PoliticsNation | December 11, 2012
>> going after workers' rights. women 's rights are in their sights as well. the power grab that has thrown the state into crisis includes an effort to sneak through some of the most restrictive anti-choice bills in the country. one bill that's already passed and is headed to governor rick snyder's desk would ban insurance plans from covering abortions unless people actively opted in. other bills would force some clinics to close their doors, limit abortion access for women in rural areas , and allow doctors to refuse to perform abortions because of personal beliefs. and it's not just michigan . immediately following the big gop defeat in this election, republican lawmakers all over the country got right back to what they do best. trying to pass anti-choice legislation. in ohio, lawmakers reintroduced a controversial heart beat bill that would ban abortions as early as six weeks. in texas anti-abortion groups are pushing lawmakers to pass a fetal pain bill. and republicans want to ban abortion at least 20 weeks. republicans here hope we don't notice what they're doing. but that is not going to happen. joining me now is nancy keenan , president of pro-choice america and michigan state representative lisa brown . this summer she made national headlines for speaking out against the gop bills attacking women 's rights. thank you both for being with me tonight.
>> thank you, reverend.
>> let me start with you --
>> thank you.
>> let me start with you, senator brown. michigan and abortion providers, 83% of michigan counties have no abortion providers. this is unthinkable in many you know, is a very diverse state. we have many rural areas . the legislation that the republicans are trying to push through makes it even harder for women to have access to health care . when we close clinics, we're not just talking about abortion services. you're talking about preventive health care services like cervical screenings and pap smears and things like that. preventive health care . it's unbelievable the restrictive legislation that is trying to be pushed forth. it's in lame duck. we saw what happened in the elections, and they said the clock is ticking on the amount of time that we have control. we've got to do this while we can. the war on women continues.
>> now, so we've heard about labor. but what is happening with women ? because i'm looking at one of the bills -- the amendments that the republicans are proposing there would allow people to claim a fetus over 12 weeks old as a dependent and receive an estimated $160 tax break . but just last year they eliminated a $600 per child tax credit deduction and slashed earned tax income credit for children. which sent 9,000 michigan children into poverty.
>> yep. yeah, that's right. that's right, reverend. you know, this is another way to define personhood. the sponsor of the bill said that wasn't her intention. of course it is. how can it not be? and sure enough, she did vote to cut that tax credit for children who are actually on our planet. you know, breathing and eating. this legislation is offensive. it's -- again, it's -- you know, it's this right to life agenda that does nothing to move michigan forward. and it is the right to life agenda just being pushed forth.
>> nancy, you're a --
>> and you see the hypocrisy.
>> you're a warrior all over the country on these issues. you cut money for children that are born and growing. and then you use -- you almost manipulate using fetuses to make a point against women 's right to choose. and all over the country it seems that the gop is focusing on a state level. 24 state legislators are completely controlled by republicans. and these laws are popping up or these proposed laws and amendments are popping up all over the country like the election never happened.
>> that's right. i don't think they got the memo, reverend. the fact of the matter is this flies in the face of what americans value. that is freedom, privacy, right to health care in the country. and through under the cover of darkness while there was a debate going on around right to work, passed some anti-choice legislation that will deny insurance coverage even in the case of rape and incest for women who want to access that care. keep in mind vast majority of insurance companies , this is how they do business. it's covered right now. this takes it away.
>> even in the case of rape and incest.
>> that's right. it is so extreme, even in the case of rape and incest which is unbelievable. the war on women does continue. and fundamentally elections matter. elections matter. now, we elected a pro-choice president in barack obama . we've defeated some anti-choice members in congress, but state legislatures and governors are critical. we see them denying access to women all over this country.
>> nancy, when you look at the fact 45 states have introduced 472 measures restricting women 's right to choose this year alone. do you see the michigan move as a labor and women at the same time women not being talked about as much as you say in the cover of darkness they're trying to move this anti-woman, this war on women move again like the election didn't happen state by state and if they can do it quietly, that's even better?
>> that's exactly what they do. i mean, they are stealth about this. if they walked up to your door and said i'm running for the state legislature and i am pro-life and i'm going to deny women access to care in this country. they hide behind it. we're going to do agenda, jobs, the state. it's like a bait and switch. they get there and the first thing they do is attack a woman's right to her reproductive health .
>> lisa, what is going to happen from here? what is the future in michigan ? how do we fight back in michigan ?
>> well, we continue to fight, reverend. and, you know, we had demonstrators, we had thousands of people here on the capitol steps today fighting against right to work. we had women here demanding that they have the right to privacy, the right to choose. and that's what we need to continue to do. we are a democracy. and a democracy is a government based on representation. we have elected officials here who are not representing the people that elected them. and that's a real problem. we need to hold them accountable. we didn't take up the bills today in the house, but i have a feeling we're going to be taking up some of these bills tomorrow. and we need to be very vocal, and as i said we need to hold people accountable. these representatives just as you heard, they're not going around saying this is my agenda. it's i believe in small government . well, you know, telling a woman what she can and cannot do with her body is not small government . they talk about jobs. this house bill 5711 would actually result in a loss of jobs because clinics would close. and women would have nowhere to go for health care . you know, everything that republicans can say they're against, big government , privacy, all those things is the exact opposite that's in this legislation.
>> nancy keenan and lisa brown , i'm going to have to hold it there. but we're certainly going to keep on top of this and watch this to fight to expose their agenda.
>>> ahead, the gop has no problem with tax breaks for the rich and money for big oil . but aid for those hit hardest by hurricane sandy? that's where they draw the line. if you think running a restaurant is hard, try running four. fortunately we've got ink. it gives us 5x the rewards on our internet, phone charges and cable, plus at office supply stores. rewards we put right back into our business. this is the only thing we've ever wanted to do and ink helps us do it.
>>> justice scalia versus glenn beck . who wins this fight may have long-lasting effects on civil rights in this country. that's coming up. aspirin, really? i