MSNBC's Nancy Snyderman Lobbies IRS: Go After Catholic Bishops for Opposing Abortion in Health Care Bill

MSNBC's Nancy Snyderman attacked Catholic bishops on Thursday for opposing abortion funding in the health care bill, agreeing with the President of NOW that the IRS should investigate them. The "Dr. Nancy" host also complained, "This is going to be a Pollyannaish statement. The Catholic bishops appearing and having a political voice seems to be a most fundamental violation of church and state."

Terry O’Neill, the President of the National Organization for Women, quickly concurred: "You know, that's the first thing that I said. I don't know where the Internal Revenue Service is, but I hope they're paying attention." Snyderman responded, "Me, too." Watching this segment, a viewer could be confused as to who was the leader of a left-wing feminist group and who was the supposedly neutral cable anchor. (It should be pointed out that NOW is a non-profit group and has a tax exempt component to its organization. Should the IRS go after them?)

Snyderman repeatedly allowed O’Neill’s hyperbolic statements to go unchallenged. She absurdly claimed that the amendment by Democratic Congressman Bart Stupak, which prohibits funding for abortion in the health care bill, "essentially overrules Roe V. Wade." The MSNBC host said nothing. When O’Neill frothed, "It's not acceptable to change health care for America while sending women off into the back alleys to die," Snyderman again stayed silent.

In fact, the cable anchor competed with O’Neill to see who could be more aggrieved. Snyderman fretted, "Nonetheless, this is a chip. It is an erosion. It is a very slippery slope. Seems to me, that the women of our ages have a hard time saying to the women who are 18, 28, 38 that you have a stake here. And I'm not so sure young women get that."

This isn’t the first time the anchor has expressed outrage over the legislation that would bar private insurance plans from covering abortion. On Monday, she railed against pro-life Democrats and derided, "A white man deciding a woman's responsibility in her own procreation. I mean, I find it infuriating."

On Thursday, she returned to this theme and howled, "And I just want to, sort of, say good-bye to you [O'Nell] by pointing out that Stupak and Henry Hyde, the two amendments that restrict a woman's right to choose, are both white men telling women about reproduction."

Apparently, Snyderman’s biggest problem is with religious organizations and individuals who refuse to tout her liberal ideology.

On November 12, the Culture and Media Institute’s Colleen Raezler demonstrated that this type of anger towards the Stupak amendment isn’t limited to Snyderman. Morning Meeting host Dylan Ratigan talked to Cathy Ruse of the Family Research Council and Nancy Keenan, President of NARAL. Unsurprisingly, he went after the conservative:

Throughout the six minute segment, he told Ruse that if she would "come inside the domain of the facts, it makes for a more productive conversation." He called her assertion that the Stupak amendment does not block women from access to abortion coverage through private insurance companies "nonsense," and stated that "it’s more beneficial" for Americans "if the debate is had inside the domain of reality." Ratigan implored Ruse to "operate in the factual reality" and told her he was "going to ask her to go away" if she just wanted "to talk" instead of answering his questions.

A transcript of the November 12 segment, which aired at 12:04pm EST, follows:

NANCY SNYDERMAN: Well, the fight over abortion and health care reform is getting even hotter. Abortion rights activists are organizing dozens of groups to ban together to keep any kind of language restricting abortion access out of the Senate bill. Planned Parenthood says the House's Stupak amendment has, quote, "completely galvanized the reproductive health community and the women's community." The National Organization of [sic] Women says, "They passed health care reform for half the nation and partial health care reform for the rest of us." Joining me now from Washington, Terry O’Neill, president of NOW. And she was among those who met with Rahm Emanuel at the White House this weekend and I should say Nancy DeParle and some other women, leading women at the White House. Thanks for being with us. Terry, let me just ask you straight off the bat, this seems to have caught you guys, and I should say the women who believe in reproductive right off guard and found you a little off balance.

TERRY O’NEILL: Oh, it definitely caught me off guard. On Saturday morning, I started getting calls and E-mails and texts saying, you know, there's a deal that's been cut and a terrible, disastrous deal. The Stupak/Pitts amendment, in fact, I believe, essentially overrules Roe v. Wade. That's the intention of the Catholic bishops who pushed it. That, I believe, is the intention Mr. Stupak and Mr. Pitts who offered it. And it's an outrage and, and we are doing everything to be sure that it does not get into the Senate bill, that it does not survive the reconciliation process, because that's not a health bill if you take- it's not acceptable to change health care for America while sending women off into the back alleys to die.

SNYDERMAN: Terry, two things have come up over the last couple days that have really sort of fascinated me. And that is, people describing the House of Representatives as no longer being pro-choice. That is quietly pro life and perhaps even in the Senate. Now, I happen to think that abortion is one of the most divisive issues and you can't get one person from one side to the other side. But I also think most of life is quite gray and we think we have adamant solutions to things until they happen to mothers and children’s. And we can find ourselves changing our mind and it becomes our family. Nonetheless, this is a chip. It is an erosion. It is a very slippery slope. Seems to me, that the women of our ages have a hard time saying to the women who are 18, 28, 38 that you have a stake here. And I'm not so sure young women get that.

O’NEILL: Oh, if you listen to the young women that are calling me and that are organizing rallies all around the country even as we speak, I don't think that's really correct.

SNYDERMAN: Really?

O’NEILL: Young women are galvanized around this. Especially the young women who are able to hear the truth. There are people out there who are saying that the Stupak/Pitts amendment is no different than the status quo. Nothing could be farther from the truth. And when the young women learn the truth, they are outraged. Just as the women my age are outraged.

SNYDERMAN: This is going to be a Pollyannaish statement. The Catholic bishops appearing and having a political voice seems to be a most fundamental violation of church and state.

O’NEILL: You know, that's the first thing that I said. I don't know where the Internal Revenue Service is, but I hope they're paying attention.

SNYDERMAN: Me, too. And I just want to, sort of, say good-bye to you by pointing out that Stupak and Henry Hyde, the two amendments that restrict a woman’s right to choose, are both white men telling women about reproduction. [O’Neill laughs.] So, on that happy note, I will bid you a good day and thank you for spending time with me.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org