June 20, 2014 — This week's videos spotlight various state bills that could have severe repercussions for abortion services in the U.S. We also review the prospects for controversial judicial nominee Michael Boggs.
Panelists on MSNBC's "The Cycle" discuss legislation in Ohio (HB 351) that includes some of the strictest antiabortion-rights language in the country. Jill Filipovic, senior political writer at Cosmopolitan, in a recent article called Ohio a "hotbed innovator" of recent abortion restrictions. She notes on "The Cycle" that "because [Ohio] is a purple, moderate state, it's really been flying under the radar" in terms of attention to its antiabortion-rights legislation. Filipovic also explains "the cumulative effect" of laws in various states is that a woman's access to reproductive health care largely depends on where she lives ("The Cycle," MSNBC, 6/16).
Melissa Harris-Perry's latest "Open Letter" goes out to Ohio Rep. John Becker (R), the sponsor of HB 351. Harris-Perry notes that the bill's wording equates birth control with abortion, adding that Becker tried to defend this "scientifically specious" reasoning by saying, "'This is just a personal view. I'm not a medical doctor.'" The "very least" Becker could do, Harris-Perry says, is to get his "facts straight" about women's health (Harris-Perry, MSNBC, 6/14).
Rachel Maddow discusses a Louisiana law (HB 388), recently signed by Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), that is expected to close multiple abortion clinics in the state. Maddow points out that a string of Southern states, including Texas and Oklahoma, have enacted similar restrictions, "making it so that an American woman who wants to have a legal abortion really has nowhere to go" (Maddow, "The Rachel Maddow Show," MSNBC, 6/12).
On "HuffPost Live," Josh Zepps reports on the prospects for federal judicial nominee Michael Boggs, a former Georgia legislator who has "defended his vote for a controversial abortion law" in 2001. Zepps says, "In an effort to win over skeptical Democrats," Boggs is "changing his tune" about abortion rights and saying that he did not realize the bill could have negative effects. "HuffPost Live" reporter Dave Jamieson comments that Boggs' nomination has been "kind of a train wreck" and that his record remains "unpalatable" to many "progressive Democrats" ("HuffPost Live," 6/5).