NBC’s Today show decided that the best way to mark Good Friday was to talk to a radical, left-wing activist wearing a t-shirt that read, “Thank God for Abortion.” It was part of hysterical coverage across all three network morning shows bemoaning an “abortion crackdown” across the country, with Florida’s new pro-life legislation being the latest skirmish in the “battle over abortion rights.”
“Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law yesterday a measure to ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. That makes Florida the largest state and the latest to tighten access to the procedure ahead of a U.S. Supreme Court decision over abortion rights,”Today announced that Tom Llamas was the fill-in guest host. Kerry Sanders sensationalized the story in her report. “This morning, Florida is at the epicenter of the escalating battle over abortion rights.”
Reporter hyped about how “critics argue it’s unconstitutional and will have ripple effects beyond Florida,”Before I start ranting about Mayte Canino, Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood affiliates: “This is a very cruel lawFlorida has already passed this law. Now people will have to go to North Carolina in order to access abortion past 15 weeks.”
Then, Sanders was shown talking with “Abortion rights activist Stephanie Loraine Pineiro [who] says the law would have blocked her own access to the procedure.” Wearing a t-shirt with the wildly offensive phrase, “Thank God for Abortion,” Piniero blasted the law: “As a person who had a abortion as a result of a sexual assault, if I was pregnant right now I wouldn’t be able to have an abortion.”
When asked about partial-birth abortion during a House Judiciary Committee last November, Pineiro testified that “anybody should have the right to have an abortion at any time.”
Sanders was worried about the Florida law on Friday “the latest in a series of strict new abortion laws enacted in recent days, from Oklahoma….to Kentucky, where the Republican-led legislature overrode the Democratic governor’s veto to enact sweeping restrictions.”
After ABC’s World News Tonight hyperventilated Thursday evening about Florida’s new abortion regulation, on Friday’s Good Morning America, correspondent Rachel Scott decried: “And just this week alone, at least three states have moved to restrict access to abortion. These are some of the strictest abortion laws that we have seen in decades and the latest right there in Florida, banning the procedure at 15 weeks.”
The chyron blasting “Abortion Crackdown”Scott raised the alarm across the screen “This morning, the battle over abortion rights is intensifying across the country….Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signing a new law banning most abortions past 15 weeks.” She touted: “Abortion rights advocates vowing to fight it before it goes into effect July 1st.”
A clip played of Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida president and CEO Stephanie Fraim announcing: “We will pursue getting this stopped in any way we can.”
Scott sympathized with pro-life initiatives elsewhere.
Some women in Kentucky are facing new realities. Republican lawmakers in that state overrode the governor’s veto on a new law banning the procedure at 15 weeks and strictly regulating access to abortion pills. It forced the two last remaining abortion clinics to cease offering the procedure for the time being.
Report on CBS MorningsThe sound was almost identical to NBC, ABC and CBS. Vladimir Duthiers shared the following message with viewers: “Florida has joined a growing list of states that want abortion laws to be more restrictive. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law yesterday banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.”
Jan Crawford, Correspondent “we’re seeing this kind of wave of legislation because if the court does overturn Roe vs. Wade this summer, like many people expect, then each state is going to get to decide whether or not it’s going to allow access to abortion.”
But, Crawford presented an easy breakdown of blue states trying and preventing abortion regulation in red states. Crawford ended with these words: “But you see these political battles in the states, they are already well under way.”Tony Dokoupil, co-host of the show, chimed in. “Yeah, the stakes could not be higher.”
In general, networks chose to mourn fewer abortions as a way of marking the conclusion of Holy Week leading up to Easter Sunday.
NBC’s chat with a “Thank God for Abortion” activist was brought to viewers by IHOP, while ABC’s coverage was brought to viewers by Dawn and CBS’s was brought to viewers by Jeep. These advertisers can be criticized for sponsoring content like this.
Here is a full transcript of the April 15 segment on NBC’s Today show:
8.05 am ET
TOM LLAMAS This makes Florida the biggest state, and is the first to restrict access ahead of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on abortion rights. NBC’s Kerry Sanders is in Fort Lauderdale with the reaction. Kerry, good morning.
KERRY SANDERS This is a significant step by Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, banning most abortions after 15 weeks. This law is modeled on the Mississippi restrictive abortion law, currently before the U.S. Supreme Court. It is widely considered to be one of the most significant challenges to Roe v. Wade’s landmark decision in many decades.
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Florida’s 15-Week Abortion Ban Signed Into Law]
Florida stands at the center of an escalating fight over abortion rights.
GOV. GOV. [R-FL]: We are here today to defend those who can’t defend themselves.
SANDERS – Thursday saw Governor Ron DeSantis sign a law that prohibits all abortions within 15 weeks.
SANDERS: House Bill Five will take effect July 1. While it permits women to obtain an abortion if their health is in danger or if the baby has “fatal fetal abnormality,” it contains no exceptions for rape or incest. Critics argue it’s unconstitutional and will have ripple effects beyond Florida.
Is this what you think of the Florida new law?
MAYTE CANINO [FLORIDA ALLIANCE OF PLANNED PARENTHOOD AFFILIATES]Florida passed this cruel law. People will now have to travel to North Carolina to obtain abortions beyond 15 weeks.
SANDERS – Stephanie Loraine Pineiro is an activist for abortion rights and says that the law would have stopped her from accessing the procedure.
STEPHANIE LOREAINE PINEIRO [CO-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, FLORIDA ACCESS NETWORK]: As a person who had a abortion as a result of a sexual assault, if I was pregnant right now I wouldn’t be able to have an abortion. [Wearing a t-shirt that says “Thank God for Abortion”]
SANDERS: It’s the latest in a series of strict new abortion laws enacted in recent days, from Oklahoma…
GOV. GOV. [R-OK]: Oklahoma needs to ban abortion.
SANDERS: …to Kentucky, where the Republican-led legislature overrode the Democratic governor’s veto to enact sweeping restrictions. Florida’s law is modeled after a Mississippi law banning virtually all abortions after 15 weeks. The U.S. Supreme Court is currently reviewing the law, which represents the biggest challenge to Roe v. Wade for nearly three decades.
A majority of the Supreme Court conservative justices suggested in December that they could uphold Mississippi’s restrictive abortion laws. It is likely that a decision will be made in the next few weeks. Until then, Planned Parenthood in Florida says they will adhere to the new Florida law, even if they don’t agree with it. Tom?
LLAMAS: Many states are dealing with the new rules. Kerry, it’s all right, and we appreciate your efforts.
Here is a full transcript of the segment on ABC’s GMA:
7.12 am ET
CECLIA VEGA: We’re gonna turn now to the latest state restricting abortion. Florida’s governor signing a law that bans the procedure after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Rachel Scott, Congressional correspondent joins us to discuss what it means for all women in the southeast. Rachel, good morning.
RACHEL SOTT: Cecilia. Just this week, three states moved to limit abortion access. These laws are among the most restrictive in years and they were recently passed in Florida. They ban the abortion at 15 weeks.
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Abortion Crackdown; New Florida Law Bans Procedure After 15 Weeks of Pregnancy]
Today, across the nation, the fight for abortion rights has intensified.
Pro-Abortion PROTESTERS: This what democracy looks like
SCOTT: Florida governor Ron DeSantis signed a new law prohibiting abortions beyond 15 weeks.
GOV. GOV. [R-FL]Protecting life is our goal. [Cheers] We are here today to defend those who can’t defend themselves.
SCOTT: Incest and rape are not allowed. The only exceptions, to save the pregnant woman’s life or if it poses a serious risk. Pro-abortion rights activists vow to stop it from becoming law before July 1, 2009.
STEPHANIE FRAIM [PRESIDENT & CEO, PLANNED PARENTHOOD OF SOUTHWEST & CENTRAL FLORIDA]: This will be stopped by us in every way possible.
SCOTT: But it’s not just Florida. Many states across the nation have passed laws that restrict access to this procedure. Oklahoma just days ago passed a law making abortion illegal. It can lead to up to 10 years imprisonment.
TALCOTT CAAMP [CHIEF LEGAL & STRATEGY OFFICER, NATIONAL ABORTION FEDERATION]Oklahomans should be aware of the devastating implications.
SCOTT: That law won’t go into effect until this summer. However, in Kentucky some women already face a new reality. Republican lawmakers in that state overrode the governor’s veto on a new law banning the procedure at 15 weeks and strictly regulating access to abortion pills. It forced the two last remaining abortion clinics to cease offering the procedure for the time being.
All of these laws will certainly be challenged in court and most of them are modeled after Mississippi’s ban on abortion at 15 weeks into a woman’s pregnancy. The Supreme Court will challenge that this summer. This decision will determine whether Roe vs. Wade is still in effect.
GEORGE STPEHANOPOULOS Janai Nor [sic], thanks.
The complete transcript is available here CBS Mornings:
7.13 am ET
VLADIMIR DUTHIERS Florida is now part of a growing group of states that wants abortion laws more restrictive. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis yesterday signed into law a bill banning abortions in the 15th week of pregnancy. No exemptions are available for incest or rape. The Supreme Court plans to examine Roe V. Wade and overturn the 1973 landmark ruling that prohibits states from banning the practice. Jan Crawford reports on the Supreme Court. Good morning Jan.
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Abortion Rights Fight; FL Is Latest to Pass Restrictive Law Ahead of SCOTUS Roe v. Wade Case]
JANCRAWFORD : Hello Vlad. You know, we’re seeing this kind of wave of legislation because if the court does overturn Roe vs. Wade this summer, like many people expect, then each state is going to get to decide whether or not it’s going to allow access to abortion.
There are currently 23 states with laws which would ban or restrict abortions if Roe was overturned. Florida’s law, for example, it bans abortions after 15 weeks, that’s modeled after that Mississippi law now before the Supreme Court. And we’re seeing other Republican-led states do the same thing. Arizona, Kentucky and Tennessee have already approved their 15-week ban. West Virginia, too is considering the ban. These states pass even stricter laws, like Oklahoma that make it a crime to perform an abortion in Oklahoma.
Now on the flip side, there’s the Democratic states – 16 states and District of Columbia now protect the right to an abortion, and other blue states are pushing that kind of legislation, or trying to go the route of Michigan, where the governor, she’s suing to get the state courts to say abortion is protected there.
So, you know, we’re not expecting a decision from the Supreme Court before the end of June. We don’t know what it’s going to rule. You can already see the political struggles in these states. Tony?
TONY DOKOUPIL : The stakes couldn’t be higher. Jan, we are very grateful.