October 18, 2013 — Our video roundup includes a unique assortment of Web videos hand-picked by our editors. This week, MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry looks at an upcoming Supreme Court abortion case, while Karen Finney explores California's distinct move to expand abortion access.
MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry examines the constitutional issues in an upcoming Supreme Court case involving a Massachusetts law that sets a 35-foot buffer zone around abortion clinics to help protect patients from harassment by antiabortion protesters. Steven Shapiro of the American Civil Liberties Union and Columbia Law School explains that ACLU had to strike a balance in its position on the law in order to support women's rights to an abortion without intimidation and protesters' rights to express their views in public. Shapiro also notes that the justices likely will have other First Amendment cases in mind, including the court's previous decision that protests at military funerals are protected as free speech. Yale Law professor Akhil Reed Amar, Liz Kennedy of Demos and Seton Hall law professor Mark Alexander also weigh in (Harris-Perry, "Melissa Harris-Perry," MSNBC, 10/12).
Jess McIntosh of EMILY's List and Ohio Sen. Nina Turner (D) join MSNBC's Karen Finney to discuss California's distinct move to expand abortion access when many other states are restricting the procedure. More than half of California counties do not have an abortion provider, Finney notes, explaining that a new state law aims to address the issue by allowing some specially trained non-physician health care providers to perform certain abortions. The bill comes as abortion-rights supporters in Ohio filed a lawsuit challenging state abortion restrictions. "What's sad ... is that your rights as an American woman shouldn't depend on your ZIP code," McIntosh says (Finney, "Disrupt," MSNBC, 10/13).