MSNBC Spins Data On European Abortion Comparisons

News & Politics

Senator Lindsey Graham has defended his 15 week abortion bill by claiming that it is hard to call him an extremist when he would simply bring the U.S. in line with most of Europe. MSNBC’s Ali Velshi was not thrilled with the argument and he used his Saturday show to team up with President and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights Nancy Northup to try to debunk it. Naturally, there was plenty of spin, but not a lot of facts.

Velshi began, “Lindsey Graham says that his proposal aligns America with Europe’s stance on abortion.” Seeing Northup shake her head, Velshi continued, ‘I can see you already know what I’m about to ask you, because the Center for Reproductive Rights says quote, “there’s something highly disingenuous with the notion that introducing a new ban on abortion into law in the United States would somehow align with the approach in Europe.’ Can you explain that to my viewers?”

 Northup almost immediately began spinning, “What Senator Graham is saying about his bill aligning, being in line with Europe, it’s simply not true. It is the fact that in the vast majority of countries in Europe, abortion is available on numerous grounds throughout pregnancy.”

According to her own organization’s website, no European country allows abortion “throughout pregnancy” simply because one is desired. Almost all European countries have stricter limits than Graham’s bill and to obtain an abortion past the normal limits requires a compelling health reason.

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Graham and other conservatives who have made similar arguments are talking about abortion limits, but Northup claimed for the analogy to work, pro-lifers need to embrace government-run health care:

What really distinguishes us from Europe, if you want to get in line with most of Western and Northern Europe, you would have a national health care system, and in that health care system, it would cover abortion care, so people didn’t have to struggle to make ends meet to be able to cover their abortion care, as many do in the United States. So, that is actually in line with Western and Northern Europe, abortion would be part of the public health system.

Given the discourse around Graham’s 15 week proposal, it is almost certain that even if he were to wrongly include public funding, MSNBC and abortion activists– but we repeat ourselves– would still attack him as an extremist. 

This segment was sponsored by Subway.

Here is a transcript for the September 17 show:

MSNBC Velshi

9/17/2022

8:34 AM ET

ALI VELSHI: Lindsey Graham says that his proposal aligns America with Europe’s stance on abortion. I can see you already know what I’m about to ask you, because the Center for Reproductive Rights says quote, “there’s something highly disingenuous with the notion that introducing a new ban on abortion into law in the United States would somehow align with the approach in Europe.” Can you explain that to my viewers? 

NANCY NORTHUP: Absolutely. So, the Center for Reproductive Rights works around the world, including, we have an office in Europe and have worked throughout the European region. 

What Senator Graham is saying about his bill aligning, being in line with Europe, it’s simply not true. It is the fact that in the vast majority of countries in Europe, abortion is available on numerous grounds throughout pregnancy. And what really distinguishes us from Europe, if you want to get in line with most of Western and Northern Europe, you would have a national health care system, and in that health care system, it would cover abortion care, so people didn’t have to struggle to make ends meet to be able to cover their abortion care, as many do in the United States. So, that is actually in line with Western and Northern Europe, abortion would be part of the public health system. 

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