CBS, NBC Decry Georgia's Heartbeat Abortion Law, Fear ‘Conservative’ SCOTUS

Slapping defenders of unborn life with the “anti-abortion [rights]” label, the CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News were aghast that a newly signed Georgia law banned abortions after a baby’s heartbeat was detected. Decrying how the law “shreds” Roe v. Wade, both news outlets were fearful of the “conservative” Supreme Court upholding such laws.

“With one signature, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp defiantly established one of America's most restrictive abortion rights laws,” CBS correspondent Mark Strassmann grimly declared at the top of his report.

Georgia lawmaker Ed Setzler explained to CBS that the law “established that a child in utero that has a beating heart is a living, distinct person, that it gets full rights under Georgia law.” But that didn’t matter to Strassmann who complained that the law “shreds the standard set in a landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.

Furious critics include many in the state's dynamic movie making industry, now threatening a boycott,” Strassmann promoted. He spoke with an “abortion-rights advocate” who he says told him “Georgia's law intentionally attacks Roe v. Wade.”

Meanwhile on NBC Nightly News, anchor Lester Holt led into their story by describing the law as the “controversial bill that would ban the procedure as early as six weeks before many women know they're pregnant. It's a fight that could be headed to the Supreme Court.”

 

 

Anti-abortion supporters staked out new territory today in Georgia,” lamented NBC correspondent Stephanie Gosk as she began her report. “The Governor signed a state law banning abortions after the fetus' heart starts beating, roughly six weeks into pregnancy.”

Gosk touted how there was “immediate condemnation” from female liberal politicians. “Presidential candidate and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand tweeting: I believe that reproductive rights are human rights and they are non-negotiable.’ Stacey Abrams who ran for governor in Georgia called the law, ‘abominable and evil’. Setting up a battle in the ballot box.”

But this is also a fight likely ending up in the Supreme Court, now more conservative,” Gosk feared.

To Gosk’s credit, she did noted that “there are exceptions to the law in Georgia, including in the cases of incest or rape, or if the mother's life is at risk.” That was something CBS failed to do.

For ABC’s World News Tonight, anchor David Muir only offered a news brief. In it, he made sure to let viewers know Governor Kemp was a Republican. When former Baltimore Mayor Catharine Pugh resigned in disgrace last week, Muir avoided noting she was a Democrat.

For their part, in their principal national evening newscasts, Spanish-language giants Telemundo and Univision chose to ignore the story altogether.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

CBS Evening News
May 7, 2019
6:35:43 p.m. Eastern

JEFF GLOR: Georgia today joined a growing number of states that have made it illegal to have an abortion once a heartbeat is detected in the womb. Georgia’s law takes effect January 1, but a court battle looms. Mark Strassmann is there.

[Cuts to video]

MARK STRASSMANN: With one signature, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp defiantly established one of America's most restrictive abortion rights laws.

BRIAN KEMP: We will not back down. We will always continue to fight for life.

STRASSMANN: Georgia's new law shreds the standard set in a landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. The U.S. Supreme Court established a woman's right to an abortion until the fetus is viable outside the womb, roughly 24 weeks into a pregnancy. Georgia's new standard, a fetal heartbeat, roughly six weeks in, before many women realize they're pregnant. State Representative Ed Setzler, the bill's main sponsor.

ED SETZLER: We have established that a child in utero that has a beating heart is a living, distinct person, that it gets full rights under Georgia law.

STRASSMANN: Furious critics include many in the state's dynamic movie making industry, now threatening a boycott. Georgia became the sixth state to ban abortions after six weeks. Courts struck down similar laws in Iowa, North Dakota, and Kentucky. Expect legal fights in Ohio, Mississippi, and Georgia.

THERESA TOMLINSON: I think it's a travesty.

STRASSMANN: Theresa Tomlinson, an abortion-rights advocate, says Georgia's law intentionally attacks Roe v. Wade. What is really going on here?

TOMLINSON: They're trying to create some sort of division among the courts in our state system and in our federal system in order to get to the United States Supreme Court.

STRASSMANN: With the goal of overturning Roe v. Wade?

TOMLINSON: Yes, the goal of overturning Roe v. Wade.

[Cuts to video]

STRASSMANN: The next abortion rights battleground may be in neighboring Alabama where some lawmakers want to go even further than Georgia, an outright ban, no exceptions, and up to 99-year prison sentences for doctors convicted of performing an abortion. Jeff.

GLOR: Okay, Mark Strassmann in Atlanta. Mark, thank you.

 

NBC Nightly News
May 7, 2019
7:09:17 p.m. Eastern

LESTER HOLT: Now to that new battle over abortion. A controversial bill that would ban the procedure as early as six weeks before many women know they're pregnant. It's a fight that could be headed to the Supreme Court. We get details from NBC's Stephanie Gosk.

[Cuts to video]

STEPHANIE GOSK: Anti-abortion supporters staked out new territory today in Georgia.

BRIAN KEMP: We stand up and speak for those who are unable to speak for themselves.

GOSK: The Governor signed a state law banning abortions after the fetus' heart starts beating, roughly six weeks into pregnancy.

RACHEL GUY (“Anti-Abortion Advocate”): I truly never thought we would see a day like this.

GOSK: Georgia joins three other states with similar laws, the most restrictive in the country, while 11 more states are debating six-week abortion legislation. The victory sparked immediate condemnation. Presidential candidate and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand tweeting: "I believe that reproductive rights are human rights and they are non-negotiable." Stacey Abrams who ran for governor in Georgia called the law, “abominable and evil”. Setting up a battle in the ballot box. But this is also a fight likely ending up in the Supreme Court, now more conservative.

AMY HOWE (SCOTUSBLOG): There is just I feel a feeling of energy among abortion opponents that this is our opportunity after all of these years to finally go to the Supreme Court with these laws and get them to overturn Roe v. Wade.

GOSK: There are exceptions to the law in Georgia, including in the cases of incest or rape, or if the mother's life is at risk.

KEMP: We are called to be strong and courageous. And we will not back down.

GOSK: And they hope the nation's highest court is in their corner. Stephanie Gosk, NBC News, New York.

NBDaily MRC Latino Bias by Omission Double Standards Labeling Political Groups Pro-choicers Pro-lifers Abortion Broadcast Television ABC World News Tonight CBS CBS Evening News NBC NBC Nightly News Video Lester Holt Stephanie Gosk Mark Strassmann

Sponsored Links