NOW with Alex Wagner | December 12, 2012
>>> the war on women did not end on election day . yesterday planned parenthood filed two lawsuits against the state of texas challenging the state 's decision to blocked planned parenthood clinics from receiving money for a health care program assisting low-income women . this is just the latest legal challenge planned parenthood has had to take up against the lone star state since governor rick perry decided to prohibit anyone even vaguely associated with abortion services from receiving taxpayer money. kerry, not the most careful student, glossed over their primary service, providing health care service to tens of thousands of women who can't afford them. as a result, there's a fear come next year there won't be enough providers in texas to treat the state 's 130,000 low-income women . meanwhile, the texas businessmen who cofounded the women -only health club curves donated $1 million to american cross roads shortly before the election. as a refresher, american cross roads spent more than $100 million to fund scores of republican candidates who took aim at women 's health care programs. so much for creating a safe place for women to focus on their bodies and well being . jen, after your very, i think, rightly stated version to the phrase "war on women ," we return to it, but it is, in fact, this is something where it's not about pro-life or pro-choice, this is about women 's lives being on the line and governors taking a hard line against providing services to those who need them the most.
>> that's exactly right. there are some ironies in this story. one, this could actually cost the state of texas a great deal of money. 97% of planned parenthood funding does not go toward abortion, as we know. it goes toward helping the tens of thousands of women across that state , across states across the country, who need mammograms, who need checkups and things like that. it's really a horrifying thing. if you look at just to go to the politics of all of this, texas is a state that is moving into the blue world over the next ten years. i'm not saying that this is the issue that's going to move them there, but when you have issues that really alienate a population of a state , you do wonder if that's -- if this will be a factor as long as this continues.
>> what's in the water, what kind of water is rick perry drinking? this is a guy that's also -- i mean that sort of rhetorically, i don't know if he's a fan of sparkling or still. he's a guy in the debates that said talking about immigration, these people don't have hearts. he's brought the notion of sort of emotional investment of one's constituents into the debate on the national stage, yet he's the guy turning down the expansion of the medicaid roles, which is a big deal for the poor in the state of texas , which is 1 in 4 texans are ininsuuninsured and he's affecting low-income women who need this for cervical screenings and breast exams.
>> this panel proves there's more men.
>> it's a war on sam stein, in specific.
>> it's bizarre to me whenever i see male politicians, and i say this sincerely, wade into these issues out getting consultants of people experts in the topic to help guide them. you also see this. with respect to rick perry , it's clear he doesn't feel there's a political price to pay for stuff he's doing. he's not the only governor to turn down the medicaid money, but he clearly calculated the people who would be the primary recipients of this in his state don't mind they are not going to get that help on their health care , and until he's proven wrong, i don't see why he would continue -- why he wouldn't continue doing this, but you know, this is not just rick perry , there are plenty of governors making the same calculation with respect to medicaid funding and republicans out there doing similar things going after planned parenthood . in this age where abortion is legal, politicians wouldn't try to make that process as safe as possible. have a separate debate whether or not it should be legal, but as long as it is, shouldn't you try to make these things as safe as possible rather than driving it underground or some un-safe territory?
>> that's a really good point. there's the ideological argument of values and the life of the child and you said during the break that there's now discussion about the pre-born community.
>> in texas , there's a new term, there's legislation proposed to ban abortions after 20 weeks, and it's considered what they call the pre-born rights act. and, yeah, i was thinking in texas , it's amazing. you can be reborn and pre-born, but it's clear that there is not a big price to pay in texas for limiting women 's choices both in terms of what kind of health care they want to get and whether or not they can get safe abortions or any abortions at all. but, you know, i think it brings up an interesting point, the demographics in texas , as is true all over this country, are beginning to change a little bit.
>> wasn't that the miscalculation in a sense that the romney campaign made this time around, maybe part of this calculation sam is talking about, governors feel they can, you know, reduce health care services either through medicaid or planned parenthood , perhaps those people aren't going to go and vote. what we saw is women did turn out and vote in big numbers and voted for the party they felt is going to protect their health services .
>> there's also an economic argument to be made here, right? the more you shred the social safety net , the less access women have to basic health care , the more it stresses out the system. if you want to look at the cold, hard reality of this, texas tribune reports from 2013 to 2014 , 23,760 more babies as a result to reduced access to birth control. additional tax paper cost, $273 million. right?
>> that's the point i was making earlier. the irony is if you look at the pure economics in the state , this even hurts, aside from the moral issues involved, this hurts the state . if you look at many of these women , access to contraception, about $600 a year on average for a woman. that's a great deal of woman for middle class , taking care of a family, lower income. that's a service provided by planned parenthood .
>> preventive care , too little discussion about preventive care , but it can be a huge budget saver. it was mitt romney when he passed health care in massachusetts , understood you cannot have a free rider complex in the health care system , so he got everyone insured and made sure preventive care was a component and massachusetts is relatively happy with it.
>> mitt romney , the kaiser of the republican party , never existed, then he was gone.
>>> we have to take a break, but after we come back, much has been made with the specifics regarding cuts and revenue in talks of the fiscal curb/cliff, but what about the short-term and long-term impact, house democratic whip steny hoyer joins us live. that's