May 30, 2014 — This week's videos spotlight the dwindling availability of abortion in many parts of the U.S., the result of laws falsely portrayed as safety measures. We also feature a trailer from the new film "Obvious Child," a comedy about a woman dealing with an unexpected pregnancy.
MSNBC's Chris Hayes speaks with Terry O'Neill, president of the National Organization for Women, and Kathy Spillar, executive director of the Feminist Majority Foundation, about the ongoing threat of violence from antiabortion-rights extremists, focusing on a clinic in Wichita, Kan. They discuss the impact on patients and physicians, as well as the broader effect that state abortion restrictions have had on access. "There's no question that states across the country, especially in the South and Midwest, have passed ... very detailed restrictions that have made access in some areas almost impossible," Spillar says (Hayes, "All in America," MSNBC, 5/23).
A woman anonymously shares her abortion experience to speak out against a Louisiana bill (HB 388) that would require abortion providers in the state to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. NBC News' Kristen Welker also speaks with state Rep. Katrina Jackson (D), who co-authored the bill and claims it is about "the health and safety of women." However, Ellie Schilling, an attorney for the state's abortion clinics, argues that HB 388 is one of many "thinly disguised attempts to limit access" to abortion, adding that when this access is limited, "the reality is that it forces women back into a pre-Roe v. Wade state" (Welker, "Nightly News," NBC News, 5/24).
MSNBC's Joy Reid and Irin Carmon also review the Louisiana bill and other admitting privileges laws that are creating a "growing zone of lack of access" to abortion in the South. Carmon explains why it's clear the laws are not truly intended to protect women's health, as supporters claim, noting that the medical establishment says the laws are actually harmful to women (Reid, "The Reid Report," MSNBC, 5/22).
"Obvious Child" -- a romantic comedy centered on a woman with an unintended pregnancy -- was featured at this year's Sundance Film Festival and opens in theaters on June 6. Early reviews praise the film as funny and "refreshingly honest" in its portrayal of aspiring comedian Donna Stern, played by Jenny Slate, who becomes pregnant after a one-night stand and grapples with how to tell the man involved that she is having an abortion (Obvious Child website, 5/28).