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Transcript: The ReidOut, 5/4/22

Guests: Maria Teresa Kumar, Tammy Duckworth, Kathryn Kolbert, Jessica Bruder


What will a post-Roe American look like, especially for lower-income women and women of color? Newly released audiotape from Congressman Kevin McCarthy from two days after the January 6 insurrection reveals a discussion about removing Donald Trump from power. Republican politicians focus on the leak investigation at the Supreme Court. Senator Tammy Duckworth discusses the danger to women`s rights posed by the potential Supreme Court decision on Roe vs. Wade.


ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: How do you tell the story of these numbers, whether it`s that one person that`s dear to you in your life, or the thousands more you may know of in your community, or a number like a million that we really struggle to even understand?

So, tonight, we mark that. We think of each other. And we remember what we have gone through and the road we have to go through ahead.

Good evening.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, everyone.

We begin THE REIDOUT tonight with the reality of a post-Roe America.

While the United States prepares to roll back the clock, stripping away 50 years of reproductive rights for half of the population, it is instructive to look overseas at a nation that only recently decided to move forward, Ireland, where the right to legal abortion is relatively new.

Irish citizens voted overwhelmingly in a 2018 national referendum to repeal Europe`s strictest abortion law, banning nearly all abortions. The BBC documented the push to make history.


LUCY, PRO-CHOICE CAMPAIGNER: I got involved through campaigning because I have a personal experience of traveling for an abortion. I didn`t even know if I could ask about abortion.


LUCY: I was terrified of being found out, really. It felt like a dirty -- it felt like a dirty secret.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For me, it`s so easy to sympathize with this, because I grew up in England, where abortion, every -- like, everyone speaks about it. It`s not a secret. It is an option for you if you need it.

It`s still a huge decision, but it`s just mad to come somewhere that feels so close to home, and yet it feels like a million miles away.


REID: That was just four years ago.

The reality for Irish citizens was 35 years under its Eighth Amendment, giving a fetus and mother an equal right to life under Irish law. It came at an unconscionable cost, the lives of Irish women, notably Dr. Savita Halappanavar, a 31-year-old who was denied treatment during a miscarriage in 2012. She died of severe sepsis days later.

The United Nations Human Rights Council had criticized Ireland`s law as cruel and inhumane in the case of a woman denied treatment and forced to go to England for care. Ireland, mostly Catholic Ireland, ultimately decided that the rights and lives of women mattered.

And it`s a cautionary tale here in the United States, as we are now barreling toward codifying that they don`t matter. So, when Justice Samuel Alito writes -- quote -- "We do not pretend to know how our political system or society will respond to today`s decision overruling Roe and Casey."

The fact is, we do know. It`s not a hypothetical. Ireland showed us what it looks like when religious doctrine becomes law. And then, of course, there`s the fictionalized version of how it can play out in "The Handmaid`s Tale."


ELISABETH MOSS, ACTRESS: Now I`m awake to the world. I was asleep before. That`s how we let it happen. When they slaughtered Congress, we didn`t wake up.

When they blamed terrorists and suspended the Constitution, we didn`t wake up then either. They said it would be temporary. Nothing changes instantaneously. In a gradually heating bathtub, you would be boiled to death before you knew it.


REID: Well, now we are all awake.

As Michelle Goldberg writes in "The New York Times" this new post-Roe world order is just as dark, if not darker, than our dystopian nightmares.

She notes: "Post-Roe America will not look like pre-Roe America. Before Roe, women were rarely prosecuted for abortion, though they were sometimes threatened with prosecution to get them to testify against abortion providers. Roe meant that fetal endangerment and fetal homicide laws didn`t apply to women having abortions. Once it`s gone, women who terminate their pregnancies are likely to be treated as killers."

There`s also the push for so-called fetal personhood laws conferring the right to life to a fetus, similar to Ireland`s now-defunct amendment. At least three states have already enacted laws with personhood language. Another six states are currently pursuing bills that would ban abortion by establishing fetal personhood.

And we have already gotten a clear glimpse of a post-Roe future in the case of Lizelle Herrera. The 26-year-old Texas woman was arrested and charged with murder over a self-induced abortion. She was held for three days before prosecutors dropped the charges.

But while post-Roe America will look different, in states like Texas, it`s already essentially here. And activists across the country are already mobilizing for our dark future. "The Atlantic"`s Jessica Bruder reported on the network connecting women with services that they need, the so-called abortion underground, noting: "Whatever the laws may say, history has shown that women will continue to have abortions."

Jessica Bruder joins me now. Also joining me, Kathryn Kolbert, the attorney who argued Planned Parenthood vs. Casey before the Supreme Court in 1992 and the co-author of "Controlling Women: What We Must Do Now to Save Reproductive Freedom."


And controlling women sounds exactly like what we`re seeing happen right now.

I will start with you, Kathryn.

What does that mean, controlling women? Because, in the Casey case, the question was whether women had to notify their husband. Just to go through here, at issue, there were five provisions in the Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act. One commands that, unless certain exceptions apply, a married woman seeking an abortion must sign a statement indicating she has notified her husband.

That husband notification provision constitutes an undue burden, is therefore invalid. That`s -- that was the case that you won. If abortion simply becomes illegal, it isn`t about notification anymore. What happens?


I mean, what we`re looking at is about 40 percent of women who have abortions every year living in states that are likely to ban. And those bans will span from Georgia west to Texas, from Canada down to Mexico. Hundreds of thousands of women who are facing unintended pregnancy will be affected by these bans.

And what does it mean? It means that they can`t exercise decisions about when, where and with whom to have children. It means that they will have to travel long distances, sometimes 200, up to 1,000 miles to obtain appropriate care, which has severe jeopardy to their health.

But, like we saw in Ireland, it will also mean that women who have wanted pregnancies who are facing a need to terminate that pregnancy due to a variety of health effects will also suffer and be unable to obtain appropriate care.

And, as you pointed out in your opening, we`re likely to see an increase in prosecution, primarily against black and brown women, who have less access to care and who are often singled out due to discrimination by authorities, going after them for criminal prosecution for essentially trying to have an abortion in whatever means is appropriate and best for them.

It is...

REID: And Jess -- yes. Yes.

KOLBERT: The only thing I would add there, Joy, is, this is the worst it`s ever been in this country since 1973.

And I can`t overstate how problematic it is.

REID: No, indeed.

And the Casey case was in the `90s. This -- we have rolled back so far.

And I want to bring you in, Jessica, because your piece was quite striking about this abortion underground, this sort of underground railroad of trying to get women care and the home remedies that people have come up with. Talk a little bit about that and what we`re probably going to see, because, I mean, look, they`re -- the right is not satisfied.

They aren`t sated by this leaked ruling. Kevin Cramer, Senator Kevin Cramer, has already talked about a national ban. Joni Ernst and other senators have. This is what Senator Cramer said. He mentioned someone crossing North Dakota state lines to get an abortion.

He said: "I don`t find a lot of solace in that just because it didn`t happen in my state. So, yes, I think you could expect the pro-life activists would push for federal protections."

So you`re talking about a potential underground that would have to be nationwide.

JESSICA BRUDER, FREELANCE JOURNALIST: Yes, well, let`s bring up the point that bans on abortion have never stopped abortion.

Even some of the people with the least autonomy in the most draconian circumstances in American history, enslaved people, were known to use cottonwood bark as an abortifacient. There have always been efforts to reclaim autonomy when there was none and always been mutual aid efforts. And that`s what people are talking about now.

One of the reasons we can`t go back to a pre-Roe world is because we now have the abortion pill, which is actually two medications, mifepristone and misoprostol. It`s discreet. It can be sent in the mail. It`s already being sent to all 50 states through an a European organization called Aid Access. People are finding it on the Web site.

And it essentially enables people to have an abortion, an early stage abortion, at home. And we know that 90 percent of abortions in the U.S. are first trimester abortions. So, this pill is really changing the picture. In 2020, more than half of abortions on record involved the pill.

So part of this network of people is, there are people who are already stocking up on the pill. There are people in Mexico who want to bring the pill in and get it into people`s hands. There are people passing all sorts of things around. And there are people getting ready to move doctors around too.

I spoke with an organization that`s bulletproofing vans, so a lot of movement in our future and a lot of people gearing up to do what they believe is needed.

REID: And I will add to that there are some companies that are talking covering the travel costs for their employees that need to get abortion services, Citigroup,, Bumble, Yelp, Lyft, Amazon, Levi Strauss, Apple, some others.


And you also -- you have people that are looking to help. But, I mean, the question then becomes, how do you protect yourself against your doctor? There is a long history. "Mother Jones" had a piece about this long history of doctors reporting their own patients, Kathryn.

And I will throw this to you. This is what the "Mother Jones" piece said: "Medical staff have long reported pregnant people, predominantly women of color, for things they think might be illegal or otherwise disapprove of. Doctors and medical staff are in many cases literally empowered by state law to intervene when they believe a pregnant -- a pregnant person has caused harm to their fetus. In other situations, medical staff may be outright confused about what their responsibilities are."

If you`re in a state like Texas, and you even get the pill at home, you take one of these pills to induce an abortion, and then you don`t feel well, and you go to your doctor for care, they can report you and collect a bounty.

KOLBERT: That`s right.

REID: So, the point is, is that...

KOLBERT: And that`s exactly what happened. That`s what happened in the Texas case.

And the woman who was prosecuted for self-managing her care was reported by a hospital when she went to seek care. It`s just -- it`s extraordinary. But the reality is, it is black and brown women who are going to suffer when that happens, because our -- the prosecutors, the rogue prosecutors, are much more likely to target them than they are other white women.

And that`s a big problem.

REID: And, Kathryn, in this -- your piece, you talk about this underground.

If there`s a national ban -- and it`s very clear that the religious right and their elected officials who cotton to that belief system and at least five members of the Supreme Court, who are also, I would say, members of the religious far right, and are showing it, what if they make it illegal to even have these pills in your home or to send them across state lines or to receive them in the mail?

Then what?

KOLBERT: Well, that`s exactly what the 26 states are doing.

And I think -- let`s just go back, Joy, and say one really important thing, which is, this is about political power. If there are enough votes in the Congress to ban abortion nationwide, they will do it. And our job is to make sure that that doesn`t happen. This is about winning elections.

It`s changing the faces of people who are serving our country in state legislatures and in Congress. And until we get serious about that and change those numbers, make sure that we have a majority of people who believe in women`s autonomy and bodily integrity and equality, we`re going to suffer these consequences.

And so we need to get serious.

REID: And, Jessica, in your reporting, have the women who are forming this abortion underground, are they aware that, if the Republicans take over the United States Senate in the House, they are likely to make it illegal to even possess these drugs?

BRUDER: They are very aware. I mean, they have been aware for a while that this was coming down.

A lot of people who watched the court or just took Trump at his word when he said he planned to stack the court to overturn Roe knew that this was a possibility and even a likelihood. So, yes, people are preparing. I mean, it`s amazing. You can even get abortion pills via Aid Access for advanced provision now.

People are getting them as a break-under-glass thing. I have -- I have a bunch of sitting on my desk. This is mifepristone, and this is misoprostol. And I don`t know how people would keep those out of the mail.

This looks like an Altoid. People I met were also teaching each other how to do procedural abortions, manual vacuum aspirations. People had bought devices like this on the Internet and were training up to do procedures that in many nations are not done by doctors. They`re done by trained clinicians.

So, people are trying to keep all their options on the table.

REID: Let me, before we go, just show you guys the 20 countries that ban reproductive rights, Andorra, Aruba, the Congo, Curacao, Dominican Republic, Egypt, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Iraq, Jamaica, Laos, Madagascar, Malta, Mauritania, Nicaragua, Palau, Philippines, San Marino, and Senegal, and perhaps soon the United States.

Unbelievable. Women apparently have no value to a certain segment of this population, and they`re making us -- they`re making that very clear to us. Justice Alito made that very clear in his ruling.

Thank you, Jessica Bruder and Kathryn Kolbert.

Up next on THE REIDOUT: newly released audiotape from Kevin McCarthy from two days after the January 6 insurrection in a serious discussion about removing Donald Trump from power.

Plus: The red states who are overturning Roe will have the most severe impact on women, especially, as we have just been discussing, lower-income women and women of color.


And call it the leak freak. Republican politicians want everyone to focus on the leak and anything else that changes the subject from their partisan court stripping women of their rights and dignity by banning abortion.

THE REIDOUT continues after this.


REID: Just a short time ago, we learned of newly released audio of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Republican leadership recorded just two days after the January 6 attack on the Capitol.


It was obtained by "New York Times" reporter Jonathan Martin and Alex Burns for the new book, "This Will Not Pass." It confirms previous reporting from the duo that McCarthy not only condemned Trump`s actions during the insurrection, but even discussed the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office, though Kevin was worried that the process might take too long.


REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): Yes, but what the president did is atrocious and totally wrong.

From the standpoint -- we`re 12 days away. I mean, the one point I would make with Biden, if you have an impeachment and you`re stuck sitting in the Senate, and he needs Cabinet members. He`s got secretary of defense. He`s got a lot of things that he`s got to have moving.

And if you think, from a perspective -- you put everything else away. This country is very, very divided. I mean, I have got people I never thought would be in this type of position that are very sophisticated. They think this thing was going to be different. They`re angry. They want to continue the fight.

I mean, I have never seen anything like this.

JOHN LEGANSKI, HOUSE GOP LEADER FLOOR DIRECTOR: It seems like there`s definitely anger on their side, but also division or, strategically, on what to do. And I think the options that have been cited by the Democrats so far are the 25th Amendment, which is not exactly an elegant solution here.

MCCARTHY: That takes too long too. You could -- it would go back to the House, right?



LEGANSKI: And -- correct. If the president were to submit a letter overruling the Cabinet and the vice president, it`s a two-thirds vote in the House and Senate to overrule the president.

So, it`s kind of inartful.


REID: With me now, Maria Teresa Kumar, president and CEO of Voto Latino, and Democratic pollster Cornell Belcher.

Thank you both for being here.

And, Maria Teresa, we knew this information. It is just interesting sort of hearing McCarthy in his own voice sounding completely rational. It does sort of really dig the point in that none of these people are saying what they actually think now. They`re saying what they think -- what they know Trump wants to hear.

What do you think it means for our politics that they`re willing to do that?

MARIA TERESA KUMAR, FOUNDER AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, VOTO LATINO: Well, when you take the collect -- you take a step back, and you see that this is an individual that is aspiring to be speaker of the House.

And when he`s asked on record whether he said this, he`s not only denying it, but, when needed to show the tapes. And it speaks to a larger problem with the GOP. They say one thing that (AUDIO GAP) listen to what Kavanaugh was saying (AUDIO GAP) and he`s lying. McCarthy is lying.

Joy, I`m right now in the Bay Area in San Francisco. And I have to tell you, people are hot on McCarthy. They`re angry and they`re upset, because they`re talking about this is no longer politics as usual. This is about the erosion of democracy.

And the fact that we have Republican leadership not recognizing and owning where we are is where a lot of folks understand that we have to address it. And it will be interesting to see how, here in California, even in his district, how McCarthy gets out of this one.

REID: Well, it`s interesting, Cornell, because it`s not just him.

I mean, J.D. Vance just won the primary in Ohio for the United States Senate. And he literally said Trump is maybe Hitler, and now -- and then he went, swung all the way the other direction to become a Trump sycophant. He`s got all that Peter Thiel money. Peter Thiel basically purchased a Senate campaign, his Senate campaign.

And the question is whether Republican voters will punish someone like J.D. Vance for having gone off the orthodoxy or whether they simply reward them because they are a Republican and they don`t care what they have said or say.

CORNELL BELCHER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, clearly -- clearly, they`re not -- they`re not punishing him. And there`s no accountability here.

In the end -- and I have said this about Trump before -- they will forgive him all his -- all his evil doings, whether it be sexual assault, corruption, what have you, as long as he is their tribal strongman, right?

Joy, it is -- when people feel this sort of fear of the other, and that they`re losing something -- and they really do think they`re losing this country and this country is their country -- nothing else matters. They will cling to their tribal strongman as long as he does not offend them in that tribal and nationalistic manner.

They will forgive almost anything. And we have seen that time and time again in our politics as of late.

REID: You know, and I think that`s absolutely true.

And, Maria Teresa, I mean, one of the issues that I have even known people who have been Trump -- just dogmatic Trumpists, not because they like Trump, but because of one issue, abortion. They would forgive him anything, calling the countries they came from -- I know that a couple that are originally from an African nation, that they are with Trump, even though he said their original country was an S-hole country, but abortion, abortion, abortion, that`s all they vote on.

Trump could be the devil himself. They don`t care, as long as they get abortion ended.

Well, now that that is coming. I wonder how that`s going to affect both Democratic and Republican politics.


Let me play something that hasn`t happened before. This is the two top Democrats in the country talking directly about abortion rights. Here`s President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is about a lot more than abortion.

The idea that somehow there is an inherent right -- that there is no right of privacy, what are the next things that are going to be attacked? Because this MAGA crowd is really the most extreme political organization that`s existed in American history, in recent American history.

KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Women`s rights in America are under attack. 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?


HARRIS: How dare they?


REID: Do you think that this, the end of Roe, will crystallize the minds of particularly young voters on the Democratic side?

KUMAR: So, I was in that room last night.

That was at EMILY`s List (AUDIO GAP) I`m on the board of EMILY`s List. And I think we were all kind of trying to figure out, how do we -- how do we make people understand that there`s an urgency of now?

That leaked document allows us now (AUDIO GAP) a road map of why people need to go out and participate. And that room last night, Joy, was energized. They were hungry, and they were saying, this cannot stand, because the president and the vice president are not wrong.

This -- by repealing abortion, you have opened the door to other rights. We`re talking about LGBTQ. We`re talking about revoking marriage -- gay marriage. And the list goes on.

And it`s time for Americans, whether we`re independent, moderate Republicans and Democrats, to recognize that it`s not just policy issues that are on the line, but also little-D democracy. Who is the country that -- what kind of legacy are we building for ourselves and for our children?

And, oftentimes, people say, no, the midterms is going to be about inflation and about the economy. And you know what`s an economic issue? Whether or not somebody chooses to have another child. This is a private issue. This is someone -- and it`s a health care issue, and we have to make sure that Americans everywhere recognize that this is the beginning of an erosion of rights if we don`t participate in this midterm.

REID: Yes.

And, Cornell, I mean, all the way down the line. I mean, at this point, if -- once Roe is gone, what state you live in and who you elect as governor and your state legislature will literally determine whether or not you are state property the minute you become pregnant. That`s until they pass the national ban, and then we`re all really in trouble.

You did -- I have seen some evidence that people are paying for some of the worst offenses. There is a Democrat who won in Michigan. He beat a guy named Robert "R.J." Regan in a special election for a Michigan House seat. He flipped that seat. It was a 52-40 vote.

And this man had said that he told his daughters, the Republican -- the Republican had told his daughter just lie back and enjoy it if they`re ever raped.

So, that man lost. So that seems like good news. At least there`s some line that Republicans -- that voters will draw. But the enthusiasm numbers for Democrats have not been good up until now. This is before this Roe breaking news.

Do you think that the literal end of abortion rights changes that?

BELCHER: A couple of things, Joy.

Take note that that was -- that was Vice President Harris in campaign mode.

REID: Yes.

BELCHER: And she had the flair. She had the drawl. She had the energy there. And I think we`re going to see a lot more of Vice President Harris in campaign mode, speaking to this issue about women`s rights and rallying voters around it.

And we desperate -- and we -- and Democrats desperately need her -- need her to do that. The other part about this, it is the math. And I can`t -- I`m not going to speak to sort of the moral piece of it, like Maria just did. I can`t touch that as well as she did.

But I can speak to the math of it. And here is the possibility. If you go back and look at what typically happens in a midterm election, you look at the 2010 midterm election, and you look at the 2014 midterm election, 2010, the gender gap was actually nonexistent, right?

And in 2014, Democrats only won women by four points. That`s very different from what you have in a general election, but, in 2015 -- but, in 2018, we won women by 15 points.

Will we have a reversion back to the mean, or will we grow that gender gap?

REID: Yes.

BELCHER: And I think this gives an opportunity to grow the gender gap.

KUMAR: And, Joy...

REID: One would hope so. One would hope so.

We`re out of time, but we`re going to have to continue this on another -- on another segment, because I`m out of time. I`m being told, go to break.

Maria Teresa Kumar and Cornell Belcher, thank you both very much.

And still ahead: NBC`s Yamiche Alcindor traveled to Mississippi to speak with the director of the women`s care clinic at the center of the Supreme Court case, the only abortion clinic still operating in that state.

Yamiche joins me next.



REID: The news that the Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade was an earthquake for millions of Americans.

Shannon Brewer, the director of the Jackson Women`s Health Organization, the Mississippi clinic at the center of the case currently before the Supreme Court and the last remaining abortion clinic in the state, got the news while at the airport.

Brewer spoke with NBC`s Yamiche Alcindor in her first remarks since the draft opinion was leaked, saying she was disappointed, but not surprised.



SHANNON BREWER, JACKSON WOMEN`S HEALTH ORGANIZATION: I`m a little too frustrated to actually comment on what`s going on, because I feel like they have shown what America is, what America has become.


REID: According to Brewer, things are about to get far worse for women of color in conservative states like Mississippi, where access is already limited.


BREWER: I think it`s going to be detrimental to the women of Mississippi. I think it`s a shot in the face. It`s just like bam to women of color especially, that -- which is the majority of what we`re seeing here.

I think it affects them more than any other race. And I think it`s done purposely because it affects them. Every time there`s something that goes on, we -- every time women of color get something that makes them more equal, then it or something else is taken away.

These people, they want to control everything with all women. They want to control women, period. But women of color are the ones who are going to be affected the most by it.


REID: According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, people of color in Mississippi comprise 44 percent of the population, but 81 percent of the women receiving abortions in the state. If the court overturns Roe v. Wade, these same women, often poor, will have the hardest time traveling to a different state to terminate a pregnancy.

And it will become even more onerous for Southern women, where all of the states will have bans on abortion. Take, for example, Louisiana, which is right across the border. In 2006, Louisiana passed a trigger law that would automatically ban abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned. The law prohibits abortion in all circumstances, with no exceptions for rape or incest.

Louisiana`s trigger law and the state`s near complete ban on abortion would immediately take effect. One anti-choice activists in Mississippi told Yamiche that they will not stop until abortions are unavailable to every single woman in America.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We believe that we can abolish abortion in our lifetime. So we`re never going to stop until abortion is fully abolished.


REID: Joining me now from Shreveport, Louisiana, is Yamiche Alcindor, anchor and moderator of "Washington Week" on PBS and an MSNBC Washington correspondent.

So you have been in two states, Yamiche, talking with both anti-abortion activists and also with, obviously, the woman from the last abortion clinic left in Mississippi.

Do you get a sense that, on the side of people who want to provide these services, that there`s fear about the future? What is -- what do they think the future is going to look like?

YAMICHE ALCINDOR, NBC NEWS WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Well, Joy, I have been driving across the South since this news broke that the Supreme Court was poised to overturn Roe v. Wade.

And I can tell you that not only the fear, but the concern and the devastation of people who are supportive of abortion rights is palpable. You heard Shannon Brewer say that she believes that women are going to be hurt by this, especially women of color.

I also spoke to Lillian Newton. She`s a 32-year-old who`s had three abortions. She used to protest literally at this clinic, which is only one of three clinics in Louisiana. But she has since used this exact clinic to get her abortions and she`s become an employee.

She told me that it`s going to be dangerous if abortion clinics are closed in Louisiana and this region. Here`s a little bit of what she had to say.


LILLIAN NEWTON, PATIENT ADVOCATE: Not everyone has the ability to travel and will take matters into their own hands. And I can`t say I wouldn`t do the same right now if abortion access was restricted.

It`s already become an extreme -- undue burden is very present currently in the abortion process here in the South. And it`s already so difficult. It`s already a waiting game. It`s already expensive.

Without that -- without the little access we still have, I would be lost. And I think most women would feel the same way.


ALCINDOR: And, Joy, she told me over and over again that she feels privileged because she was able to get an abortion. But she said that it really is a right that is completely critical to women`s lives here.

In this state, women -- if Roe is overturned, women would have to drive something like 12 to 13, maybe even 14 hours to get to different states like Illinois or Maryland to access abortion. So this is going to be an incredible burden, health care officials tell me here.

I, of course, have to say that there are people who are celebrating this decision, like the young man that you pointed to. It is a culmination of the conservative movement`s goals that they have been working on for more than 50 years.

REID: And, by the way, let me just note that the countries in the world that ban women from getting abortions are some of the poorest countries in the world.

And the places that you are have some of the greatest poverty. These are states that don`t provide even the basics in terms of health care and services. So they would make their states even poorer. It seems to be by design.


One last very quick thing. I have been seeing in some of your other interviews -- you have been doing really great work -- that you actually spoke with activists on the anti-abortion side who said their next stop is to go after gay marriage?

Can you talk a little bit about that?

ALCINDOR: That`s right.

I spoke to a protester who was protesting for decades outside the last abortion clinic in Mississippi. And I told him -- I said, well, what would you do if this abortion clinic is closed, if you get what you want?

And he told me that he would turn his gaze to same-sex marriage, that he would then start pushing the Supreme Court to abolish that. So, what you have here is a conservative movement that is already focusing on the next thing, and the next thing is taking away rights from same-sex couples.

And I should also say that there are people who are, of course, supporters of abortion rights who have that same fear. Their -- both sides in some ways are turning their gaze toward that issue.

REID: Yes.

ALCINDOR: And Shannon Brewer, in particular, told me, once you take a right away, it`s very hard to get it back.

So that tells you a little bit about what people on the ground here are thinking about.

REID: And, by the way, the Supreme Court decisions on gay rights and gay marriage, et cetera, all hinge on the exact same right to privacy that the abortion right did hinge on.

And, very quickly, the Louisiana legislature is considering legislation during this year`s session that would prohibit health care providers from remotely prescribing abortion-inducing pills over the phone, would make it illegal for such medications to be mailed.

So, they`re going to try to stop it any way they can.

Yamiche Alcindor, you`re doing great work. Thank you very much. Really appreciate you.

Republicans are apparently in such a little tizzy about the Supreme Court leak, they can`t even find time to celebrate their big win, stripping women of the right to control their own bodies. So what`s that about?

Senator Tammy Duckworth joins me next.



REID: It was one of those news days that stopped the nation in its tracks, a Supreme Court leak on the expected demise of Roe v. Wade, stunning, tangible proof of what may be ahead of us, an unrecognizable America, where women`s bodies are no longer their own, but instead are state property.

That whole "Handmaid`s Tale" comparison, it is not a meme. It may soon be America. Yet no one appears to be matter about the news than the Republicans. They`re not celebrating or processing such implications. They are instead seething over the fact that it was leaked.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): You need, it seems to me -- excuse the lecture -- to concentrate on what the news is today, not a leaked draft, but the fact that the draft was leaked.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): Whoever did this leak should be prosecuted and should go to jail for a very long time.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): I don`t know who did it. I hope we find out, because the person or persons who did it really struck a blow against the rule of law.


REID: Mm-hmm, an attack on the fabric of America, on the courts, on democracy itself.

Now, let`s not forget that the right loves leaks when it`s about Hillary Clinton or Hunter Biden. But when the leak exposes them, well, suddenly it`s an insurrection, an act of terrorism against the court.

OK, so now you`re mad about an insurrection? Noted.

And, of course, when all else fails, the right turns to a tried-and-true method, which is to blame the black lady.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I find it suspect that the first leak coming out of the Supreme Court in history comes shortly after Judge Jackson is confirmed.

I want to know if her law clerks, who I`m sure have already been hired, possibly even working at the High Court already, before her swearing-in, have access to these draft decisions. She would be my first suspect when it comes to the leak.


REID: She`s not on the court yet.

Well, it`s all fake outrage to just distract from what the leak exposed, the deeply unpopular position to wage war on women`s bodies, with former Attorney General and hand of the king Bill Barr joining Megyn Kelly`s SiriusXM radio show to suggest a special counsel and a grand jury, no, not to investigate the fact that the wife of a sitting justice played footsie with an insurrection, oh, no, no, no, a special counsel to find the SCOTUS leaker.

Joining me now is Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois.

And, Senator, it is quite interesting that the right -- you could name any senator, any -- Mike Lee was out saying this. You have seen Mitch McConnell, et cetera. They want to just focus on the leak. But do you agree that the reason they`re doing that is that they don`t want us to pay attention to what they have done, the court they built that has stripped women of their rights?

SEN. TAMMY DUCKWORTH (D-IL): You are absolutely right. That is exactly what they want us to do.

They want to distract us, to be focused on something other than the fact that they have successfully mounted this long-term war against the right of women to control their own bodies, and that they`re on the verge of taking away a fundamental right that, by the way, 70 percent of Americans support; 70 percent of Americans have said that they do not support the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

So, they want us to focus on something else. And, by the way, if you want to talk about insurrections, I`m sitting in a seat right now that is literally about a yard-and-a-half away from where the insurrectionists broke through the window to try to climb into the United States Capitol. That was a real insurrection.

This is about Republicans mounting a successful effort thus far that is about to result in taking away the fundamental rights of women to control their own bodies.

REID: Yes, it gets no more ridiculous than Josh Hawley, who tends to be ridiculous.

This is the guy who voted to overturn on the election, to overturn the will of 80 million voters. He wants to see an impeachment happen. Oh, suddenly, now you`re for impeachment as well.


It`s interesting to me that they`re acting as if this has never happened before. The original Roe v. Wade case actually leaked. It leaked. It was leaked by a Supreme Court clerk to a "TIME" magazine reporter in January 1973. The issue of "TIME" with an article titled "The Sexes; Abortion on Demand" appeared on newsstands hours before the decision was announced by Justice Harry Blackmun.

So that`s happened before. I don`t recall anybody going to jail over it.

But let`s talk about what is going to happen next. Is there an appetite, particularly among the women in the United States Senate, including some Republican women, like Lisa Murkowski, to codify Roe into law?

DUCKWORTH: Well, I would hope so.

But, right now, I think what we need to do is, we need to keep putting the bill on the floor to codify Roe into law and keep putting the Republicans on record either voting for or against it. They need to stand up and either vote for or against it.

If they vote against it, then we just keep putting it on the floor for votes, vote after vote after vote, to make it clear to the American people that what they need to do is vote this November and make sure that we have a majority in the United States Senate and in the House large enough that we can actually pass this legislation that would codify Roe into law.

REID: Is it possible to make that case? Because there is -- there is a lack of motivation that we have seen among Democratic voters, anger over inflation and over not getting some of the things that President Biden promised to do, because, of course, he didn`t have enough of the majority to do it.

Do you sense among your constituents enough anger to say, yes Democrats may not be perfect, but the answer here is, get us more Democrats?

DUCKWORTH: I -- listen, I think so, especially as people find out what is at stake here.

This isn`t just about access to abortion. I mean, that, in itself, is more than enough to mount the campaign to codify Roe into law. But think about things that are -- that are dependent on Roe.

I went through IVF. In vitro fertilization would be put in jeopardy. Some of the procedures that my doctor performed to implant a fertilized egg into me that resulted in the destruction of some of those fertilized eggs would considered manslaughter. People who want to start families won`t be able to start families.

Wait until people find out that some of these enumerated rights that are not deeply embedded with the Constitution, like the right to contraception, the right to not send your kids to public schools, all of these rights could be taken away. If abortion rights does not get you angry, then I sure as heck believe that people are going to be angry when they realize how many things could be taken away, interracial marriage, interracial marriage, gay marriage.

There`s all sorts of rights that are not enshrined in the Constitution. Nowhere in the Constitution is the word privacy written about. And so this decision is going to gut literally decades and 100 years of precedents when it comes to the legal system in this country.

And we have to fight. And I want to tell you that I have been hearing from people all over the country, not just from Illinois, who are ready to go. They`re ready to take this to the polls in November, and we`re going to win it.

REID: And do you fear that Republicans will make good on the promises that some senators have already made that, if they take over the United States Senate, they will pass a national ban on abortion?

DUCKWORTH: I do fear that, and I -- because they have been as good as their word when it comes to the state legislatures.

Think of all of the states that have those trigger laws that were just waiting for Roe to be overturned, and then they mounted a decades-long campaign to stack the Supreme Court. I mean, you have got everything from the denial of President Obama to seat a Supreme Court justice in his last year, all the way through to the rushed seating of Amy Coney Barrett in the last months of the presidency, during the final months of a presidential election campaign.

They will do this, because they have told us that that`s what they`re going to do. We better believe them. And, by the way, I`m from Illinois. We have women who will drive 1,000 miles, 1,000 miles across hostile territory just to come to Illinois, so that they can access reproductive rights.

We cannot let this happen across the country.

REID: And I think that Alito claiming that, in his ruling, the draft ruling, that this only applies to abortion, and, don`t worry, it doesn`t apply to anything else, yes, that`s what I said about Bush v. Gore. Then they have used it.

That`s what he said about Roe v. Wade being settled law. Should anyone believe anything that he or the others say? I mean, members of that party have gone out and said that women are overeducated, people who are against Roe are being overturn are just overeducated and just need to find a man.

I mean, that is what they think about women, right, that women are just beings who exist only to reproduce and for men`s pleasure. I don`t see any evidence to the contrary. Do you?

DUCKWORTH: Well, and the thing is, the women who are most likely to be affected by this are women who are -- who are off the lower socioeconomic spectrum, who can`t afford to take days off from work to drive 1,000 miles for access to reproductive choice...


REID: Right.

DUCKWORTH: The women who are on federally supported programs like Medicaid, the women who are struggling to make ends meet, to get by, the women who don`t have a criminal justice system that truly represent them, and a health care system that truly listens to them.

REID: Yes.

DUCKWORTH: I mean, we`re going -- undergoing a huge maternal mortality crisis in this country right now, especially among -- and particularly black women and brown women as well.

REID: Yes.

DUCKWORTH: And they do this to women`s health care.

REID: Yes.

And they`re coming for birth control pills next, guys. They`re coming for that. Count on it.


REID: Senator Tammy -- Senator, Senator Tammy Duckworth, thank you very much.

Up next: America reaches a chilling milestone in the pandemic. We will be right back.


REID: Late today, the United States passed an extremely grim milestone: More than one million Americans have now died from COVID, one million people.

That number is really just unimaginable. It`s more than the battle deaths in all of our major wars combined. It`s hard to even know what to compare this to. We far surpassed the 600,000 Americans who died from the 1918 Spanish Flu.

This is a sobering day and a reminder that this pandemic is not over. About 360 Americans still die every single day. It`s a trauma that will live with us for the rest of our lives, one almost certainly made worse by so many Americans` resistance to vaccination and masking.

I will leave you with the flags displayed on the National Mall last year, at the time marking more than 600,000 deaths.

And that is tonight`s REIDOUT.