May 2, 2014 — In this week's video highlights, the White House gets help from Daniel Craig, Seth Meyers and other celebrities in its campaign to stop sexual assaults on college campuses, while MSNBC's Irin Carmon and abortion provider Willie Parker discuss the high stakes in Mississippi's effort to close the state's only abortion clinic.
Daniel Craig, Benicio del Toro, Seth Meyers and other actors are featured in a new public service announcement from the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. The PSA, which coincides with new guidelines pressuring colleges to address sexual assaults on their campuses, calls for bystanders to "speak up" when a sexual assault occurs, "never blame" the victim and "be a part of the solution." Del Toro says, "If she doesn't consent, or if she can't consent, it's rape. It's assault." Steve Carell adds, "It's a crime. It's wrong." President Obama and Vice President Biden are also featured in the spot, which highlights the White House's 1 is 2 Many campaign (White House, 4/29).
In an interview with MSNBC's Joy Reid, correspondent Irin Carmon recaps arguments presented in federal appeals court this week over a Mississippi law (HB 1390) that, if implemented, would close the state's only abortion clinic. Carmon reports that the clinic's supporters felt optimistic after the hearing, where one judge told the state's lawyer that he has a "steep hill to climb" to prove that closing Mississippi's only clinic would not unduly burden women. Carmon adds that closing clinics does not stop the need for abortion and raises concerns that women would "take matters into their own hands" to end their pregnancies (Reid, "The Reid Report," MSNBC, 4/28).
In related news, MSNBC's Jonathan Capehart discusses the case with a panel of commentators, including physician Willie Parker, who travels to Mississippi to provide abortions at the clinic. A lack of safe abortion services will "increase the suffering and potential death of women" in the state, Parker says, noting that admitting privilege laws "do nothing to enhance the safety" of women, and often "women are condemned to continue pregnancies that they don't want" (Capehart, "Melissa Harris-Perry," MSNBC, 4/27).