Melodramatic MSNBCer Wagner: 'We Are Back in, Like, Margaret Sanger Days’

MSNBC’s Alex Wagner got very dramatic while talking about birth control on Friday’s episode of her show NOW with Alex Wagner. Ms. Wagner and Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood were discussing the Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby case, in which the Supreme Court will decide whether the government (via ObamaCare’s contraception mandate) can order private business owners to violate their religious faith by providing abortion-inducing drugs to their employees.

In a moment of raw emotion, Wagner let out her anguish over some unidentified force that is holding back progress toward free birth control for every woman. She mourned:

 

I just can’t – you know, Cecile, it’s like every time we have a discussion it feels like the clock has turned back even more, you know. And it feels like the ACA was progress and it’s real, and yet the force is pulling us back – not just on the question of national health care, but on the question of access to contraception. I mean, we are back in, like, Margaret Sanger days here.
 

Breathtaking. She even invoked the patron saint of birth control, Margaret Sanger -- who died in 1966. But this is silly. If some women don’t receive contraceptive coverage from their employers, nothing is going to stop them from buying their own contraception – whether in an add-on policy or at their local drugstore.

Indeed, that was the status quo before ObamaCare and 2010 is hardly the 1910s.

MSNBC's war on its audience's intelligence continues apace.

Below is a transcript of the segment:


ALEX WAGNER: It would seem that this Hobby Lobby piece especially, given their previous record on Plan B and their previous position on covering it, is political. I mean, I feel like this is just one more peg in an effort to roll back the efficacy – or just roll back the law, the Affordable Care Act, in whatever way possible. I mean, from your point of view how worried should women be that their contraception coverage is going to be rolled back?

CECILE RICHARDS, Planned Parenthood: I think they should be worried. I think that’s why we are seeing thousands of people speak out on this. I think we'll see a lot of people at the Supreme Court on Tuesday. Because again, for women, they are just mystified why this is a controversial issue. Because for 99 percent of American women, it’s basic health care. And I think the other thing that’s important, we see at Planned Parenthood, is women do make decisions about what kind of birth control to use on whether or not they can afford it. And in fact, if a goal in this country, a public health goal is to help women plan their families and avoid an unintended pregnancy, making sure that women have access to birth control is an American value.

WAGNER: I just can’t – you know, Cecile, it’s like every time we have a discussion it feels like the clock has turned back even more, you know. And it feels like the ACA was progress and it’s real, and yet the force is pulling us back – not just on the question of national health care, but on the question of access to contraception. I mean, we are back in, like, Margaret Sanger days here.

RICHARDS: Well, I think it’s a good point, Alex, but what I’d say is politicians are back in the 1950s. The American people have moved forward. Again, you said, it’s the most commonly used medicine for women. They use it for a whole host of reasons.  We just saw the NBC polling. This is absolutely supported by the American people. And so why we are now having this argument, I have no idea, except that there is a handful of politicians who want to keep women from having access to family planning and reproductive health care.



WAGNER: And control over their own bodies.

RICHARDS: There you go.

WAGNER: Yeah, that poll, should employers be exempt from the contraceptive mandate? No, 53 percent of the country, 41 say yes. Cecile Richards from Planned Parenthood, it is always a pleasure to see you. Thank you.

Paul Bremmer
Paul Bremmer is a Media Research Center News Analysis Division intern.