then. So, I'm just a little bit skeptical of this vast uprising of GOP women. Now, some of them are facing really competitive races in 2016. There's going to be a presidential electorate. There's going to be swing districts, like Renee Ellmers'. North Carolina is certainly is a swing state. So, they have reason to be afraid. But I think even if this bill were to come back and it would have a broader rape exception, it would still be an attack on all of the women who need abortions after twenty weeks.

HAYES: And what – what is clear, I think, is we are going see twenty-week ban legislation, and that is going to make its way before this court at some point. That – that seems unavoidable. Irin Carmon, thank you very much.

Congress Culture/Society Regulation Labeling Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats Pro-choicers Pro-lifers Sexuality Abortion MSNBC All In Video Chris Hayes Irin Carmon
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