Any long-term observer of national news shows can attest that the left-leaning networks often seem to be reading from much the same script as they report from within the same liberal bubble.
But on Friday morning, CNN and MSNBC may have outdone themselves in displaying group think as both networks interviewed the same liberal pro-abortion guest almost within five minutes of one another to let her fret over how "heartbreaking" it is that so many women have been unable to abort their unborn babies in Texas.
After Amy Hagstrom Miler -- a Texas abortion provider -- published a piece in the Los Angeles Times, CNN and MSNBC must have been falling over one another trying to get an interview. MSNBC got to go first at 9:34 a.m. Eastern with Yasmin Vossoughian filling in. Noting that after the Texas heartbeat abortion law was blocked by a court ruling, the MSNBC host informed viewers that Whole Women's Health started performing abortions again.
In a near Freudian slip, Vossoughian almost stated that the abortion providers "should" be sued as she set up the segment:
We want to get to Texas where some clinics have resumed performing abortions after a judge temporarily suspended a state's law which imposed a near total ban on the procedure. That is in spite of the fact that those clinics should -- could actually be sued if the law is reinstated down the road.
After the MSNBC host asked her guest why she was willing to take the risk of being sued, Miller called it "heartbreaking" that some women are unable to dispose of their unborn babies:
So we've had to turn hundreds of people away over the last five weeks -- people who are seeking abortion care because it's the best decision for their health - for their families -- for their work life -- for their education -- for their dreams and their future. And it's heartbreaking to look people in the eyes and deny them the health care that they need.
Vossoughian then quoted from the article recently published by her guest:
I want you to talk to us a little bit more for us, Amy about how this time has been for you. And with that, I want to read a quote about a woman that visited one of your clinics the day before the law was put into effect in Texas.
"The young woman arrived at the first appointment to the clinic on August 31st. She was a drug user, and set to begin serving a five-year prison sentence in a week. ... She already had three children at home. She didn't want to deliver a baby in jail. She dropped to her knees on the cold tile floor in front of director Marva Sadler, begging her to take her, to perform the abortion."
Miller went on to repeat that it was "heartbreaking" to tell women they were unable to perform an abortion they wanted.
After the interview wrapped up at 9:38 a.m., if one were flipping channels, it was like deja vu on CNN just over five minutes later as Miller was interviewed by fill-in host Erica Hill, where Miller repeated her claims of finding the experience "heartbreaking."
Hill declared that the court ruling that allowed abortions to continue was a "reprieve" for women, and Miller also hyperbolically accused pro-life activists of engaging in "domestic terrorism" against her clinics.
Now that, as of Friday night, another court ruling has swung things back in the other direction. the liberal bias on the two networks will no doubt continue over the weekend.
MSNBC Reports with Stephanie Ruhle
October 8, 2021
9:34 a.m Eastern
YASMIN VASSOGHIAN: Welcome back, everybody. We want to get to Texas where some clinics have resumed performing abortions after a judge temporarily suspended a state's law which imposed a near total ban on the procedure. That is in spite of the fact that those clinics should -- could actually be sued if the law is reinstated down the road. Joining me now, Amy Hagstrom Miller, president and CEO of Whole Women's Health which began performing abortions again yesterday. Amy, thanks for joining us on this. I really appreciate it. I talked a little bit about--
AMY HAGSTROM MILLER, WHOLE WOMEN's HEALTH: Thanks for having me.
VOSSOUGHIAN: Absolutely. I talked a little about leading up to the legal ramifications here for your clinic in resuming abortion services as of yesterday. I know you're aware of those legal implications, but you're willing to take the chance anyway. Why?
MILLER: So we've had to turn hundreds of people away over the last five weeks -- people who are seeking abortion care because it's the best decision for their health - for their families -- for their work life -- for their education -- for their dreams and their future. And it's heartbreaking to look people in the eyes and deny them the health care that they need. We got an injunction, and it was a very strong injunction from Judge Pitman, and some of our staff, and some of our doctors feel confident to proceed with care during this injunction. Others have opted out, and we respect that. This is a scary time. This law puts forward a lot of scary implications for clinic staff and for our physicians, and so we do have some who are comfortable enough to resume care and others that are going to wait and see what happens here with the Fifth Circuit.
VOSSOUGHIAN: I want you to talk to us a little bit more for us, Amy about how this time has been for you. And with that, I want to read a quote about a woman that visited one of your clinics the day before the law was put into effect in Texas.
The young woman arrived at the first appointment to the clinic on August 31st. She was a drug user, and set to begin serving a five-year prison sentence in a week. ... She already had three children at home. She didn't want to deliver a baby in jail. She dropped to her knees on the cold tile floor in front of director Marva Sadler, begging her to take her, to perform the abortion.
What has the last five or so weeks been like for your clinic and clinics around the state?
Right, it's just heartbreaking that people have to turn to that kind of begging. I mean, we are so supportive of people needing an abortion for any reason, and people shouldn't be put in the position to beg and to lose their dignity and to be put in this kind of position where their health care is on the line -- where their health and their future is on the line. And it also puts our staff in these horrible situations, because this staff has dedicated their lives to this work.
They're highly trained medical professionals who one day are able to help the people who need them, and the next day, they have to turn them away, all because of politics. So it has been a very difficult time. And I mean turning away young people, turning away people who are parenting, which is the majority actually of our patients, turning away people who can't have the means to travel out of state -- to get time off work and child care in order to cross the country in order to have an abortion. Texas has really let down a lot of people during this time period.
Amy Hagstrom Miller, stay in touch with us. We would like to hear from you as this process plays out for sure. Thank you.
October 8, 2021
9:43 a.m Eastern
ERICA HILL: In Texas this morning, a group of women's clinics, Whole Women’s Health, has resumed abortion services for patients who are more than six weeks pregnant. Now, this, of course, comes after a federal judge blocked that Texas law which bans the procedure starting at six weeks -- again, no exceptions for rape or incest. Joining me now to discuss is Amy Hagstrom Miller. She’s the founder and CEO of Whole Women’s Health, which operates several clinics in Texas and some other Southern states. Amy, it’s good to have you with us this morning. This is -- this temporary reprieve for women in Texas, I know you actually had a waiting list of women who needed your services --, who needed your health care services. What are you hearing this morning from those patients?
AMY HAGSTROM MILLER, WHOLE WOMEN'S HEALTH: So we’ve had to turn hundreds of people away during this five weeks of a basic all-out abortion ban. So many people don't even know they're pregnant before that six-week time frame. And so many of our patients are parenting -- they're juggling work and school and child care, and they can't just sort of pick up and leave the state and go somewhere else to have their abortion. And so they have asked us, "Please keep us on a waiting list --, please let us know if you're able to block this law," and so yesterday we were able to call a few of those folks who were on the waiting list who had already complied with the state mandated information and waiting period and all of the other regulatory scheme that still is in place in Texas.
We were able to invite them in to have the care that they had been waiting for. And we’ve been consenting people and taking care of the 24-hour waiting period yesterday and today and hopefully can, can provide those folks with their abortions as well. Everybody is sort of waiting, knowing that the state will likely challenge this law in the Fifth Circuit, but for the time being, we have a little reprieve.
HILL: You're not only awaiting to see if this is challenged, but the reality is, even as you proceed now, we know that, you know, this – if, if and when this ban on this law is lifted, any procedures performed in this time period during this so-called pause, if you will, you know, retroactively you could be held liable or, or someone else who helped a woman could be held liable. You were dealing with threats every day, prior to this law. I know they didn't stop once that ban went into effect. What has that been like for you -- that toll for you and your staff? And how concerned are you moving forward?
MILLER: Yeah, you know, I – it’s been really incredible to -- to try to navigate this pressure. Our staff are scared of being sued. They're scared of the anti-abortion, really, domestic terrorism that they have to walk through every day. At the same point, it’s heartbreaking to deny people the abortion care that they need. Our staff are the people who are looking patients in the eyes -- they are the people who have to explain this law to the patients, and have to deny them that care.
And it’s heartbreaking when they are there to care for people. They've dedicated their lives to this work, and they're fully trained, highly professional medical folks who are denying people care just because of politics. And so we’ve had to make these decisions on an individual basis -- people have had to look at their own risks and comfort level, and, you know, staff are opting in, and some staff are opting out, and that's completely fine with us. We understand that there’s a lot of risk to navigate here. But we do have a few physicians and a few staff who felt comfortable enough with Judge Pitman's injunction to resume care. And we have others who are waiting to see what happens next with the Fifth Circuit and potentially the Supreme Court.
HILL: As -- as you wait for that, I would encourage people to read your op-eds in both The Statesman and the L.A. Times where you write very eloquently,, but it is also very raw about what you are seeing and what this means for you. In terms of waiting to see what happens with the Fifth Circuit, potentially the Supreme Court, are you -- are you hoping that this makes it all the way to the Supreme Court?
MILLER: You know, the Supreme Court right now is very different than the Supreme Court Whole Women's Health was in front of in 2016 when we knocked down another set of abortion regulations in the state of Texas and won that case. And, you know, we are supposed to be able to expect justice in this country. We are supposed to be able to expect access to safe abortion care. Abortion has been legal almost my whole lifetime, and I think we have to remember that this law, S.B. 8, does not represent the feelings and the beliefs of the majority of people in this country. It doesn't represent the majority of people in Texas. Most people believe that people should have access to safe abortion in their community. We all know somebody and love somebody who’s needed an abortion at some point in their lives, and this is not what we want anyone we love to go through. People deserve respect and compassion.
HILL: Amy Hagstrom Miller, appreciate you taking the time to join us this morning, thank you.
MILLER: Thank you.
HILL: We’ll be right back.