Protesters on both sides of the US abortion debate have faced off with chants, prayers and signs outside the Supreme Court. J.D. Vance, the candidate backed by former President Donald Trump, won the Republican nomination to run for the U.S. Senate. Abortion clinics are preparing for Roe v. Wade to be overturned. Republican lawmakers are demanding a federal investigation into who leaked an apparent draft.
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JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: If the rationale of the decision as release were to be sustained, a whole range of rights are in question a while range of rights ,and the idea we`re letting the states make those decisions, localities decision would be a fundamental shift and what we`ve done.
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LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: President Biden gets tonight`s "LAST WORD." THE 11TH HOUR with Stephanie Ruhle starts now.
STEPHANIE RUHLE, MSNBC HOST: Tonight, the seismic fallout over the historic leak from inside the Supreme Court, or the reversal of Roe vs. Wade would mean for women around the country, what Democrats are trying to do about it and what comes next.
Plus, primary voters at the polls today, as Trump`s political influence is put to the test. We`re live in Ohio as THE 11TH HOUR gets underway on this Tuesday now.
Good evening, once again, I`m Stephanie Ruhle. Tonight, shockwaves across the nation after a leaked draft opinion reveals a majority of Supreme Court justices appear ready to overturn Roe vs. Wade. Protests and rallies have been underway all day in front of the high court and in cities across the country.
Today the Court confirmed the document written by Justice Samuel Alito was in fact real although it is not a final decision. Chief Justice Roberts issued a statement calling the leak quote, a singular and egregious breach, adding he has directed the Marshal of the Court to launch an investigation.
The court is expected to issue a final decision early this summer. But today President Biden said he fears what the draft opinion could actually mean.
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BIDEN: Certainly a great deal that we`re going to after 50 years decide a woman does not have a right to choose. It would mean that every other decision, we made the notion of privacy is thrown into question.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, should the Senate do away with the filibuster to codify Roe?
BIDEN: I`m not prepared to make those judgments now about, you know, I think the codification of Roe makes a lot of sense.
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RUHLE: Tonight, Vice President Kamala Harris also suggested that overturning roe would be just the beginning.
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KAMALA HARRIS, U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: One of 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.
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RUHLE: Democrats are vowing to fight back Senator Elizabeth Warren urging her colleagues to take action now.
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SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): United States Congress can keep the plan, they just need to do it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`ve never seen you so angry, you seem to be --
WARREN: This is what the Republicans have been working toward this day for decades. They have been out there plotting, carefully cultivating these Supreme Court justices so they could have a majority on the bench, who would have accomplished something that the majority of Americans do not want. We have a right. Extremists, we`ve heard enough from the extremist and we`re (INAUDIBLE).
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RUHLE: As for the Republicans, though, we have absolutely no idea which side or who the leak came from. They`re all about hunting down and exposing the leaker.
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SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY) MINORITY LEADER: The integrity and independence of the Supreme Court is once again under attack. I think the Chief Justice has taken that seriously. And will find the leaker.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If Roe is struck down do you see a need for federal abortion restriction legislation in Congress/
MCCONNELL: 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): Some left wing law clerk angry at the direction the court is going decided to betray his or her obligation the trust that clerk owed to his or her justice and to the court. This is the predictable result of the Democrats multiyear campaign to politicize the Court.
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RUHLE: Fact check, Ted Cruz, Senator Ted Cruz right there saying some left wing law clerk. That is not true. He has no evidence no one does. We do not know who the leaker is. But here`s the reality, no matter who leaked it. Roe vs. Wade now clearly hangs in the balance. And the only question now what are supporters of abortion rights going to do about it? That is it. Nothing else matters.
With that, let`s bring in our experts this evening. A trio of NBC analysts, Kimberly Atkins Stohr, she`s a senior columnist for The Emancipator, a collaboration with the Boston Globe and Boston University to reframe the conversation on racial justice and equity.
Claire McCaskill, former Missouri senator and MSNBC political analyst and Tali Farhadian, former federal prosecutor and state prosecutor in New York. She clerked for Merrick Garland and Justice Sandra Day O`Connor.
Claire, I start with you. Take what Elizabeth Warren said, right there. Republicans have been preparing to do this for decades, and an overwhelming majority of Americans don`t want it. Given that both of those things are true. Why hasn`t Congress over all this time been able to pass any legislation to protect women?
CLAIRE MCCASKILL, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, first of all, I think there is of some blame that certainly Democrats can accept that we assumed that in fact, Roe v. Wade would remain the law of the land, all of these justices that have put their hand up and swore that they were telling the truth, when on and on prattled on and on about the precedent of Roe v. Wade, how it was 50 years old, had been reaffirmed in various decisions.
I actually don`t know how strong the political pushback will be on this. I have to believe it will be very strong, because in states like mine, we have a trigger law. The minute Roe falls, and make no mistake about Stephanie, Roe is going to fall. There are five votes for there.
And let`s stop all this BS about who leaked it? You know, I`ll tell you I think leaked it. I think a clerk for one of the conservative justices leaked it to lock in those votes. So nobody went anywhere. Because now if any of those five justices move their position off this leaked opinion, that will all be because they couldn`t stand up to public pressure.
So, I do not believe that the minority had nothing to gain by leaking this. Nothing. There`s nothing they get from this. But I think the majority locks in the five votes to overturn Roe.
So when it is overturned in my state, life begins at conception. There are no exceptions for rape, or incest. All abortions are illegal. Any fertilized egg that is destroyed is subject to a criminal investigation, including IUDs morning after pills and in vitro fertilization.
RUHLE: Tali, I see you`re nodding. I see you nodding, you agree?
TALI FARHADIAN, FMR. NEW YORK FEDERAL AND STATE PROSECUTOR: I do. I don`t think we can say enough about the real life implications if this opinion as written becomes laws. So we`ve heard 23 to 27 states would immediately make abortion illegal. That means that 41 percent of childbearing women would lose their closest clinic and they`d have to drive 280 miles instead of 36 miles. That`s a huge difference.
But that`s just day one. I think we`re going to see more bands. There already have been trends of things like bans on telehealth, bans on ordering a pill to have an abortion. And it can go just as Claire said, all the way to banning abortion even in the case of rape and incest.
And we could one day wake up and have a federal ban entirely on abortion. All of those possibilities are baked into this opinion. And then of course, there is the effect on the legitimacy of the Supreme Court.
RUHLE: Kim, why are we surprised? How after three conservative justice were just put on the bench in the last couple of years and all these new state regulations restrictions on abortion? How could we not see this coming? Haven`t they been setting the table for this right in front of our eyes?
KIMBERLY ATKINS STOHR, THE EMANCIPATOR SENIOR COLUMNIST: They really have and no one should be surprised, frankly, by any of this. The Supreme Court, particularly the conservative, more conservative justices on the court have signaled for quite some time there and his antipathy for Roe versus Wade.
So the ultimate ruling what appears to be if it holds for this draft opinion should not come to any surprise. The two things that surprise me is, of course, the leak. I`ve been covering the Supreme Court for most of my career, something like this has never happened from the court before.
But also just the full throated evisceration from Justice Alito, that an opinion that didn`t just doesn`t just purport to overturn Roe v. Wade, but literally set it on fire. Got four other votes on that court is very shocking.
And what that says to me is this is the just the beginning that any right that is based on substantive due process, the idea that there are rights that are protected, even if they are not specifically enumerated in the Constitution is up for grabs.
I think that this is probably if this decision holds is the worst case scenario. I know a lot of people are thinking maybe the court would uphold this Mississippi law while still not explicitly rejecting Roe and trying to find some middle space we know that is not the case now.
This is a full frontal attack on the substantive due process, right. And I think that that part also is very surprising to me.
RUHLE: What do you think about that, Tali? What does this do to other rights to privacy that we have?
FARHADIAN: Well, you know, the draft opinion, it protests a lot about this, protest maybe too much about this, because it says right there, he asks, Justice Alito, where does it say abortion in the Constitution? How many times and he says zero. You know, that`s one sentence.
And so that begs the question, what about all the other rights that are not written into the Constitution? And he says, Well, you know, we`re not going after the ones that are rooted in the history and traditions of this country, and that are essential to ordered liberty.
But it`s not entirely obvious that that doesn`t make things like the right to contraception vulnerable, the right to marry whoever you want. Interracial marriage, we`re thinking about the history and traditions of this country. I think that there`s a lot to worry about, again, in the way that this is set out. And the logic of the opinion.
RUHLE: Claire, let`s just say it gets overturned. What do pro-abortion rights Americans do? And I`m not just going to say Democrats, because just today there was a poll, and 54 percent of Americans support upholding roe. So let`s say it`s overturned. What do they do?
MCCASKILL: Well, I think we`re going to have this subject. And that`s what was so ironic about this opinion, is Alito in this draft opinion, says that this decision divided America, Roe v. Wade did. Well, I got news for him. He has divided America and it`s going to be divided for a long time now, in every campaign.
State legislatures matter now more than ever before. If you don`t know who your state representative is, and what their view is, on this, get busy. Elections are coming. If you do not know what your Senate candidate for the U.S. Senate says about this, should there be a law protecting women and their rights in this country passed by Congress? Or should there be a law passed by Congress that will limit women`s rights like this opinion purports to do?
That will be the battle will there`ll be a codification of no Roe in this country and abortion ban country wide? Or will there be a law protecting women, giving them back the rights that were snatched from them, in this opinion that I do believe will become the law.
So, this is going to be a battle. It is going to be a battle. And this is one I think that every woman in America and every man in America and the list that was just given on rights to privacy. There are dozens of cases that talk about the liberty and privacy that springs from the 14th Amendment and the Bill of Rights, including gay marriage.
What is Alito trying to say that some people wouldn`t consider that a moral issue like he did in this opinion about abortion? Does he say this is something that was grounded and rooted in American history?
So I think gay marriage is going to be the next big battle that will get ginned up by on the part of these extremists that have pushed this agenda for some time.
RUHLE: I mean, Claire, you know better than all of us, Mitch McConnell deeply understands political strategy, and he knows voters. But could this blow up in his face? If this was such a winning issue for Republicans, they could have done something when they had power in Congress for years.
Instead, they wait until they have these new Supreme Court justices who don`t need to get reelected. They`re on the bench forever. And they could say they`re above the law. They`re a political and they can hide behind them.
MCCASKILL: Well, they should not be allowed to hide behind them. And I -- there was so many moments of hypocrisy today, whether it`s all of the chest thumping about precedent that was eviscerated in this draft opinion, or whether it`s Mitch McConnell, or Ted Cruz talking about Democrats politicizing the court, after they absolutely stole a seat from a duly elected Democratic President, in a way this country had never seen before.
So spare me, Mitch McConnell, that somehow the Democrats have politicized the court. They put people on the court that should not be there under the norms and the way the United States Senate always worked, and on their way there. They misrepresented their positions, at least according to Susan Collins, two of them were not honest with her about what they intended to do with Roe v. Wade when they got there.
RUHLE: Well, then the question is Susan Collins, what are you going to do about it? Kim, the Washington Post has a piece out today and opinion piece titled "Supreme Court league signals the triumph of politics over the law." Do you agree with that, as it relates to the leak?
STOHR: Yes, I really do. I mean, I think regardless of who did it, it was someone who works inside that court.
And for a long time, you know, I`m a lawyer, someone who studied the law, I practice law and I covered this court for over a decade. I would say that there is a difference between the judiciary and the other two branches of government that is led by -- that are led by elected officials that these are a lifetime appointees who need to operate in a way that is separate from the political influences of the other branches.
And of course, it`s politicized. The Senate confirmation process makes it inextricably politicized, but that it is still different. Their accountability is different.
If there is signaling from inside that court that is aimed at exerting political pressure in order to pull it potentially change the outcome of an opinion, regardless of whether it comes from the Conservatives or the Liberals section of the court. That erodes that wall. And it makes it very difficult for me to say now that this Court is not a politicized body, if it is reaching out to try to influence on how considerate our case may come out.
RUHLE: I know I`m out of time, Tali, I have to ask you, though you yourself have clerked for a Supreme Court justice. When you heard about this, I mean, what is this like?
FARHADIAN: You know, the Supreme Court has really tied its legitimacy to secrecy. Well, I clerked twice at the Supreme Court. And the only ever time we ever met as a group with the Chief Justice was to be told the first commandment, which is Thou shalt not tell, Thou shall not leak. You can`t even admit what you worked on.
And you know, I have to disagree, though, that it has to be that way. And that the legitimacy of the court really does have to be tied to secrecy. And that disclosure is necessarily political. We see drafts from Congress, we know what the other branches of government are thinking sometimes.
And I think that maybe this might be the beginning of a more transparent, Supreme Court. I think we can get over the leak. I think we can get over the substance of the decision as a country and that`s really where we should be at.
RUHLE: See, I knew we were out of time. But Tali, you were worth the wait. Tali Farhadian, Kim Atkins Stohr, Claire McCaskill, thank you all so much.
I want to bring in Illinois Democratic governor now, JB Pritzker. Governor, thank you for your patience. If roe is overturned, that does not mean abortion is banned in this country. In your state of Illinois, it will still be legal, right?
GOV. JB PRITZKER (D) ILLINOIS: That`s right, because we passed in 2018, we passed HB40, which removed the trigger language that was in our law that would have reverted Illinois back to being an anti choice state in the event of a reversal of Roe v Wade.
And then in 2019, we passed the Reproductive Health Act, which guaranteed a woman`s right to choose. So, we`ve got it codified in our laws, and it is enshrined in Illinois, and frankly, we`re an island here in the Midwest. We`re next to Claire McCaskill state of Missouri, where they`re virtually outlawing abortion and even threatening to sue people who help people in Missouri, to come to Illinois to get their reproductive rights, you know, enacted upon.
RUHLE: Then, are you planning to expand abortion services in preparation of what could be in the next few months?
PRITZKER: We`ve already done that, because frankly, as you`ve seen all across the nation, these backward states are taking away women`s rights. And we know we`ve seen almost 10,000 out of state women come to Illinois, seeking to exercise their rights.
And so we`ve put together a coordination effort, a call center, and, you know, advisory effort to help women who come to Illinois to help them with their travel, help them with their accommodations, and even in some cases when they need to access support to get the abortion in, you know, in terms of being able to pay for it. So, we are doing everything that we can for people from out of state, as well as, of course, helping the women who live right here in Illinois.
RUHLE: You mentioned that Reproductive Health Act that you signed into law three years ago. Do you believe other states should be looking to do the same to try to sign that to protect the access while they can?
PRITZKER: I do but I would also tell you that states that have a pro-choice legislature and a pro-choice governor have already been able to do that states that don`t are having enormous difficulty. Republicans, of course, who control legislators are not allowing these laws to get past.
So this is really going to be a political issue in 2022. I think they`re going to see a tsunami of support for pro-choice candidates all across destination like you saw in 2017 leading into the 2018 elections.
Look at what happened with the Women`s March. I think that`s what you`re going to see all across the United States.
RUHLE: And much like the Women`s March, there`s a very good chance there will be a whole lot of men. This is not a women`s issue. It is an issue that impacts all Americans. Governor, I really appreciate you joining us tonight. Thank you so much.
PRITZKER: Thanks Steph.
RUHLE: Coming up, we`re going to go live to the state of Ohio on the first primary of the midterms and the test of the Trump endorsement.
And later Congresswoman Katie Porter is here to talk about the challenges ahead for Democrats as they push to protect abortion rights as a single mother. What is the economic impact for women across the country? THE 11TH HOUR just getting underway on a very busy Tuesday night.
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J.D. VANCE, OHIO GOP SENATE CANDIDATE: Thanks to the President for everything for endorsing me and I got to say a lot of the fake news media out there. They wanted to write a story that this campaign would be the death of Donald Trump`s America first agenda. Ladies and gentlemen, it ain`t the death of the America first agenda.
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RUHLE: Fact check. The President did not endorse that man. It was the former president. A very big night tonight and Ohio`s very expensive Senate primary.
NBC News projecting Trump back candidate. You saw him right there. JD Vance has won the Republican nomination, beating out multiple conservative candidates. He will not face Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan for a chance to replace retiring Senator Rob Portman.
Following all the action for us is NBC News Vaughn Hilliard, he`s in Cincinnati, advanced his campaign headquarters. Vaughn, what do we need to know?
VAUGHN HILLYARD, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Stephanie, this was the first major test of Donald Trump`s political influence in relevance in the year of 2022. There`s going to be other tests ahead Pennsylvania, Georgia, West Virginia just in these upcoming weeks, but there is a reality that in the last 18 days since Donald Trump endorsed JD Vance in this competitive five- way Ohio Senate primary, JD Vance jumped by about 20 percentage points in the polls and won this year, decisively.
There are some realities that come with this. One, just a couple years ago, JD Vance called Donald Trump an idiot and reprehensible which suggests that no matter what one says in the past that as long as you ultimately give your loyalty to Donald Trump, you can be welcomed back into his orbit.
There`s also the reality that JD Vance won this primary will propagating the 2020 conspiracy theories spoken by Donald Trump. The other reality is when we`re talking about foreign policy here, this was a U.S. Senate candidate in at the height of war between Russia and Ukraine who said that he quote, frankly, doesn`t care about Ukraine. That is the candidate the Republicans in the state have selected to take on Tim Ryan in November.
RUHLE: Doesn`t care about Ukraine, pushes the big lie, check, check. NBC News also projecting incoming Governor Mike DeWine. He`s won the Republican nomination for his reelection. What`s your take away from that race?
HILLYARD: You know, I think this is just one of the governor`s races that is going to be getting heightened attention here after the draft of this majority opinion from the Supreme Court was released here. Nan Whaley is the mayor of Dayton, Ohio. She is the Democrat who will be taking on the incumbent Republican Mike DeWine, who is going to be running against the Republican nominee.
But just five days ago, Stephanie, the Republican legislature, which currently Republicans have the super majorities in both chambers was actively debating what is called a trigger bill. 13 states have already passed this year.
But a trigger bill would essentially, once the Supreme Court formally rejects and overturns Roe v. Wade would ban abortions, even in cases of incest and rape in the state of Ohio. That is what is going to be in front of likely Mike DeWine the current Republican, it will be up to him whether he ultimately signs that because of course Nan Whaley and Democrats hope that they`re going to be able to close this and take the governorship here in 2022, Steph.
RUHLE: Well, we will be watching. Vaughn Hilliard joining us from Cincinnati, thank you. Coming up, we`ll speak to an abortion provider about the impact restrictive state laws are already having on abortion access, and what the draft decision could mean tonight and beyond on THE 11TH HOUR continues.
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SHANNON BREWER, JACKSON WOMEN`S HEALTH ORGANIZATION DIRECTOR: The closest state is anywhere from eight to 12 hours away from here, that we`ll still be able to perform abortions and offer those services. We are opening a facility in New Mexico currently, in preparation. People need to wake up and watch what`s happening around them. It`s very serious, nobody`s paying attention. This is this is why and how they were able to do this.
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RUHLE: A wake up call from the director of Mississippi`s only abortion clinic now at the center of the Supreme Court case. An NBC News analysis says at least 23 states will immediately ban abortion should the Supreme Court go ahead and strike down Roe versus Wade.
With us tonight to discuss, Oklahoma abortion provider, Dr. Maya Bass. She`s also a member of the Committee to Protect Healthcare. And Nancy Northup, the President and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, which represents the abortion clinic indicates challenging a Mississippi law banning abortions after 15 weeks. Thank you both for being here.
Dr. Bass, I know you`ve been traveling all the way from New Jersey to Oklahoma for years to provide abortion services. Today, that state`s governor signed a bill banning the procedure after just six weeks of pregnancy. Describe for us what this law really does what it means for the women of Oklahoma.
DR. MAYA BASS, OKLAHOMA ABORTION PROVIDER: So what it means for the people that I serve in Oklahoma is that there`s now going to be even more barriers to accessing health care. Already many of these people have had to delay their care in order to save up money because state Medicaid in Oklahoma does not cover abortion care. They`ve had to travel long distances, especially since as the past is in a large volume of people coming from Texas. So they may have already traveled eight or 10 hours and now they`re going to have to travel further.
It just means that the people without resources are going to no longer have access to this crucial part of their reproductive health care.
RUHLE: Nancy, are these restrictive laws with the majority of Oklahoma voters really want?
NANCY NORTHUP, CENTER FOR REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS PRESIDENT AND CEO: You know, let me just start by saying we`ve gone to court to sue over the Oklahoma six-week ban, which is a Texas style vigilante law. So we`ve gone to Oklahoma State court, and we`ll be seeking to get relief there.
And I think the important thing to remember is that people need access to abortion care, people get abortions in Oklahoma, like they do throughout the nation. And, you know, regardless what polling may say, and I will say polling strongly supports the right to abortion, the reality is that when people are making these decisions in their own life, you know, one in four women in the United States makes the decision to end a pregnancy in the course of her lifetime. And this care is needed in Oklahoma in every state across the nation.
RUHLE: And very few women even know they`re pregnant at just six weeks. Dr. Bass talk about the real impact of these laws on actual patients, you must hear their stories every day.
BASS: Yes, a, you know, these politicians who are passing these laws don`t sit with a person across from them, who has children at home, who has a new career, who has traveled eight hours has needed to get support or feel isolated, because they can`t get support in our communities.
These people sit across from me and make the decision because of their unique circumstances. And my medical expertise is there to help guide them but it`s their decision. And when they can`t make that decision anymore, because of someone who shouldn`t even be in that exam room. It becomes a real problem. It`s extremely frustrating to not be able to continue to serve the people in Oklahoma like I have since I graduated residency.
RUHLE: Nancy, can you fact check this for us? I want to share an argument the president of the anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List, she made on this network earlier today, watch this.
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MARJORIE DANNENFELSER, SUSAN B. ANTHONY LIST PRESIDENT: The Republic embraces restrictions on abortion, that row would never allow late term abortion, abortion at 20 weeks --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But it does get far more complicated.
DANNENFELSER 15 weeks is a great example. The one that has actually been tested by the court is a great example. This is overwhelmingly supported by the country, by the nation and Roe disallows it. That`s why Roe is under danger because of a 15-week limit.
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RUHLE: Can you fact check this?
NORTHUP: I have no idea what your data is based on. The reality is that the people who are pregnant, who are making the decisions, they`re the ones that are in the best position to make it. And so every pregnancy is unique, and every person needs to be able to make that decision with their health care provider.
RUHLE: Doctor, I said it a moment ago, you`ve been traveling from New Jersey all the way to Oklahoma for years now, how hostile is the environment down there right now as an abortion provider.
BASS: We have protesters out front of our clinic, many abortion clinics do. There`s definitely people yelling at you when you come in. The laws are really what`s hostile. Because I can no longer plan to make a trip -- my trip there to help serve those people because there`s a law sitting on the governor`s desk that might make it so that even before six weeks, people can no longer access abortion care in Oklahoma.
So these laws are making it impossible for the people of Oklahoma to know that they have the ability to access abortion care right now. And that`s really what`s hostile. You don`t even know if you can make your appointment or if you`re going to be able to show up to a clinic that can actually serve you that day.
RUHLE: Dr. Maya Bass, Nancy Northup, thank you both for joining us tonight. We really appreciate it.
When we come back the consequences of a forced pregnancy and why all Americans should care. Congresswoman Katie Porter is here on that next when THE 11TH HOUR continues.
RUHLE: The draft decision that would overturn Roe versus Wade prompted California Congresswoman Katie Porter to tweet this not a single justice knows what it is like to be one of the 10 million single parents in America. I do. And I support a woman`s right to choose.
With us tonight, California Congresswoman Katie Porter. Congresswoman, thank you for joining us. I don`t know that people realize this 60 percent of women who have abortions are already mothers and 75 percent live at or below the poverty line. What would it look like economically of all of these women were expected were required to carry these pregnancies to term?
REP. KATIE PORTER (D-CA): This decision would increase child poverty. It would increase the strain on the social safety net. And it would make it more difficult for these lower income women to be able to pursue their education, to be able to get promoted at work. It would make it harder for them to feed the children that they already have.
None of us who have been parents are contemplated being parents would doubt for one second that pregnancy and parenthood is an economic decision and so the absolute opposite is true to abortion is an economic issue.
RUHLE: Having an economic obligation on the other side, if a woman is required to carry a baby to term, if that`s the requirement, should there not be a similar obligation for the Father?
PORTER: Absolutely, I think that men and women should be outraged at the court`s potential decision. We ought to fully enforce the obligations of both parents to support children. But the most important issue is that nobody is forced to become a parent, if they don`t want to be.
So the fact that so many people are trying to treat this as just a women`s issue, it is a women`s issue. We`re talking about controlling women`s bodies, but this decision will have impacts on men too who will be asked to pay child support, who will be sued for paternity, and whose lives and economic opportunities will also be fundamentally changed by becoming a parent.
RUHLE: Then why aren`t we looking at this as an issue for every American and not just women? Is it because it`s it is our bodies?
PORTER: Well, I think there`s long been an association that this is a woman`s issue, because the control here that we see of government in women`s lives is really different, very disparate than it is in men`s lives, no man is going to be forced to have a pregnancy here, women are going to be forced to have a pregnancy. So we can`t eliminate the fact that this is about control of women`s bodies, not men`s bodies.
But this decision is also when we look at people`s lives, not just their bodies, this decision is going to influence and take control of men`s lives to in terms of making them into parents, when they perhaps don`t want to be.
RUHLE: Does this need to be just a Democratic issue to either block this or do something in Congress. I mean, you`ve got Republicans all across this country that represent swing districts, Republicans right near you in California, who may have supporters who are pro-business or like a Republican economic agenda. But when it comes to an issue like this, this could be something that they care an awful lot about.
PORTER: Every American should care about this, whether you`ve long since been a parent, or you never want to be a parent, because this is going to shape people`s economic opportunities. If women are forced to be pregnant, to carry pregnancies to become parents when they don`t want to be, those are women who are going to be out of the workforce who are going to not complete their education. And it`s the exact same thing for men who aren`t going to be able to start businesses or finished their education because of the demands on parenthood.
So when we talk about issues like the rising crisis, and homelessness, about evictions. As you said earlier, the single best prediction of being evicted is being a parent. The single best predictor of bankruptcy in this country is being a parent of young children. So this is fundamentally going to be an economic issue as well as a social and personal one.
RUHLE: So what are you telling your constituents are going to do about it?
PORTER: Well, look, the House has already voted back in September to protect the right to have an abortion through a legislation that we passed, it`s sitting in the Senate. I`m going to do the same thing that I think every American should be doing right now, which is expressing my displeasure. I`m going to vote like crazy to make sure I`m electing people up and down the ballot from school board to the Senate who are going to protect and support the freedom of every American to make this decision for themselves.
RUHLE: Do you feel like the state of California stands with you? We have heard from Governor Gavin Newsom, do you think you`re going to see a whole lot of people now rely on California for abortion services?
PORTER: Well, we`re definitely going to see people being essentially healthcare refugees in the United States of America, health care refugees who are basically going to have to come and travel if they can afford it to other countries to get an abortion. And that has serious consequences. It takes them away from their long-term health care provider, their doctor, the person they have a relationship with, it makes follow up care after the abortion more difficult, and it will make for worse health care outcomes.
So while I`m glad that California is standing up for the right for abortion, and it`s going to protect and provide for that people, it`s not a substitute for being able to make that decision with your doctor in your community.
RUHLE: Congressman, thank you for joining us tonight. Congresswoman Katie Porter of California, thank you.
I want to bring in Jennifer Palmieri to the conversation former White House Communications Director for President Obama. Jen, I get why this is such a winning campaign issue for Republicans. Great way to get out the evangelical vote. But evangelicals are just a portion of the Republican Party.
If so many Republicans supported it for all these years. Why haven`t they passed something in Congress when Republicans had power? Instead they just wait till they have three justices that are untouchable.
JENNIFER PALMIERI, FORMER WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR FOR PRESIDENT OBAMA: I think because they didn`t want to unleash the fury that you have seen and women be unleashed in America today.
I mean, you know, Katie Porter always has her facts. Katie Porter always has great arguments to make policy wise but you could also see just the anger that she felt on. It`s -- you can hear it in her voice. It`s on her face. I saw it with Hillary Clinton today. Elizabeth Warren, Vice President Harris, Stephanie Ruhle on Twitter. Gretchen Whitmer, right.
This is just it`s not just about politics. You know, Congressman Porter talked about how, you know, the women that are going to be hurt by this. They`re poor. They`re more likely to be black. They`re women of color. They`re women who are likely to already to be mothers, and all the women leaders I just mentioned are outraged on their behalf.
But also, this is so personal, because we know that this is about taking away women`s humanity, that at the root of this, and you see Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren, both who know what it`s like to live in the pre-Roe world talk about the loss of women`s dignity, women being subjugated, right, women losing power.
And you know, I think that`s why you see Vice President Harris say, How dare they and Gretchen Whitmer say she`s going to fight like hell, and Hillary and Elizabeth Warren say, they don`t know how, but they know that we are not going back ever, because it`s existential, because really what this is about is taking away a women`s word and women feel and that is what has been unleashed now.
And there`s been times where the abortion issue worked for Republicans more than Democrats. But that was, you know, but to your point, that the Republicans when they were in power, they didn`t try to pass these laws in Congress. And now that has been unleashed into the American political system. It`s not something we`ve seen before.
RUHLE: Well, four days ago, the question was, how do you get Democrats energized for the midterms? They clearly are. I want to share though, a bit of the statement that Barack and Michelle Obama released earlier today that read in part, quote, we`re asking you to join the activists who`ve been sounding the alarm on this issue for years, and act and stand with them at a local protest, volunteer with them on a campaign join with them in urging Congress to codify Roe into law and vote alongside them on or before November 8, and in every other election.
Here`s the thing, this message that they`re giving, organize rally, people who are going to rally we`re already voting Democrat, no matter what. Is this a real opportunity to sag centrist who led to ignore politics or maybe even moderate Republicans?
PALMIERI: I think so. Because in the end of the Obama statement, so interesting to me, first of all, it`s two pages long, it`s like, it`s long, I get the antidepressants. I`m saying, yes, America have an attention span, because what`s at stake here is live and the well-being of generations of Americans. It is from both the Obamas. Mrs. Obama very much wanted to be part of this.
You -- I can tell by the way, it`s written that they wrote it themselves. And they wanted to give and they know that it`s not that, you know, it`s not -- there`s not a discussion of partisanship and that statement, right. They know that there are people that are open to hearing this message that are not necessarily Democrats, and they gave people very concrete things to do in response to it.
You know, like, go to a protest, get involved in a campaign ask these questions. These are things that you can do, and then also says to me, I mean, I can`t speak for them. But I -- there`s also says to me, I think both of them plan to be involved in the midterms in a way, maybe they hadn`t expected because of this issue.
RUHLE: Get involved. It doesn`t have to be partisan. It`s about humanity. Jennifer, always good to see you. Jen Palmieri, thank you so much.
Coming up next, one comedic take on the conservative moment that stands the test of time. You`re going to want to see this when THE 11TH HOUR continues.
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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`ve been at this for over 50 years fighting and arguments and cannot believe that we have to do this all over again to agree when of right that`s ours that we`ve had and how dare they take this away.
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RUHLE: The last thing before we go tonight once you`re born, you`re on your own. When the news of the impending strike down of Roe vs. Wade broke last night people rushed to Twitter to share their dismay and frustration.
And the comedy of the late George Carlin from 1996 seemed to strike a very important and familiar chord. Carlin was never one to pull any punches. You will see in this now viral video.
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GEORGE CARLIN, COMEDIAN: Well it is these conservatives are really something are they. They`re all in favor of the unborn. They will do anything for the unborn. But once you`re born, you`re on your own.
Pro-life conservatives are obsessed with a fetus from conception to nine months after that they don`t want to know about you. They don`t want to hear from you. No nothing. No neonatal care, no daycare, no Headstart, no school lunch, no food stamps, no welfare. No nothing. If you`re preborn, you`re fine. If You`re a preschool (INAUDIBLE). They`re not pro-life. You know what they are? They`re anti-woman. Simple as it gets. Anti-woman.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
RUHLE: The late great George Carlin takes us off the air tonight.
And on that note I wish you all a very good night and from all of our colleagues across the networks of NBC News, thank you for staying up late with us. I`ll see you at the end tomorrow.