April 17, 2014 — In this week's video highlights, MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry calls for a veto of a misguided bill that would criminalize certain pregnancy outcomes and leads a panel discussion about the political discourse on women's rights issues.
MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry reads her letter urging Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam (R) to not sign a bill that would allow criminal assault or homicide changes against women whose newborns test positive for traces of illicit drugs, arguing that the bill "may only exacerbate the problem that his state is trying to solve." Citing medical groups that have also urged Haslam to veto the bill, Harris-Perry advocates for a "treatment-based approach" to ensure that women "are not deterred from prenatal care that could reduce the effects of addiction on their babies" (Harris-Perry , "Melissa Harris-Perry," MSNBC, 4/12).
On the same program, Harris-Perry holds a panel discussion about the Democratic and Republican strategies for appealing to female voters, particularly on issues like reproductive rights and wage equality. Referring to Missouri Rep. Chuck Gatschenberger's (R) recent comments comparing a proposed 72-hour mandatory delay before an abortion with buying a car, Harris-Perry notes that even women who do not support abortion rights "may not really like a state rep saying ... 'you gotta at least make as much sense as I do when I buy a car.'" Bryce Covert of "ThinkProgress" remarks that Gatschenberger is "making his own point," adding that other people do not "regulate his decision to [buy] a car" (Harris-Perry , "Melissa Harris-Perry," MSNBC, 4/12).