August 8, 2014 — This week's videos highlight a federal court ruling that forcefully struck down an Alabama law that threatened to close clinics, the importance of language in the abortion-rights debate and the continued threat of provider harassment.
On "The Rachel Maddow Show," Center for Reproductive Rights President Nancy Northup applauds a "huge win" for abortion rights this week, when a federal judge struck down an Alabama law that required abortion providers to have hospital admitting privileges. Northup explains why groups like the American Medical Association oppose the medically unnecessary admitting privileges requirements. The judge rightly "called out the politicians" who passed the admitting privileges law for their "underhanded tactics ... and said this is not a law about advancing women's safety" but one that will instead "hurt women's health because it's going to close clinics," Northup says (Kornacki, "The Rachel Maddow Show," MSNBC, 8/4).
MSNBC's Ari Melber and Irin Carmon analyze the language used in the abortion-rights debate. Carmon discusses how the antiabortion-rights movement has fueled the segregation of abortion from other types of medical care, resulting in some clinics that primarily provide abortion care and others that offer a variety of women's health services. She argues that "a balance ... needs to be struck here between saying that abortion is part of a range of reproductive health services that women [might] have throughout their lives ... and on the other hand not apologizing for the fact that these clinics provide abortion" (Harris-Perry, "Melissa Harris-Perry," MSNBC, 8/3).
MSNBC's Rachel Maddow reports on abortion-rights supporters' efforts to protect clinics from antiabortion-rights extremists, noting that "the radical edge of the antiabortion movement does have a real and long history of crossing over into violence." Most recently, antiabortion-rights activists laid "siege" on New Orleans, even harassing an abortion doctor at her home. The doctor -- whose name and face are not shown because of safety concerns -- says it was difficult to be personally targeted but that the protesters also "motivate" her to continue providing abortion care, despite the danger (Maddow, "The Rachel Maddow Show," MSNBC, 7/30).