This week we saw the end to unthinkable horror when Cleveland women Michelle Knight, Gina DeJesus, and Amanda Berry, and Berry’s six year-old daughter were finally freed from the house in which they were held captive in for more than a decade. The story brought back memories of Jaycee Dugard and Elizabeth Smart, who–like Knight, DeJesus, and Berry–experienced physical, psychological and sexual abuse at the hands of a captor. On Saturday’s Melissa Harris-Perry, the host will discuss the issues of teens, sex and safety–and the notion that sexual exploitation does not exist only in the stories that dominate the news cycle.
In particular, Harris-Perry will discuss the dangers of a Republican-backed bill in the North Carolina House that will further bar teenagers from accessing necessary healthcare. The bill proposes that minors must present notarized consent from a parent or guardian before receiving treatment for STDs, pregnancy, substance abuse, and mental illness. She will also address the Obama administration’s recent opposition to lifting the age restriction on over the counter emergency contraception.
Contrary to the rescue we saw in Cleveland this week, we also witnessed the arrest of Air Force Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski for sexual battery, the same guy who was leading the U.S. Air Force’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office. In addition, a new Pentagon report showed a dramatic rise in unwanted sexual contact reports amongst active-duty military. (That report and ones from years past can be found here; check them out.) Harris-Perry will be joined by Anu Bhagwati, the co-founder and Executive Director of the Servicewoman’s Action Network, Rep. Jackie Speier, Rolling Stone contributing editor Sabrina Rubin Erdely, and others to address the growing epidemic of sexual assault in the military. Make sure to read Rubin Erdely’s February report, “The Rape of Petty Officer Blumer,” before the show. (Trigger warning for you survivors and loved ones out there.)
In our second hour, #Nerdland is excited to welcome House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Leader Pelosi and our host will discuss all things from immigration reform, this week’s Benghazi hearings to the possibility of the first female president, gun control, and the upcoming midterm elections.
Our show wraps up back in North Carolina with a discussion on the NAACP rally that took place on Monday. (See the incredible speech delivered by Rev. William Barber above.) Activists who have dubbed these rallies “Moral Mondays” gathered to protest new proposals to restrict voting. Dozens were arrested, including a group that calls themselves “the Raging Grannies.”