October 17, 2014 — In today's clips, the Center for Reproductive Rights' Nancy Northup explains the significance of a Supreme Court order that allows more than a dozen Texas abortion clinics to resume services. Meanwhile, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Natasha's Justice Project founder Natasha Alexenko talk about what needs to be done to reduce rape kit backlogs throughout the U.S.
Center for Reproductive Rights President and CEO Nancy Northup talks with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow about the Supreme Court's stay of parts of a Texas antiabortion-rights law (HB 2) that allows 13 state clinics to resume services. Northup calls the ruling "extraordinary" and "exactly what we wanted from the Supreme Court right now" (Maddow, "The Rachel Maddow Show," MSNBC, 10/14).
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Natasha's Justice Project founder Natasha Alexenko discuss the importance of the recently passed Debbie Smith Reauthorization Act (HR 4323) with MSNBC's Kristen Welker. The measure, which allocates more than $150 million annually to help police departments lower their rape kit backlogs, will "save lives," "save women" and "has been called the most important anti-rape bill ever to pass Congress," Maloney says. Alexenko, a rape survivor, also shares the story of how her assailant was convicted once law enforcement authorities tested her rape kit -- after more than nine years (Welker, "Andrea Mitchell Reports," MSNBC, 10/10).
MSNBC's Alex Witt talks with Savannah Badalich, a student at UCLA and founder of the anti-sexual assault organization 7000 in Solidarity. Badalich shares her personal story and the importance of California's recently passed "yes means yes" legislation (SB 967), which sets an affirmative consent standard for sexual assault cases at colleges and universities. Badalich explains that the law means "that silence cannot be consent anymore, that the absence of a no cannot be assumed a yes" (Witt, "Weekends With Alex Witt," MSNBC, 10/4).
MSNBC's Krystal Ball criticizes an Alabama law (HB 494) that modifies parental involvement requirements for minors seeking abortions -- including by allowing a judge to appoint an attorney to represent the "interests" of the fetus -- as a "new level of absurdity and inhumanity" for antiabortion-rights activists. The law, which is being challenged in federal court by the American Civil Liberties Union, aims to "publicly sham[e] and haras[s] one of the country's most vulnerable groups: young women who are seeking to exercise their constitutionally protected right to have an abortion" (Ball, "Krystal Clear," MSNBC, 10/8).