The ongoing trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell has ignited the already contentious abortion debate across this country. Dr. Gosnell is on trial for the murder of four babies and one woman at his abortion clinic, which people have called a “House of Horrors.”
Given the horrific nature of the crimes Gosnell is accused of committing, one would think MSNBC would discuss this horrific trial in any future discussion on abortion. Unfortunately, if you are Thomas Roberts, such a concept is foreign to you.
Following a speech by President Obama at the annual Planned Parenthood gala on April 26, Roberts decided to bring on three pro-abortion guests to trash Republicans, yet did not ask any of the guests about the Gosnell trial. [See video after jump. MP3 audio here.]
Roberts’s three pro-abortion interviews began with Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fl.), in which he claimed there is an assault against a woman’s right to choose:
How is there not an assault, when we think about that, how is there not an assault on a woman's right to choose right now? When we see the fact that instead of concentrating on jobs or the economy that lawmakers are still hung up on the fact that they want to regulate what a woman has a right to do with their own body?
After allowing Schultz to rant about “extremist Republican” views on abortion, Roberts proceeded to double down on his message, this time against, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus:
Congresswoman, you talk about extremist opinions on the right, though. But I need to ask you while I have you here, and get you about this blog post that RNC chair Reince Priebus wrote, a couple of weeks ago, where he accused Planned Parenthood of supporting infanticide, and even questioned if the DNC, in specific Democratic lawmakers also supported infanticide
Roberts’s mention of infanticide would be a perfect opportunity to mention Gosnell, who is on trial for murdering babies, also known as infanticide. Roberts proved, yet again, he is unable to be an objective journalist, instead choosing to ask extremely leading questions to Schultz, enabling her to push her pro-abortion agenda.
As if that weren’t enough, Roberts then brought on MSNBC darling Sandra Fluke to pile on the pro-abortion agenda, by commenting to Ms. Fluke:
President Obama's re-election campaign, he got re-elected, basically, because of his role talking to women, and reminding women why it was an important mission to have him in the White House, when so many states across the country, as we've seen, with the -- five in the past six weeks, cutting back and restricting a woman's right to choose.
Roberts didn’t stop there, asking Ms. Fluke, “If women are using their voices to speak up, why do we see the trend gaining traction in state legislatures then?” After bringing on two pro-abortion guests, logic would have it that any reasonable journalist might bring on a pro-life advocate such as Marjorie Dannenfelser of the Susan B. Anthony List. Instead, Roberts continued to push MSNBC’s pro-abortion agenda, this time bringing on Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-Ca.) to talk about former Congressman Todd Akin (R-Mo.) and his “legitimate rape” comments during the 2012 election:
I want to remind everybody what one of your former Republican colleagues, Todd Akin, had said about the comments, "legitimate rape," that led to his political demise during this past election.
Unlike his fellow MSNBC hosts, including Joe Scarborough, Tamron Hall and Chris Matthews, Roberts seems unable to bring up the Gosnell trial when discussing abortion with his guests. Instead, Mr. Roberts appears to have joined fellow MSNBCer Chris Jansing, who recently interviewed former Governor Ed Rendell (D-Pa.) on the subject of abortion, yet ignored Gosnell altogether. Rendell, for those that are unaware, was both the Mayor of Philadelphia and Governor of Pennsylvania while Gosnell operated his “House of Horrors.
See relevant transcript below.
April 26, 2013
12:30 p.m. EDT
THOMAS ROBERTS: Joining me right now is Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. She's a Democrat from Florida, also the chair of the Democratic National Committee. Congresswoman, it’s great to have you with me. As you have -- were able, I hope to hear, the entire speech from the president there, what struck you the most about why he was there and, basically, not just the physicality of the president appearing before Planned Parenthood, but the statements that he made, especially in reference to what's going on in North Dakota?
DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: Well, I think it's a significant occasion when the President of the United States has made the first appearance before Planned Parenthood, of any president. And it's a strong signal that this administration consistently has supported women's access to make her own health care decisions. As President Obama said, right at the top of his speech. And how critically important it is that we be able to maintain that right. That was a huge bone of contention during the campaign. You know, the Republicans concluded during their autopsy, after the campaign, that their principles were sound. Well, millions of American women disagreed, and that's why they voted for President Obama in overwhelming numbers.
ROBERTS: So in the past six weeks, as the president was pointing out, there are five states that have adopted some of the more strict laws and restrictions in the country right now when it comes to a woman's right to choice, what she’s doing reproductively. How is there not an assault, when we think about that, how is there not an assault on a woman's right to choose right now? When we see the fact that instead of concentrating on jobs or the economy that lawmakers are still hung up on the fact that they want to regulate what a woman has a right to do with their own body?
SCHULTZ: You're exactly right, Thomas. There is an assault on a woman's right to make her own health care decisions. And you know, I think we have to focus not just on the fact that reproductive choices are important, when it comes to Planned Parenthood and when it comes to women's health care, but as a breast cancer survivor, that statistic that President Obama mentioned, one in five women in America have gotten health care from a Planned Parenthood clinic, you know, there are thousands and thousands of women who have gotten cancer screenings and made sure that they could get their well woman care at those clinics and Republicans still are trying to defund Planned Parenthood, eliminate title 10 funding, which funds public access to cancer screenings and HIV and AIDS screenings, they're still trying to restrict all over the country, and in Congress, a woman's right to make her own reproductive choices, and, you know, the gap between the extremist Republican view and Democrats and independents and moderates across this country is so wide, when it comes to the issues important to women. ObamaCare in particular, as we fully implement it, we need to make sure that we can continue to give women access to preventative health care, look cancer screenings, without a co-pay or a deductible, access to birth control for free, so that a woman can decide at what point in her life, or whether wants to actually have a family.
ROBERTS: Congresswoman, you talk about extremist opinions on the right, though. But I need to ask you while I have you here, and get you about this blog post that RNC chair Reince Priebus wrote, a couple of weeks ago, where he accused Planned Parenthood of supporting infanticide, and even questioned if the DNC, in specific Democratic lawmakers also supported infanticide, how do you respond to that?
SCHULTZ: Well, this is how dramatically out of touch the chairman of the RNC and the entire Republican Party are with women. Women in this country simply want to be able to make sure the government can't tell us how and when to make our own health care decisions. We want to control decisions related to our own bodies and what the Republicans did two weeks ago, at their meeting, was that they reaffirmed their opposition to a woman's right to make her own health care decisions and they doubled down with statements like that. But, you know, they have just gotten done performing an autopsy and, essentially, the women voters in this country made it very clear on Election Day that the Republican Party is dead to them.
ROBERTS: Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, we'll let you get back to work. Thank you so much for taking time out for me. I appreciate it. I want to bring in now and say good morning to Sandra Fluke, she’s a woman’s health care advocate. Recent Georgetown University Law School graduate as well. So congratulations on that. So Sandra, I hope you also had an opportunity to hear the president's speech there, again a first for a sitting president to address Planned Parenthood. What do you make of so many other women's health advocates addressing the fact that President Obama's re-election campaign, he got re-elected, basically, because of his role talking to women, and reminding women why it was an important mission to have him in the White House, when so many states across the country, as we've seen, with the -- five in the past six weeks, cutting back and restricting a woman's right to choose.
SANDRA FLUKE: Well, you know, President Obama wasn't the only person who got elected this past election based on standing up for women's reproductive health and women's health generally. I think we sent a strong message during this election that it's not only the right thing to do, but it's smart electoral politics to stand with women on these types of concerns, and you stand against them at your peril. Unfortunately, some of our elected officials need to be reminded of that message repeatedly. So it's really important that we all understand that the election of 2012 didn't end these issues for women's health. And we have to continue to be vigilant to be informed and engaged and speaking up against these types of assaults.
ROBERTS: Meanwhile, when you talk about speaking up, the Guttmacher Institute which tracks anti-abortion measures in legislatures across the country found that nearly half of reproductive health measures introduced in the first three months of this year seek to restrict reproductive rights access for women around the country. If women are using their voices to speak up, why do we see the trend gaining traction in state legislatures then?
FLUKE: Well, unfortunately, we have some legislatures that aren't very responsive to the concerns of women. And that just means we have to keep pushing forward. But I'm also really focused on making sure that women understand what the president was talking about, about the Affordable Care Act’s implementation, because that's our good news right now. And that's making sure that they know that they have affordable access to contraception, no co-pays for annual exams for breast cancer and domestic violence screenings. We've been fighting for the Affordable Care Act for years to deliver this health care, and it's important that people know that they can go and access it now.
ROBERTS: Sandra fluke, it's great to see you, Sandra. And again, congratulations on graduation. That's a mighty milestone for you.
FLUKE: Thank you. I'm all sworn into the bar in California, that's the 2012 election victory for me.
ROBERTS: Congratulations. Much success to you in the future. I appreciate your time. Alright, so moments ago as we all witnessed, President Obama gave this rousing speech before members and supporters of Planned Parenthood at their annual gala in Washington, D.C. Joining me right now is Congresswoman Jackie Spear. She was, hopefully, also listening to what the president had to say. And Congresswoman, it's nice to have you with me. I want to remind everybody what one of your former Republican colleagues, Todd Akin, had said about the comments, "legitimate rape," that led to his political demise during this past election. Take a look.
UNKNOWN WOMAN: Would you take those six seconds back, if you could?
TODD AKIN: Oh, of course I would. I've relived them too many times. But that's not
-- that's not reality. All of us are fallible. You know, we make mistakes, say things the wrong way.
ROBERTS: So is Todd Akin, obviously, there, very concentrated and pensive in the fact that he recognizes that his words might have cost him the election. Is what he said and how he acted a true cautionary tale for other conservative legislators, and when they take on a woman's right to choose?
JACKIE SPEIER: Absolutely, Thomas. If you remember, two years ago, the very first bill that the republicans put on the house floor, HR-1, was to defund planned parenthood. And that erupted, I think, with great consternation among women across this country. Why is it that the number one issue, when we were concerned about jobs and a failing economy, that the republicans were dead set against doing anything but focusing on a woman's uterus? And I think they learned a very, very important lesson that you can't somehow minimize rape, you can't somehow minimize a woman's access to health care. And the disproportional health care costs associated with women and reproductive health, and that’s what the ACA is so great about. It gets rid of that discrimination. Why should a 40-year-old woman who's a nonsmoker pay more for health care than a 40-year-old who does smoke? And it has much to do with the cost of reproductive health, which is part of one of the great values we have in this country about making sure that men and women, families can procreate and that we can move forward in a healthy society in which that kind of health care is provided.