November 8, 2013 — Our video roundup includes a unique assortment of Web videos hand-picked by our editors. This week, MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry hosts a panel discussion about Oklahoma's 20-week abortion ban, a Texas couple describes having their abortion procedure canceled because of a new state law and Rachel Maddow discusses the role of reproductive health policy in the Virginia governor's race.
MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry explains the impact of Oklahoma's 20-week abortion ban by highlighting the story of a low-income state resident, Jessica Davis, who, after finding out her fetus had severe brain malformations and would most likely not survive birth, had to "endure a three day ordeal that required her to cross state lines" to access abortion services. Harris-Perry says stories like Davis' are a "looming reality for more and more poor American women who live in one of these states with a ban on abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy." Harris-Perry is joined by a panel that includes Irin Carmon, who described Davis' story in a recent MSNBC article; Laura Flanders of GRITtv; Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, a fellow at the University of Texas School of Public Affairs; and Yolanda Pierce, an associate professor at the Princeton Theological Seminary (Harris-Perry, "Melissa Harris-Perry," MSNBC, 11/2).
In an interview with the Texas Tribune, Texas resident Marni Evans and her fiancé, John Lockhart, discuss how their abortion appointment at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Texas was canceled because the facility could not comply with a new state law (HB 2) that took effect last week. Lockhart says, "Ultimately this law was presented as being in the interest of women's health, but obviously in this case what [Evans] is going to have to do is actually have a more invasive procedure later in the pregnancy, which is absolutely contrary to the interest of her health." Evans, who obtained the procedure at a different clinic, adds, "I want my constitutional rights restored, and I am willing to do what it takes to get that." The couple also discuss the decision-making process as they weighed whether to have an abortion, and Evans describes "the stigma around abortion," noting that she was previously unaware that friends and family members had also had the procedure (Dehn/Aaronson, Texas Tribune, 11/3).
In a commentary, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow argues that Virginia conservatives hurt their chances in this week's gubernatorial race by enacting and attempting to pass numerous encroachments on women's rights in recent years, including new abortion clinic regulations and a measure that would have mandated transvaginal ultrasounds before abortions. Although Republicans have a long history of winning in Virginia when there is a Democratic president, Maddow explains, "Virginia women are so strongly against the way Republicans have been governing in Virginia, and propose to keep doing so, that they have changed that political streak entirely" by refusing to elect GOP candidate Ken Cuccinelli as governor (Maddow, "The Rachel Maddow Show," MSNBC, 11/5).