PoliticsNation | January 29, 2013
>>> four years ago today president obama signed his first bill. the lilly ledbetter fair pay act giving women equal pay for equal work . and he kicks off his second term, the fight to protect women and women 's rights is alive. why? because the gop anti-woman push is relentless. next week the senate will vote on the violence against women act and house republicans are silent. for 18 years his act protected women who were victims of domestic abuse. they might be silent, but the president won't be. joining me now is erin and erica. thank you both for being here tonight. will the gop do the right thing?
>> i think they've been backed into a corner. has been taken away. at this point we're just talking about expanded protections for people who need them. lbgt, native americans , so on. so far it looks like house republicans have been on board for the native american provisions. we don't know how they feel -- generally we know how they feel about lbgt people. i think they've been at this point if they reject the violence against women act , the repercussions will be so great for them that they won't be able to handle it.
>> angela , when you look at the act itself, the violence against women act 2013 , the new bill reauthorized the violence against women act which includes violence prevention programs, rape crisis centers , hotlines, legal aid . in addition it will protect the lgbt community and native americans . but it relieliminates the visas for immigrant victims. only one of them is eliminated. how will this new bill fair in the house ? you worked the hill.
>> i think first and foremost we're late. it's not even a party. this is about protecting women 's safety. this is about ensuring people of all walks of life in this country can fend themselves against violent atax. so the fact the gop hasn't allowed the house to take up this measure is ridiculous. at this point the gop is not just off message, they're off their rocker. it's totally unreasonable to act as if they don't have women in their lives, mothers, daughters, wives, sisters, nieces. it's just time for us to pass this measure. and the democrats in the house are putting a lot of pressure.
>> at the same time you look at, irin, the personhood of usa. they pushed a campaign to push lawmakers to strip the rape exception from federal abortion laws . this is what they put up. on their website they say quote, are you 100% pro-life even in cases of rape? they go on to say a baby is not the worst thing that can happen to a rape victim. an abortion is.
>> some of these people will never learn. they lost in mississippi. they lost in colorado. they lost with todd akin . they lost with richard mourdock . they want to talk with a complete lack of compassion for women who have been victims of sexual violence . at this point the rape exceptions that we do have which insurance coverage under federal medical plans for abortion are so narrow, even lots of people who are victims of rape do not actually benefit under them. and they want to strip that away. it shows what absolute lack of compassion they have for the realities of women 's lives.
>> and angela , if you look at what's going on in the abortion bill in new mexico, it tries to define fetus not as a person but as evidence. state representative kathryn brown introduced a bill that would prosecute doctors who perform abortions for rape victims. they would be charged with a third degree felony for quote, tampering with evidence.
>> well, what's beyond me, reverend, here in this situation is the fact that republicans want to protect the right to life in some instances and not in others. when you look at things like the death penalty and they don't fight for the right to live in that situation. or the fact that we're having this fight right now about the second amendment. you brought up dick cheney earlier. it doesn't make sense. at some point you have to have your arguments and your message aligned. it's off right now.
>> i mean, the one thing that's clear, john boehner made it very clear what the fundamental goal is. watch this.
>> it's becoming more and more important for us to share the truth with our young people and encourage them to lock arms, speak out for life, and help make abortion a relic of the past. let that be one of our most fundamental rules this year.
>> make abortion a herelic of the past. i don't think you can be clearer than that.
>> absolutely not. i think we'll see that in his legislative agenda. john boehner is not elected by the majority of american people . the majority of american people want women to have access to safe and legal abortion. they, on the other hand, many in the house republican caucus are elected by people who very much want them to get in the examining room with a woman and legitima legislate what she can and cannot do. they're stuck.
>> angela , this means they learned no lessons on their agenda last year that really hurt them with women voters all over this country?
>> i don't think they did. you can look at what they did at the beginning of this congress. and that was elect all white male chairs to committees of influence. and when they realize what they'd done the next day, they had candace miller who had never served on house admin as the chair. i think there's not only a message problem, there really is the fact they just don't understand. i don't know what else to do to help them. you know, i don't really necessarily have interest in seeing that work. but they're totally off message. they're totally not in alignment with the thoughts and the opinions of the american public. it just doesn't make any sense.
>> irin carmon and angela rye, thank you for your time tonight.
>> thank you, reverend.
>>> still ahead, the president got your vote. and now he needs your help. how can we, the people, how can