Texas’ Anti-Abortion Law Challenged, and Refuting More Obamacare Misinformation


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Texas abortion lawsuit

More on the lawsuit

Anita Perry sounds awfully pro-choice

Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act are the same thing, but …

That word doesn’t mean what you think

Transcript

On this episode of Reality Cast, I’ll be covering the lawsuit to block the new Texas abortion law. A lawyer from the Center for Reproductive Rights will be on to help us understand what’s going on. Also, there’s a lot of lies out there about the Affordable Care Act. What’s that all about?

There’s a story on the contraception mandate developing.

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This story is still nascent, but as it develops, there may be future coverage, depending on what the Supreme Court does with this.

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We all knew it was coming, but it’s a good day to hear that it’s finally happening: The law passed in Texas to shut down most of the abortion clinics in the state is getting challenged in court. And boy-howdy is the challenge a big one!

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Two things: The supporters can say that this for women’s health all they want, but they know and we know and insects crawling on the ground and birds flying in the sky know that’s a lie. Not just misinformation, not just misleading, not any euphemism for it. A L-I-E lie, the kind that is forbidden by the Bible they hold so dear, a giant, honking, obvious lie. Indeed, it’s such a crappy lie that by and large most other states who have passed similar restrictions are finding them blocked in court because even conservative judges are like, “Oh come on, you are just lying.” In addition, I will say that the only thing that these restrictions will do is reduce the number of legal abortions in the state, and I really wish journalists would use that word. As has been covered on this show, we know that an illegal trade in abortion drugs has started in Texas already, and will almost surely just get worse if this law goes into effect.

So what are the plaintiffs suing over specifically?

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The admitting privileges thing is really beyond bunk. Listen to this lying, dishonest anti-choice activist pretend that it’s about anything but shutting down clinics.

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Remember, this guy claims to believe abortion is murder. So he’s not pretending he wants murder to be safer? He’s worried that murder is too dangerous? What kind of morally corrupt person thinks that something is murder and then runs around worried about the health and well-being of murderers? None. He neither thinks abortion is murder nor does he think that these admitting privileges will help anyone, since abortion has one of the lowest complication rates of any medical procedure you can get. In those extremely rare—much rarer than with childbirth, for instance—cases where a woman needs to be in a hospital overnight for observation, the E.R. doctor can admit her. Antis are actually trying to get you to believe you show up sick to the hospital and they’re like, “Nope, not without a very specific doctor who isn’t even your regular doctor but just a specialist to admit you.” It doesn’t work that way. Which is why other courts who have looked at this have blocked the law and the plaintiffs have a good chance in Texas.

While all this was going on, the governor of Texas’s wife, Anita Perry, was interviewed at the Texas Tribune festival and she basically said she’s pro-choice.

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She tried to backtrack and say the state saw it differently, but came right back around and basically again said that she thought it really was up to the individual.

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If you’re surprised, don’t be. As mentioned earlier, the whole claims from anti-choicers is not that they are trying to end legal abortion in the state of Texas, but they are simply trying to pass some innocuous health regulations that have nothing to do with halting legal abortion access in the state. All of a sudden you have the governor’s wife making sympathetic pro-choice noises that just so happen to make him look more open-minded and tolerant on this topic than he actuality is? Gosh, that could only help make the case that this isn’t an attempt to end legal abortion, because look, over there, Anita Perry is pro-choice! So I’d take her remarks with a grain of salt. More on this case in the next segment, when a lawyer who is working on it will fill us in on the nitty gritty aspects.

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insert segment

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Okay, I was Team Kanye during the latest beef between Kanye West and Jimmy Kimmel. That said, Jimmy Kimmel made it up to me a lot by giving over some airtime on his show to spread the word that people actually like Obamacare, if they know what is actually in it. This is a well-known fact in political journalism circles. Polling data shows people object to the bill when it’s called “Obamacare,” but when they are read the actual provisions in the bill, they support it. Kimmel’s people decided to take it a step further and ask people how they felt about Obamacare versus the Affordable Care Act. Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act are the same thing; Obamacare is just a derisive nickname given the Affordable Care Act by right wing nuts that happened to go mainstream since it’s fewer syllables than “Affordable Care Act.” The nickname is losing some of its negative connotations as the bill goes into effect, but Kimmel’s interviewer found that a lot of people were willing to confidently denounce it, while turning around and saying they supported the Affordable Care Act. Which is Obamacare. Same thing.

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Hadn’t been thought out, said a lady who clearly doesn’t even know what it is. Of course, in reality, it has been thought out quite a bit, and if she had bothered to listen to anything but the propaganda on Fox News, she would have known that.

This guy definitely has gotten his entire idea of Obamacare from Fox News.

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And so on and so forth. Jimmy Kimmel made his point very well.

People don’t like Obamacare because they’ve been told by right wing media not to like Obamacare, and they haven’t bothered to think about it any more deeply than that. A lot of that is because right wing media has tapped into a bunch of nasty stereotypes, especially racist stereotypes, to scare people about it. But a lot of it is that they’re just plain lying. Like aggressively, outrageously lying about what’s in it. Chris Hayes did a segment where he pretended to believe that the folks on Fox & Friends are simply mistaken about the bill to demonstrate how aggressively they lie about it. A big thing they’re pushing is the claim that somehow Obamacare is going to mean an end to your health care. Rep. Renee Helmers went on Chris Hayes show and told this amazing, unforgivable whopper.

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Steve Doocy of Fox & Friends trotted out a version of the lie, once again implying that people who are currently insured will somehow lose their insurance because other people are getting insured.

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This fits into a larger narrative that often has ugly racist undertones that emanates from the right, what Joan Walsh of Salon called a “strategy to depict government as the enemy, an oppressor that works primarily as the protector of and provider for African-Americans, to the detriment of everyone else.” While I have no doubt that the average Conservative pictures the person who is supposedly stealing their health insurance away as Black, he race-baiting of the past laid down this larger narrative of a zero-sum game that expands beyond just white vs. Black. For instance, the contraception mandate is a big honking deal on the right because it allows them to promote the notion that young, sexy women are stealing health insurance from older men in order to have lots of hot, consequence-free sex and that said older men don’t get to benefit from it. All this other stuff, this racism and sexism, gets attached to it, but at its core the narrative from the right is that the uninsured somehow can’t get health insurance without taking it away from you. This is a lie.

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Republicans shut down the federal government in a desperate attempt to shut down Obamacare. If they really think it’s so bad that it’s worth causing economic disaster for, then why are they lying about it? If it’s that bad, then wouldn’t the truth suffice? Or is the reality that they’re lying because they know if you, the general public, knew the truth about Obamacare, you would actually support it? I know where my money is on this question.

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And now for the Wisdom of Wingnuts, that word does not mean what you think it means edition. That word is “shoo-in”, and Fox Business host Stuart Varney wildly misused it recently.

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Zero women have been appointed to chair the Federal Reserve before. Larry Summers almost got the job until the controversy got to be too much. The notion that women have some kind of great power to get appointments men don’t have is disproved by the statistics and the recent past. But don’t let reality get in the way of your victim complex, Stuart.

Follow Amanda Marcotte on twitter: @amandamarcotte