July 31, 2014 — This week's videos include an interview with the sponsor of a Massachusetts bill responding to the Supreme Court's "buffer zone" ruling, a report on an abortion clinic closing in Kansas and concerns from HBO's John Oliver about female genital mutilation.
MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry reports on "emboldened activity" by antiabortion-rights activists in New Orleans, a development that "cannot be separated from" the Supreme Court's June decision to strike down a Massachusetts "buffer zone" law that barred protests near clinic entrances. Harris-Perry speaks with Massachusetts state Sen. Harriette Chandler (D) about legislation (S 2281) that gives law enforcement in the state more authority to disperse abortion clinic protesters. The law was crafted "very narrowly" to "balance the freedom of speech issues with the safety issues," Chandler says. Sarah Knight of the American Constitution Society and Igor Volsky of ThinkProgress also join (Harris-Perry, "Melissa Harris-Perry," MSNBC, 7/26).
Rachel Maddow reports on the closing of one of the last abortion clinics in Kansas, where state restrictions have made it increasingly difficult for clinics to remain open. Maddow notes that she spoke to the clinic's manager, who said its workers have grown weary after years of fighting state laws and dealing with protesters. The manager urged young people to vote and work to preserve abortion rights, adding, "Why am I the only one fighting this?" (Maddow, "The Rachel Maddow Show," MSNBC, 7/28).
HBO's John Oliver explains that there was "potentially horrifying" news last week that the extremist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria was forcing women in Mosul, Iraq, to undergo female genital mutilation. Oliver says, "Thankfully, other reports suggest it could be fake," but notes that "before everyone gets too relieved ... it is worth remembering it is still happening in a shocking number of places," including Egypt (Davies, Jezebel, 7/28).