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Transcript: The ReidOut, 5/3/22

Guests: Lizz Winstead, Robert P. Jones, Elie Mystal, Alexis McGill Johnson, Barbara Lee


A leaked draft from the Supreme Court indicates that the conservative court is preparing to overturn Roe vs. Wade. Congresswoman Barbara Lee discusses the threat to women`s rights. How will voters respond to the overturning of Roe vs. Wade?


ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Today, the chief justice confirmed this is a real draft. Within weeks, we will see some version of some ruling come out.

We will continue our special coverage here on MSNBC. You can watch THE BEAT WITH ARI MELBER.

And "THE REIDOUT WITH JOY REID" read begins now with coverage of Vice President Harris speaking at an EMILY`s List Gala.

You`re watching MSNBC.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, everyone.

We begin THE REIDOUT tonight with a giant step backwards for women as free people in America.

Fifty years ago, progress was made when the Supreme Court announced their decision in Roe v. Wade.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Major story today, aside from the death of Lyndon Johnson, the tragic death and the hopes for peace and Vietnam, is the decision of the United States Supreme Court.

It handed down a historic decision about abortion. The court said in a 7-2 decision that, in the first three months of pregnancy, only the woman and her physician may decide whether she may have an abortion. In the second three months, all the state may do is regulate abortion procedures.

And only in the final three months of pregnancy can the state forbid abortion.


REID: That was an historic moment for women, only the third official affirmation of women`s rights, after the right to vote in 1920 and the legalization of birth control by the Supreme Court in 1965.

The 1973 ruling on abortion told women that we, not the government, control our bodies, that women get to make their own decisions about their own lives. And now that era of basic human rights and dignity for women has been ripped to shreds with a leak of a draft opinion from the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, as well as the associated ruling Casey vs. Planned Parenthood.

The Supreme Court has confirmed that the document obtained by Politico is, in fact, the authentic first draft. In the opinion, Justice Samuel Alito doesn`t mince words.

It is a blatant, almost gleeful rejection of the past 50 years -- quote -- "Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have inflamed debate and deepened division" -- unquote.

And, with that, the unelected Supreme Court shaped by minority rule has taken away a right that a majority of American support. It`s not the final draft. But it`s very likely that the actual decision won`t be any different.

Alito`s ruling rests on the argument that -- quote -- "The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected," taking us back to the time of the founding fathers, when women were considered barely more than the property of their fathers and husbands.

There`s no telling what other rights this fundamentalist court could decide to take away next in order to get us back to the founding fathers, from birth control, to gay marriage, to the many other rights that are not specifically enumerated in the Constitution.

Here`s how President Biden reacted to the draft decision today.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It concerns me a great deal that we`re going to, after 50 years, decide a woman does not have a right to choose within the limits of the Supreme Court decision in Casey.

If the rationale of the decision as released were to be sustained, a whole range of rights are in question -- a whole range of rights. And the idea we`re letting the states make those decisions, localities make those decisions would be a fundamental shift in what we`ve done.


REID: Any minute now, we will hear from our country`s highest-ranking woman, Vice President Kamala Harris.

Democrats made a scathing case against the decision today, promising to pass legislation to codify Roe v. Wade into law.


SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): This is as urgent and as real as it gets. We will vote to protect a woman`s right to choose. And every American is going to see which side every senator stands on.

SEN. PATTY MURRAY (D-WA): This is a five-alarm fire.

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): I am here because I am angry. And I am here because the United States Congress can change all of this.


WARREN: I have seen the world where abortion is illegal. And we are not going back.


REID: In a statement, former President Obama and Michelle Obama said they understood that many are angry and frustrated, but they called on Americans to join with the activists who`ve been sounding the alarm on this issue for years and vote: "Because, if we want judges who will protect all and not just some of our rights, then we have got to elect officials committed to doing the same."

We`re starting to see some of that action tonight, with protests across the country. But, as the Obamas said, that anger will need to translate into votes in the midterms, because Democrats currently cannot pass a law protecting abortion rights in the United States Senate without ending the filibuster.

And they`re facing a Republican Party that`s openly campaigning for a nationwide abortion ban.


Women in the 13 states that have triggered laws that would immediately outlaw abortion once Roe is overturned will be most immediately affected. But make no mistake. Republicans are coming after every single American. They`re just getting to the women first.

Joining me now, Congresswoman Barbara Lee of California and Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

Representative Lee, thank you so much for being here. We have had you on before to talk about your personal experience regarding abortion and the fact that you to remember the era, as does Senator Warren, when abortion was illegal.

What was your reaction to the leak of this draft and to Samuel Alito`s reasoning that Roe had to go because it doesn`t fit within the original framing of the country and the Constitution?

REP. BARBARA LEE (D-CA): Well, Joy, first of all, I`m really angry.

And I`m trying to contain myself, quite frankly. I`m angry, and I`m heartbroken. I`m heartbroken because so many do not know life without Roe, first of all. Secondly, it`s going to be low-income women, black and brown women who are going to be impacted the most. Women with money will be able to travel to the states and afford to have an abortion.

So this is an issue of racial justice. And it is a reminder for me personally of the days before Roe, when, at age 15, Joy, you know I had a very heart-wrenching decision to make. And my mother and I made that decision together. It was nobody else`s business. That`s why I didn`t talk about.

It was my right to privacy. It was my right not to talk about my health care issues. And so I -- my mother sent me to Mexico, and I -- it was a back alley where I had an abortion. Fortunately, I lived.

But so many, then, black women were dying each and every day of septic abortion. So, I lived. So many thousands of women did not live. And abortions have got to remain safe and legal. And so we do not want to see this happen.

But I have to tell you, everything is political. We have to organize, we have to mobilize, and we have to make these senators now and Republican women -- the public supports a woman`s right to reproductive freedom. These Republican women and everyone needs to unite and let the senators know, in no uncertain terms, they need to step up and pass the Women`s Health Protection Act right away.

REID: And then I`m going to warn our audience that we`re waiting for Vice President Harris to speak, so I may have to jump in.

And so, ladies, I apologize if I have to rudely interrupt one of you if the vice president began speaking.

But, Alexis McGill Johnson, let me go to you. There`s a map. I want to put it up. This is the 13 states that have trigger laws. And these are the states that -- the moment that the official end of Roe comes, they`re going to -- their laws will kick in.

And then there are 26 states that are likely to just ban abortion outright if and when Roe is overturned, and I think now at the point is when.

And you look at that, and it looks a lot, Alexis McGill Johnson, like the same states with the highest poverty rates, the same states that rejected the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare, the same states that are aggressively turning back the right to vote, the same states whose laws seem the cruelest.

There`s a woman named Tocarra Mallard who -- her tweet, I thought, was very interesting today. And she said: "Forced birth in a country with the highest maternal mortality rate, no paid maternity leave, no universal subsidized child care, no continued birth parent care, and frequently inaccessible mental health care."

What is it going to mean for the various Planned Parenthood clinics when these states ban abortion?


REID: And these women, what is it going to mean for these women?

MCGILL JOHNSON: Well, I mean, that`s what I was going to say, is, it`s not about Planned Parenthood clinics.

This is about all of those people who are living in those states. That is a huge swathe of the country that will now have to travel thousands of miles outside of their state in order to get access to basic health care. It is unconscionable what this draft opinion suggests, that overturning Roe, in a way, we know that same states that have the most restrictive access to abortion are also the states with the worst maternal health outcomes and increasingly more voting restrictions.

So, even the idea that these are the states that should come -- that Alito would say should come back and actually enact federal legislation or state legislation were also restricting our ability to express our opinion in a democracy. This is the reality that we are facing.

And like everyone has said, we will not go back. But it`s going to take a lot of time for us to build back this constitutional right.

REID: I want to note just for our audiences this statistic.

It`s pretty shocking. It`s pretty jarring; 60 percent of women who have had an abortion are already mothers. They already have children. In many cases, these are low-income women who cannot afford more children. A majority of abortions actually occur in the first trimester. Women seeking later abortions are more likely to be poor or young or have serious health complications.


Congresswoman, two -- well, let me actually skip to this, because one of the things that the pro-forced birth side says is, this is not about punishing women; this is about saving children, even though they tend to not be in favor of things like maternal health care, universal preschool, or anything that helps children, but, OK, they say that`s their argument.

MeidasTouch, which has put out a lot of really stark videos to try to get people to focus on these issues in a very specific way, they put out one that essentially describes "Handmaid`s Tale" in real life that could happen once enforcement begins, because it`s hard to imagine enforcement won`t include women.

Let`s take a look at that video.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Listen, everything`s going to be OK, all right? Just let me do the talking, OK? Just...

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Good evening ladies. License, please.

Where you headed?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: We`re just out for a drive.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Headed to the border?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: Oh, no, no, we were just going up to the...

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Hey there. What`s your name?


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Are you pregnant, Grace?

Step out of the vehicle.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: She does not have to...



UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Show me your hands on the wheel.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Grace, step out of the vehicle.

On the wheel.



REID: Congresswoman, it is impossible for me to imagine making abortion illegal without having the enforcement include enforcement against women, against mothers and teenage daughters and people who try to sneak and get abortion pills.

Enforcement against women is inevitable, is it not?

LEE: Yes, what they`re trying to do, Joy, is criminalize our bodies. And all these bogus arguments are totally irrelevant.

This is an issue that is a very personal decision that a person has to make, oftentimes very, very grueling. And so the right to privacy, the right to make their own -- our own medical decisions, our own health care decisions is what this issue is.

And all of these other arguments have nothing to do with women`s autonomy. And that`s when we`re talking about it. So, yes, they`re trying to criminalize our bodies. Yes, they`re trying to move toward states` rights. And we all know what states` rights means. Yes, this is the beginning of the erosion of our fundamental constitutional rights.

If they are coming for me today, they`re coming for you tomorrow. This is a very scary moment, Joy, even though -- and I want to just reiterate, right now, abortions are still legal. But if this holds, and this opinion, which it looks like it will, then what are they going to do next?

Take away our right to birth control? What next? Start taking away rights for the LGBTQ+I community? What next? They already tried to take away our voting rights.

REID: And...

LEE: So all of this intersects with basic fundamental rights and erosion of our...

REID: I want to point out -- Congresswoman, I`m sorry to interrupt you, but Vice President Harris is taking the stage.

We want to just watch her walk up on stage. And we`re going to listen to her speech now. So let`s go to the vice president.



HARRIS: Good evening. Please have a seat.

Good evening. Good evening.

I want to thank Ms. Laphonza Butler, who I have known her for many, many years,she and I being in different positions when we first got to know each other, working together. And I will say that we are very fortunate that we have a leader in Laphonza Butler at a moment like this in the history of our country.


HARRIS: Thank you, Laphonza.


HARRIS: I also want to recognize another very special person who is in the room, the first second gentleman of the United States, Doug Emhoff.



HARRIS: So, if there was ever any doubt about why EMILY`s List is important, last night makes the point.


HARRIS: Women`s rights in America are under attack.

Roe v. Wade has protected a woman`s right...



HARRIS: Yes, it`s powerful.



HARRIS: Roe v. Wade, in its power, has protected a woman`s right, her right to make decisions about her own body for nearly half-a-century.

If the court overturns Roe v. Wade, it will be a direct assault on freedom, on the fundamental rights of self-determination, to which all Americans are entitled. Roe protects the right to access abortion.

It also protects a woman`s right to make decisions about what she does with her own body. So, to the friends, I say, we have always been clear, but, today, we know our purpose.

We know also what we are up against. We have been on the front lines of this fight for many years, all of us in this together. And now we enter a new phase. There is nothing hypothetical about this moment.

Let me be clear. This fight requires the work of this very organization, EMILY`s List, to elect pro-choice Democrats to Congress.


HARRIS: Now, at this very moment, Roe v. Wade remains the law of the land. But let`s talk about what a world without Roe looks like.

Women in almost half the country could see their access to abortion severely limited. In 13 of those states, women would lose access to abortion immediately and outright. Those Republican leaders who are trying to weaponize the use of the law against women, well, we say, how dare they?

How dare they tell a woman what she can do and cannot do with her own body? How dare they?


HARRIS: How dare they try to stop her from determining her own future? How dare they try to deny women their rights and their freedoms?

Three years ago, when I was a United States senator, I asked a question: Can you think of any laws...


HARRIS: ... that give the government power to make decisions about the male body? And the response, you will recall, was essentially, can`t think of any.

So, when we look at the big picture, those who attack Roe have been clear. They want to ban abortion in every state. They want to bully anyone who seeks or provides reproductive health care. And they want to criminalize and punish women for making these decisions.

At its core, Roe recognizes the fundamental right to privacy. Think about that for a moment. When the right to privacy is attacked, anyone in our country may face a future where the government can interfere with their personal decisions, not just women, anyone.


And it has never been more clear which party wants to expand our rights and which party wants to restrict them.


HARRIS: It has never been more clear.

It has never been more clear which party wants to lead us forward and which party wants to push us back.

You know, some Republican leaders, they want to take us back to a time before Roe v. Wade, back to a time before Obergefell v. Hodges, back to a time before Griswold v. Connecticut. But we`re not going back. We are not going back.


HARRIS: Because, at our core, the strength of our country is that we fight to move forward.

You know, I have spent my entire career fighting for the health, safety and well-being of women with so many of you in this room. And now, once again, friends, we must link arms in this fight.

I invite all people to join us. If you stand for freedom, for self- determination, for the right to privacy, if you stand for these principles, stand with us.


HARRIS: Because, you see, women`s issues are America`s issues.

And democracies, democracies cannot be strong if the rights of women are under attack.


HARRIS: So, to all here, I say let us fight for our country and for the principles upon which it was founded, and let us fight with everything we have got.

God bless you, and God bless America.


REID: The vice president of the United States, Kamala Harris, giving an impassioned speech at EMILY`s List.

Some of the lead lines, "How dare they?" saying some Republican leaders are trying to weaponize the use of the law against women. "How dare they tell a woman what she can and cannot do with her own body? How dare they try to stop her from determining her own future?"

A passionate speech by the vice president, who also reminded everyone that the underpinnings of this decision to come are in the right to privacy. And once that`s ripped away, who knows where that will go?

Still with us, Alexis McGill Johnson of Planned Parenthood and Congresswoman Barbara Lee.

I want to let each of you respond to what you just heard.

Congresswoman, I will let you go first.

LEE: Well, I think she was very authentic.

First of all, she spoke to the issues. And she also framed this in the context really of fighting for our democracy and how critical women`s rights are. And the right to privacy is essential. And it was very interesting, because I have been talking to my friends about this, that we don`t know of any laws that dictate what men can do with their bodies.

And I think that shows the glaring kind of unequal treatment of women. And so this is the serious moment. And she also naturally had to politicize it, because this is about elections. This is about electing pro-choice, pro- reproductive freedom members of Congress, who are primarily Democrats, to make sure that they win, that we win.

And so we have got to get out there now and organize, organize, organize, in spite of all the voter suppression laws that they passed, in spite of what they`re trying to do to keep African-Americans and people of color and young people in the disabled and seniors away from exercising their constitutional rights to vote.

REID: Yes.

LEE: So, today, it`s women`s right to reproductive freedom. Tomorrow, it will be something else and someone else they go after.

REID: Well, I`m old enough to remember when Republicans went absolutely crazy over the idea of a mandate to wear a little piece of cloth over your face to prevent the spread of a deadly pandemic.


Alexis McGill Johnson, your take on what you heard from the vice president.

MCGILL JOHNSON: Look, I think, to the point that the congresswoman made, this is why representation matters, right?

That was a room that was all about representation, having people who look like us in Congress representing us and demonstrating why this is so critical.

What I really loved about what the vice president did just there was connect the dots all the way back to the conversation we were having before she started speaking, the criminalization and the weaponization of the law around our bodies.

We are already seeing the surveillance increase in our health centers, our parking lots, just because of the bounty hunter provision in Texas, which is now spreading to Oklahoma and Idaho. We know that there will have to be a way to enforce these laws.

And, because of that, bodies that are brown, and black, and indigenous and low income are going to be at the intersection and the nexus of racism, of classism, and criminalization.

And so I saw her, particularly in her role as a former attorney general, as a former prosecutor, understanding what it really means to pass a -- or to let this law fall in a way that is going to impact our freedoms in multiple ways.

And I thought -- I was really proud of seeing her voice as an administration -- part of the administration be lifted up.

REID: Indeed.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Alexis McGill Johnson, thank you both very much.

Up next on THE REIDOUT: Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski are stunned, stunned that they were apparently lied to by Trump`s Supreme Court nominees. But, you know, all the rest of us saw this coming.

And now that Roe is on the way to being overturned, there`s a whole list of other rights that conservatives cannot wait to roll back.

THE REIDOUT continues after this.




HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: In short, in a single term, the Supreme Court could demolish pillars of the progressive movement.

And as someone who`s worked on every single one of these issues for decades, I see this as a make-or-break moment.


REID: Hillary Clinton warned us.

In March of 2016, she implored voters to get serious about the Supreme Court and explicitly laid out the fragile future of Roe, noting that the court was reviewing a Texas law that could end legalized abortion.

Despite the court striking down that law, months later, she sounded the alarm again, saying the fight was far from over and saying that -- quote -- "The outcome of November`s contests, from the presidency to state legislatures, is going to be a deciding factor in whether our elected officials and our courts defend or attack a woman`s right to health care for generations to come."

Now, if warnings from Secretary Clinton and so many others had been taken seriously, this dark day for American women could have been avoided. Now Mitch McConnell`s stolen right-wing court is on the precipice of ripping away 50 years of protected rights.

But, again, the indications were there. And during Brett Kavanaugh`s confirmation hearing in 2018, the winner of the 2016 popular vote warned us again.

Clinton wrote: "If Brett Kavanaugh becomes a Supreme Court justice, will he help gut or overturn Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion in America? Yes, of course he will."

One person who clearly did not get the message was so-called moderate Maine Republican Senator Susan Collins, who voted for two of Donald Trump`s nominees, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, and repeatedly assured everyone that they would uphold Roe.


JAKE TAPPER, CNN: Don`t you think, just as an academic matter, Neil Gorsuch, for whom you voted, don`t you think he`s probably going to vote to overturn Roe vs. Wade if given the chance?

SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R-ME): I actually don`t. We talked about whether he considered Roe to be settled law. He said that he agreed with what Justice Roberts said at his nomination hearing, in which he said that it was settled law.

I do not believe that Brett Kavanaugh will overturn...

DANA BASH, CNN: There`s precedent to overturn.


REID: Well, today, Senator Collins said she found it completely inconsistent that the two would be among the majority of conservative justices to support overturning Roe v. Wade.

Joining me now, Lizz Winstead, comedian, co-creator of "The Daily Show," and founder of Abortion Access Front, and Elie Mystal, justice correspondent for "The Nation," and also two people who been saying that this was going to happen.

Let me play one more person who was quite surprised by the turn of events, Lisa Murkowski. This is what she`s saying now, because she was quite also supportive of these same nominees. Here`s Lisa Murkowski today.


SEN. LISA MURKOWSKI (R-AK): If it goes in the direction that this leaked copy has indicated, I will just tell you that it rocks my confidence in the court right now.


REID: Lizz, better late than never, but what do you think it means that you have these two women sort of moderate-ish, moderate conservative women senators who`ve now been -- their faith has been rocked in the court?

LIZZ WINSTEAD, CO-CREATOR, "THE DAILY SHOW": Well, first of all, I`m disappointed she didn`t actually clutch her pearls that were hanging around her neck. She actually missed an opportunity to actually do the clutching.

But, for Susan Collins, the thing that is so upsetting -- and I know, Elie, you`re going to know where I`m going with this -- for her to be so convinced about Brett Kavanaugh, when Brett Kavanaugh was on the D.C. court and was the dissenting opinion -- when an undocumented person who was incarcerated at the border needed an abortion -- he was the person who did not want to allow her to get her legal access to abortion.


There didn`t have to be any digging around it. It was there in plain sight. And yet she`s shocked, shocked at what she heard. I don`t -- I don`t even know what to say. It`s so appalling.

REID: Yes.

Let me play the other -- three of the other justices who are likely in this majority to overturn Roe. This is Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett in their confirmation hearings.


NEIL GORSUCH, U.S. SUPREME COURT ASSOCIATE JUSTICE: So, a good judge will consider it as precedent of the United States Supreme Court, worthy as treatment of precedent, like any other.

BRETT KAVANAUGH, U.S. SUPREME COURT ASSOCIATE JUSTICE: And one of the important things to keep in mind about Roe v. Wade is that it has been reaffirmed many times over the past 45 years.

AMY CONEY BARRETT, U.S. SUPREME COURT ASSOCIATE JUSTICE: Roe is not a super precedent because calls for its overruling have never ceased, but that doesn`t mean that Roe should be overruled.


REID: All right, let me play one more. Here`s Samuel Alito, the author of the upcoming overturning of Roe.


SAMUEL ALITO, U.S. SUPREME COURT ASSOCIATE JUSTICE: Roe vs. Wade is an important precedent of the Supreme Court. It was decided in 1973. So it`s been on the books for a long time.

It has been challenged on a number of occasions. And I discussed those yesterday. And it is my -- and the Supreme Court has reaffirmed the decision, sometimes on the merits, sometimes, in Casey, based on stare decisis. And I think that, when a decision is challenged, and it is reaffirmed, that strengthens its value.


REID: I mean, those were lies, right, Elie? And stare decisis isn`t real, right?

ELIE MYSTAL, "THE NATION": Yes, they`re lying. They have always been lying.

And, frankly, if you`re the idiot who believed their lies all the way through, then you`re too stupid to be a United States senator. Obviously, they were lying. They have been lying the entire time.

But my question is simply, to the Democrats, now what are you prepared to do? Now that their allies have been exposed, now that the obvious jig is up, what did you think was going to happen in 2004, when they replaced Sandra Day O`Connor, the deciding vote in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, with Samuel Alito.

What did you think was going to happen when 52 percent of white women and 62 percent of white men voted -- couldn`t vote for the e-mail lady and instead voted for Donald Trump? What do you think was going to happen when Mitch McConnell stole the Supreme Court seat? What did you think was going to happen when these people had a COVID party on top of Ruth Bader Ginsburg`s grave?

What did you think they were celebrating? Did you think they were, oh, yay, federalism? Was that the party? No, they promised to do this. They are doing it now. What are you prepared to do to stop them from doing it is the only question that matters today.

REID: Well, and, Lizz, they`re not just doing this. I mean, the glee is not even ending.

I mean, there is right now a group of Republican senators who are putting together a plan to pass if they -- the moment they get a Senate majority, their first action, I`m assuming, is -- James Lankford is behind it, as well as the senator from Iowa, Joni Ernst -- they want a total ban on abortion, so that you wouldn`t even be able to travel to a blue state.

Essentially, they...


REID: And not essentially. They would like to ban abortion nationwide.

What are we going to do about that?

WINSTEAD: Well, and I think that -- and that`s what I think people don`t realize, is that Roe v. Wade means it goes to the states.

And if it goes to Oklahoma, James Lankford`s state, which, by the way, just today, their governor just signed a six-week ban that went into effect immediately. So there is that whole pocket of places where people can`t get abortions at all.

I think this was the plan all along. And I have to tell you, Joy, that, sometimes, I try to be rational in my -- in where I need to place my anger, because, a lot of times, I looked at my fellow Democrats, my fellow progressives who kept telling me that I was irrational. I feel slightly gaslit by the amount of times people told me that this was not happening.

And Elie laid it out perfectly. As we told people, it makes you really feel like -- to answer Elie`s question, do they care enough to do something? Is it just Joe Manchin? Or do they care enough to do something? Because it`s not enough anymore to just bat away horrifying legislation. We need to be proactive in expanding access.

And does our party have it in them? And it`s up to us to actually fuel that fire. I really do believe that we`re going to see if this 70 percent of people who believe that a person`s right to an abortion should be -- should always exist and Roe should exist. Then we have to fight for it.

REID: Yes.

WINSTEAD: We have to tell politicians, your job is on the line if you don`t secure...

REID: Yes.

WINSTEAD: ... this right now.


Anything less, they get a free pass. They get a free pass to not care.

REID: Yes.

And, Elie, I want to very quickly go through your reaction to actually the language itself. I`m not a lawyer, but I did read the opinion, the draft opinion last night. There`s something about it was quite arrogant, in sort of saying, well, the law was always wrongly decided, which you have heard people on the right say for decades.

I have been hearing this from the religious rights since 2004. They have been saying it for a long time, but to put it in language that essentially made it sound as if women just aren`t capable of doing this, that the states need to make these decisions for women.

And I think we forget about Casey enough. People forget Casey -- Planned Parenthood vs. Casey, that`s the one that said, up until 1993, when that when that ruling happened, women had to ask their husbands for permission of what to do with their bodies. They had to have a man`s permission. Essentially, you were a ward of the man you married.

MYSTAL: Yes. Look...

REID: That is overlooked a lot, but that`s also being thrown under the bus.

Your thought about the decision itself?

MYSTAL: Alito`s fundamental legal reasoning is that abortion is not a fundamental right because it doesn`t go back to the founding, because the founding fathers didn`t recognize abortion as a fundamental right.

And he`s right about that. The founding fathers didn`t recognize abortion as a fundamental right, because the founding fathers were racist, misogynist jerk-faces who didn`t believe that women had any rights at all. So, of course they didn`t believe that women had rights to their own bodies. The founding fathers didn`t believe that marital rape was a thing, couldn`t be a thing, according to the founding fathers, according to Sam Alito.

So that`s the history that Sam Alito is accessing. Look, either you believe that the founding fathers, in their infinite wrongness, were overcome by the 14th Amendment, which guarantees equal protection to all people in this country, or you don`t.

And if you don`t believe that the 14th Amendment should -- guarantees women rights to their own reproductive system, just like a man has a right to his own reproductive system, if you don`t believe that, then we are living in a situation where women have second-class citizen status.

REID: Yes.


MYSTAL: If you do believe that the 14th Amendment worked, then Samuel Alito`s legal reasoning is laughable on its face and wrong.

WINSTEAD: Yes, I agree.

And in reading...

REID: Yes. I want to remind -- oh, OK, real quick, real quick, Lizz, because we`re out of time. But go ahead, real quick.

WINSTEAD: Oh, I was going to say, in reading it, it read like an anti- abortion activist wrote it, not a Supreme Court justice.

REID: But one -- well, one might argue that one did.

WINSTEAD: Yes. I`m not saying they`re mutually exclusive.

REID: And I will -- I would like to advise our audience -- indeed -- that marital rape actually finally was illegal in all the U.S. states in 1993, 1993.

WINSTEAD: Ninety-three.

REID: Women have barely had any rights in this country most of the time that women have been in this country.

Lizz Winstead, Elie Mystal, thank you both very much.

And up next: The Christian right`s decades-long push to revoke abortion rights is just part of their broader agenda. Well, what else? What else do they want? What else is at stake?

That`s next on THE REIDOUT.



REID: For decades, the religious right has been almost singularly focused on overturning Roe v. Wade.

If the draft ruling remains the final word, you would think they would proudly proclaim victory. It is, after all, the culmination of years of work to put in place activist Supreme Court justices with a religious agenda.

But the normally vocal party has been somewhat muted. And there`s a reason for that. The majority of the American public does not agree with the conservative justices on the Supreme Court and the Republicans who confirmed them.

But now that the dog has caught the car, it`s an open question what comes next, and if voters will punish Republicans for taking away women`s rights.

Joining me now, Errin Haines, editor at large for The 19th and an MSNBC contributor, and Robert P. Jones, CEO and founder of the Public Religion Research Institute and author of "White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity."

I`m going to start with you on this, Robbie, because this is the dream come true, that those of us have been following the religious right and the things that they have said for a long time know this is what they wanted. Now that they have caught the car, their messaging doesn`t seem to be as exuberant as one might expect. Why do you suppose that is?

ROBERT P. JONES, CEO AND FOUNDER, PUBLIC RELIGION RESEARCH INSTITUTE: Well, I think you have hit the nail on the head.

It`s really notable that it`s nearly two-thirds of the public that supports the legality of abortion. Similar numbers oppose overturning Roe v. Wade. And, in fact, even if you look in the religious landscape -- you mentioned the religious right. It`s really the white evangelical right that we`re talking about that is at the core of this.

They are actually the only religious group in the country among whom a majority think that abortion should be illegal in all or most cases. That is, every other major religious group in the country is in majority support of this right. Latino Protestants are divided, but white evangelicals stand alone. They`re only 14 percent of the population, and they stand alone as the only group that really opposes it.

It is worth noting that Alito is a Catholic justice, but the Catholics in the country, six in 10 Catholics in the country support the legality of abortion, despite the church`s stance.

REID: Let`s just look at some of these PRRI numbers that you brought in, Robbie.

You have got 61 percent overall oppose overturning Roe v. Wade. Only 36 percent support it. By party, it`s still a no for most other groups, Democrats and independents, but even 48 percent of Republicans oppose overturning Roe v. Wade. And then when it comes to, as you mentioned, white evangelical Protestants, it`s kind of divided. So, 52 percent support overturning Roe v. Wade. So, it`s divided.


So, then, to bring you in, Errin, the question then becomes, what do they say about it? Because I have seen a lot of anti-choice activists, sort of pro-birth activists on TV, that have been saying, no, it`s about compassion.

Well, Axios has gotten the Senate Republicans` talking points. Their talking points are be compassionate, expose the Democrats for their extreme views, forcefully refute the Democrat lies regarding GOP positions on abortion and women`s health care, blah, blah, blah, push the idea that Americans support reasonable restrictions.

This isn`t about reasonable restrictions. This is about banning abortion, and they have even got a bill they`re working on in the Senate. What do you think this winds up doing? Or what are you hearing that it wind -- it`s going to wind up doing in some of these races in the midterms?

ERRIN HAINES, MSNBC POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, Joy, it is going to be interesting to see what happens even tonight with -- there`s a primary under way even as we speak in Ohio, right, where abortion has certainly been part of the conversation in that primary election there.

But, listen, I think you got a preview of where Democrats may be going headed into the midterms with Vice President Harris` remarks at EMILY`s List, obviously, one of the most powerful political organizing groups in the country for women.

And what you saw was a very powerful, a very forceful speech from the vice president, where she threw down the gauntlet, saying women`s rights are under attack in America. And she said in a statement that she put out earlier today that it`s time for every woman in America to fight for -- with everything that they have to push back against what may be coming if this draft opinion ends up actually being the actual opinion of the Supreme Court later on this year.

You heard a lot of the talking points. I`m just looking here at my notes, reminded -- and she reminded the audience of the long fight to undo Roe from the Republican Party and warned them that we`re no longer in a hypothetical situation. This is real for people now.

And it`s going to take really all hands on deck. And it almost seems like a kind of a reframing of the conversation around the midterms headed into November, and could be just kind of the latest chapter in the culture war, but one that Democrats sound like they may actually have an answer for.

REID: Indeed.

And just to note that Kansas, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin all have active debates going on about abortion, so this is going to hit some swing states as well.

But, Robbie, I want to get into what else they want, because the right to privacy that underpins Roe v. Wade also underpins the under -- the Obergefell same-sex marriage decision. It underpins the legality of birth control, which even Brett Kavanaugh and people like Marsha Blackburn have called abortifacients. They consider birth control to be abortion drugs.

It -- they have even -- there have even been some of them who have spoken out that Loving vs. Virginia, the international marriage doctrine, it should be decided by the states.

How much more do you expect them to try for, now that they have the court?

JONES: Well, I was struck again -- I`m no lawyer either, but I was struck by the aggressiveness by which this leaked memo went after the presumed right of privacy that`s been six decades of jurisprudence establishing this and that goes straight at it.

And, if it`s not mentioned specifically in the Constitution, the argument is, there`s no constitutional support for it, right? And so you`re right. Even marriage across racial lines, right, could be back on -- we could be doing -- in many ways, I think of this as a kind of time machine, right?

It really is an attempt to drag the country back to a 1950s America. And, in fact, when we look at the correlations between questioning on exactly that, like, if you look at those who oppose the legality of abortion, we find that it`s two-thirds of them believe that American culture and way of life, for example, has changed for the worse since the 1950s.

We find that that same group that opposes abortion doesn`t see the connection, doesn`t see systemic reaction -- systemic racism or the connection between past discrimination and president inequality.

So, there`s a whole range of things, a whole world view here that really is connected, because this is not just about abortion. This is about a much broader set of issues that are -- have -- that really are about a kind of white Christian right world view, that, again, is a very minority opinion in a rapidly changing country today.

REID: Yes.

HAINES: Joy, if I could...

REID: And I think they have given up on the idea they can convince people that they`re right. They`re just using coercion now.

I`m sorry, very quickly, Errin. We`re running out of time, but go ahead.

HAINES: Yes, Joy, if I could pick up on what Robert is saying, I mean, I think you heard a couple of -- to his point, there were a couple of talking points that -- in Vice President Harris` remarks that speak directly to that.

I mean, one, the idea that, when she`s says we`re not going back, being really forceful with that, but really just tying this potential decision directly to the erosion of democracy, in addition to a woman`s right to make decisions about her own body.


REID: Yes.

HAINES: This is an opportunity to reframe a conversation around the women`s vote, around who gets to be a voter of faith. Again, white evangelicals are not the only faith voters in this country.

REID: That`s right.

HAINES: And hearing from them about where they are on this issue I think is also going to be part of this conversation going forward.

REID: Indeed, indeed.

Errin Haines, Robbie Jones, thank you very much.

And don`t go anywhere. Our own -- very own Steve Kornacki is firing at the Big Board as we speak for the latest on today`s important primary in Ohio, as Errin just mentioned, where polls have just closed.

We will be right back.


REID: Well, polls have closed and Ohio.

And for all the latest, we have got our very own Steve Kornacki minding the Big Board.

And here he is -- Steve.

STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: All right, Joy, so the big story in Ohio we`re tracking tonight, the Republican primary for the United States Senate, the question here, J.D. Vance, endorsed by Donald Trump.

This is the first big test of Donald Trump`s clout with Republican primary voters in 2022. You can see here the early returns. We have got just about 15 percent of the vote now statewide has come in, Vance with the early advantage here.

Second place -- this is the other thing we`re watching closely tonight, this late-in-the-campaign sort of development here. The state Senator Matt Dolan, he`s from the Cleveland area. He`s from that family that owns the Cleveland Guardians baseball team.

Been late momentum, suggested by the polling, the early returns suggesting that momentum was real, Dolan the one candidate in this race who was singled out by Donald Trump, with Trump saying, this is the one candidate I cannot accept, I do not want to win the Republican nomination.

Dolan had vociferously spoken out against Trump`s conduct on and around January 6 involving those events. You have got Vance and Dolan one, too early on. You have also got Josh Mandel here running a very close third. Mandel had earnestly sought Trump`s endorsement here, going after many of the same voters that Vance is going after.

So you just start to see a pattern here. Look at Vance is sort of the maroon color. And you see here, in the southern tier of the state, certainly, you see a lot of these rural areas coming in early here for Vance, Vance doing well as well in the Mahoning Valley.

One thing that I think to keep in mind is, the pattern in Ohio is, they do have early voting. They do have vote by mail. That began about a month ago. Those are the votes, generally speaking, that are going to be reported out and released first.

The Trump endorsement of J.D. Vance came about 10 days into that period. So that`s one of the questions we have. Are Vance`s numbers going to get a little bit better as the night goes on if it`s the early vote that`s counted first?

And that`s a similar question here for Dolan. If this Dolan surge came late, is it necessarily going to be caught in the earliest votes that were cast?

But, again, about 15 percent in right now, Vance off to a slight lead. Dolan`s right up there, and Mandel a factor.

REID: Fascinating. We will definitely keep an eye on it.

Steve Kornacki, always appreciate you, man. Thank you.

And that is tonight`s REIDOUT.