MSNBC Guest: Abortionists Are ‘Doing Wonderful, Important Work’

So it seems that the sentiment at MSNBC is that killing babies is “important work.” At least that seems to be the message that Chris Jansing was sending her audience when she brought on New York Magazine’s Meaghan Winter to preview her article on abortion entitled “My Abortion.”

Appearing on her daily show on Thursday November 14, host Chris Jansing introduced the segment by hyping the “moving and often surprising stories” of women seeking abortions before bringing on her two guests to sympathize with their efforts: [Read more below.]

In the past two years, 26 states have passed more than 111 provisions, placing restrictions on abortion. "New York” magazine takes an in-depth look at the issue in a piece called "My Abortion.” It’s the cover story and it profiles 26 women who share their intensely personal experiences.

Jansing then brought on Ms. Winter in order to cheer on her article:

One of the important things to know is that the abortion debate is framed in black and white, and much of our public discussion but for most people it's very nuanced and people have abortions for a whole range of reasons and they have a whole range of responses.

Rather than pushing back against Jansing’s other guest, Dana Weinstein who aborted her baby at 28 weeks, the MSNBC host heaped praise on the woman:

How difficult has it been for you to be able to tell your story because I did think that one of the moving things about these stories of all of the women is the disparity and the amount of support they got and the amount of fear that they felt.

As if that weren’t enough, Jansing, after briefly describing her dissatisfaction with how abortionists treat their patients like “assembly-line work” she then railed against pro-lifers:

Others talk about the protesters. There were protesters with awful, very graphic signs. I felt their judgment. Outside protesters shouted you don't need birth control, you need self-control. One woman followed me and said in my ear, you're never going to forget.

The segment concludes with Ms. Winter shaming pro-lifers one more time while barely holding pro-choice individuals accountable for their actions:

The pro-life movement will say all kinds of hateful things with women and voice their experiences and sometimes the pro-choice movement also minimizes people's experiences and women should be free to interpret and express their own experiences and they have the authority to do that and that shouldn't be undermined by political interests.

 

See relevant transcript below.


MSNBC

Jansing & Co.

November 14, 2013

10:12 a.m. Eastern

CHRIS JANSING: Still to come, behind the shouting behind all the passion, the abortion debate is deeply personal for the women making those decisions. Coming up we'll hear some of their moving and often surprising stories. 

 

10:16 a.m.

CHRIS JANSING: A group of Democrats in the Senate fighting back against a slew of new anti-abortion measures taking effect across the country. Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut is the lead sponsor of the Women's Health Protection Act. It’s designed to stop states from preventing women access to abortion. 

RICHARD BLUMENTHAL: It is a response to this cascading onslaught of measures that have a false pretext. They have the guise of protecting women’s health care when in fact; they deny essential rights that women are guaranteed under the constitution.

JANSING: In the past two years, 26 states have passed more than 111 provisions, placing restrictions on abortion. "New York” magazine takes an in-depth look at the issue in a piece called "My Abortion.” It’s the cover story and it profiles 26 women who share their intensely personal experiences. Joining me now is the author, Meaghan winter, a contributor to the magazine. Dana Weinstein is featured in the piece. Good morning to both of you. Meaghan you start out by lay out the parameters of what Roe v. Wade really said that abortion was a personal decision only in the first trimester and then states can intervene on behalf of women's health. And so I guess in some way these state laws maybe were inevitable. But so much of this political discussion is often painted in black or white, think and I what this article shows is how gray it really is. Still, all these years later so many of these women are still conflicted.

MEAGHAN WINTER: Absolutely. Thank you for framing it that way. One of the important things to know is that the abortion debate is framed in black and white, and much of our public discussion but for most people it's very nuanced and people have abortions for a whole range of reasons and they have a whole range of responses.

JANSING: Were you surprised at how different the responses were or how broad?

WINTER: Yeah. Absolutely. Speaking with people, people's responses are so different. Someone can be unfazed go to work the next day not think about her abortion again and think of it very rarely and some women grieve for months..

JANSING: Years even in some of these cases.

WINTER: Years even. And a lot of those responses have to do with the factors involved. So abortion doesn’t exist in a vacuum. A woman has an abortion because of so many different reasons and, you know, I'm proud of the article. But one of the limitations is how short each of the women’s stories were. And on one hand that’s a strength because you can see what a mosaic. So many different voices and so many different responses, but there's so much work left to do in terms of sharing women's voices and how complicated each of their situations are.

JANSING: Dana, you are one of the women profiled in this cover story and you said you used to wonder how anyone could possibly have a late-term abortion, but then you had one at 29 weeks. Tell us if you will, about your story.

DANA WEINSTEIN: Sure. I was happily pregnant. My husband and I were really excited to be expanding our family. We had a 2 1/2-year-old son at the time, and our pregnancy proceeded perfectly normally or so we had thought and we went in for a routine sonogram at 28 weeks and the ventricles in our baby's brain measured slightly elevated. We were sent on for advanced testing where we had an MRI into my stomach to get a view of the baby's brain and the images that came back were absolutely shocking and horrifying. Our baby was missing pieces of her brain; parts of it were significantly malformed and just developed completely wrong. There were large pockets of empty space and gaping holes and where tissue should have grown and been plentiful. And we didn't have to have experience with reading MRIs and pictures to see that something was gravely, gravely wrong.

JANSING: How difficult has it been for you to be able to tell your story because I did think that one of the moving things about these stories of all of the women is the disparity and the amount of support they got and the amount of fear that they felt.

WEINSTEIN: Yes. I am very lucky that I had a strong support system, but coming public and speaking about such personal details and such a devastating experience for us is very, very difficult, but I feel strongly that no matter what I'm called and I've been called some pretty horrific names, baby killer, murderer, going to hell, for me, this was such a personal choice. It was a decision that my husband and I made together. We felt that we were in a situation where there was no good choice and we picked the one that we still feel very strongly was the very best for our unborn daughter to end her pain.

JANSING: If there were commonalities in these stories I thought there were two in particular that struck me. One was how horrible the health care providers could be in some cases and how horrible protesters could be. Some stories about the doctors. The doctor acted like it was assembly line work. The doctor was grotesque, he whistled show tunes. The staff was very matter of fact. No kindness. Others talk about the protesters. There were protesters with awful, very graphic signs. I felt their judgment. Outside protesters shouted you don't need birth control, you need self-control. One woman followed me and said in my ear, you're never going to forget.

WINTER: Yeah absolutely. I don't want to criticize people who provide abortions because I think they're doing wonderful, important work, but women use the phrase assembly line in I want to say two-thirds of the interviews of the interviews so that was something that really struck me as well.

JANSING: That's shocking.

WINTER: Yeah. It's upsetting and I don't have much more to say about that, but it's true.

JANSING: What do you want people to take away from these stories?

WINTER: Yeah. I want people to take away from this that women are maligned no matter what they say about your abortion. The pro-life movement will say all kinds of hateful things with women and voice their experiences and sometimes the pro-choice movement also minimizes people's experiences and women should be free to interpret and express their own experiences and they have the authority to do that and that shouldn't be undermined by political interests. At the same time our political conversation should be informed by women's actual experiences and the reality of what it's like to have an abortion and to have to face that choice. That's what I -- what I hope people take from this article.

JANSING: Meghan Winter. It's in "New York" magazine, Dana Weinstein, thank you so much. We really appreciate you coming on and telling your story. 

Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center.