Nets Fret Over ‘One of the Strictest Bans on Abortion’ in Texas

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On Wednesday, the network morning shows sounded the alarm over Texas implementing new abortion regulations, fearing the new “controversial law” represented “one of the nation’s strictest abortion bans ever.” Hosts and reporters were particularly despondent that the Supreme Court had not intervened to block the pro-life measure.

“Controversial law. One of the nation’s strictest abortion bans ever takes effect in Texas overnight,” Today show co-host Hoda Kotb breathlessly announced as the broadcast began. During a news brief minutes later, she warned:

 

 

Abortion providers in Texas have started turning away patients as the state’s new abortion law took effect at midnight. It bans abortions at six weeks into pregnancy, which covers nearly all the procedures typically performed in the state. Planned Parenthood in Texas has stopped scheduling appointments.

The anchor lamented: “The Supreme Court did not act on an emergency request by abortion rights groups to block the law but it is expected to eventually go before the full court.”

Opening ABC’s Good Morning America, co-host George Stephanopoulos was particularly disappointed that the high court had not taken action: “Breaking overnight, the controversial law in Texas banning most abortions now taking effect. The Supreme Court making no moves yet to block it.” Introducing a report minutes later, he still held out hope: “The state’s controversial law banning most abortions has now taken effect after the Supreme Court took no action, at least not yet, to hold it off.”

Congressional correspondent Rachel Scott warned: “This is one of the strictest bans on abortion in the country and it goes into effect in the state of Texas starting today.” She engaged in hand-wringing over provisions in the new law: “It bans abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy. That is before most women even know that they are pregnant.”

Like, Stephanopoulos, Scott couldn’t believe the Supreme Court hadn’t stepped in: “The Supreme Court had until midnight to respond to an emergency request to block this before it went into effect, but they have not yet taken any action.”

“One of the strictest abortion laws enacted in this country since Roe v. Wade takes effect in Texas today,” co-host Gayle King complained on CBS This Morning. Correspondent Nikole Killion bemoaned the development:

And the Supreme Court did not act overnight on an emergency request to stop the new Texas abortion law from going into effect. Opponents warn it would essentially overturn Roe vs. Wade by outlawing nearly all abortions in the state….This is happening in a much larger context. State legislatures set the record this year for the most abortion restrictions signed in one year since Roe vs. Wade in 1973.

None of the hostile network coverage mentioned that the law prevented abortions specifically once the heartbeat of the unborn child could be detected.

While NBC only focused on the new abortion legislation in Texas, ABC and CBS included attacks on the state legislature finally passing voting reform measures as well. “And Rachel, after months of a standoff, the Texas legislature has also passed this law putting new restrictions on voting,” Stephanopoulos worried on GMA. Scott commiserated with left-wing lawmakers who tried to stop it:

Yes, George, and critics say that this makes it harder to vote….Democrats have been fighting this for months. They walked out of the chamber twice, they fled the State of Texas, but Republicans have the majority….Texas now joins 17 other states that have moved to tighten voting rules this year, George.

On This Morning, King remarked that the Texas abortion bill “comes amid an uproar over another Republican-backed bill that Democrats say will limit people’s ability to vote.” Killion wailed:

Meanwhile, the Texas state legislature approved a Republican-backed voting restrictions bill Tuesday. The measure would ban drive-through voting, set new limits on early voting, and provide protections for partisan poll watchers. Republicans say it’s to strengthen election security. Democrats argue it would disproportionately impact voters of color and those with disabilities.

Whenever Republicans manage to pass legislation or accomplish part of their policy agenda, the liberal media instantly treat it as bad news. Meanwhile, if Democrats block such measures, it’s celebrated.

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Here is a full transcript of the September 1 coverage on NBC’s Today show:

7:02 AM ET

HODA KOTB: Controversial law. One of the nation’s strictest abortion bans ever takes effect in Texas overnight. What that could mean for fights ahead in other states and could its fate ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court?

7:19 AM ET

HODA KOTB: Abortion providers in Texas have started turning away patients as the state’s new abortion law took effect at midnight. It bans abortions at six weeks into pregnancy, which covers nearly all the procedures typically performed in the state. Planned Parenthood in Texas has stopped scheduling appointments.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Texas’ Six-Week Abortion Ban Takes Effect]

The new Texas law does not allow state officials to enforce the ban. Instead, it lets private citizens sue anyone who helped a woman violate the law for up to $10,000. The Supreme Court did not act on an emergency request by abortion rights groups to block the law but it is expected to eventually go before the full court.

Here is a full transcript of the coverage on ABC’s GMA:

7:01 AM ET

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Breaking overnight, the controversial law in Texas banning most abortions now taking effect. The Supreme Court making no moves yet to block it.

7:13 AM ET

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: We’re gonna turn now to that breaking news out of Texas overnight. The state’s controversial law banning most abortions has now taken effect after the Supreme Court took no action, at least not yet, to hold it off. Our congressional correspondent Rachel Scott is tracking the story. Good morning, Rachel.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Texas Abortion Ban Takes Effect; Supreme Court Does Not Act on Emergency Appeal]

RACHEL SCOTT: George, good morning. This is one of the strictest bans on abortion in the country and it goes into effect in the state of Texas starting today. Back in May, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed this measure into law. It bans abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy. That is before most women even know that they are pregnant. The Supreme Court had until midnight to respond to an emergency request to block this before it went into effect, but they have not yet taken any action.

In the state of Texas, 85 to 90% of women get abortions within their first six weeks of pregnancy [sic], and so without any further action this will ban nearly all of the abortions in the state, George.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And Rachel, after months of a standoff, the Texas legislature has also passed this law putting new restrictions on voting.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Texas Republicans Pass Election Bill; Democrats Blast Restrictive New Voting Measure]

SCOTT: Yes, George, and critics say that this makes it harder to vote. This now heads to Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s desk for his signature, he has promised to sign it. It bans drive-through voting, it bans 24-hour voting, it also adds new I.D. requirements for mail-in voting.

Democrats have been fighting this for months. They walked out of the chamber twice, they fled the State of Texas, but Republicans have the majority. They were able to push this through and they insist that this protects election integrity. Texas now joins 17 other states that have moved to tighten voting rules this year, George.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Rachel Scott, thanks very much.

Here is a full transcript of the coverage on CBS This Morning:

7:15 AM ET

GAYLE KING: One of the strictest abortion laws enacted in this country since Roe v. Wade takes effect in Texas today. Now, it bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. The law’s opponents say that’s before many women even know that they’re pregnant. It comes amid an uproar over another Republican-backed bill that Democrats say will limit people’s ability to vote. Nikole Killion is following both of the measures. Nikole, intense feelings on both sides about these. Good morning to you.

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Texas Laws Controversy; Democrats Vow to Fight Abortion, Voting Measures]

NIKOLE KILLION: Yeah, absolutely, Gayle. And the Supreme Court did not act overnight on an emergency request to stop the new Texas abortion law from going into effect. Opponents warn it would essentially overturn Roe vs. Wade by outlawing nearly all abortions in the state. The law is known as SB-8 and went into effect at midnight. Not only does it ban abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy, it also allows individuals to sue anyone who helps a woman get an abortion, and those who are successful in their lawsuit could be awarded at least $10,000. This is happening in a much larger context. State legislatures set the record this year for the most abortion restrictions signed in one year since Roe vs. Wade in 1973.

Meanwhile, the Texas state legislature approved a Republican-backed voting restrictions bill Tuesday. The measure would ban drive-through voting, set new limits on early voting, and provide protections for partisan poll watchers. Republicans say it’s to strengthen election security. Democrats argue it would disproportionately impact voters of color and those with disabilities. They even came here to Washington for more than a month to try to stop the measure. So now as the bill heads to Governor Abbott’s desk, voting rights groups are threatening legal challenges. Vlad?

VLADIMIR DUTHIERS: Alright, Nikole Killion, we’ll see what happens ahead. Thank you.

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