MSNBC's Claire McCaskill erupts over abortion law: 'My heart is beating so fast right now'

Media top headlines September 2

In media news today, Chris Hayes downplays Biden’s phone call with ex-Afghanistan president Ghani, ex-CBS anchor Dan Rather gets crushed for tweet comparing pro-lifers to the Taliban, and an MSNBC analyst likens the Texas abortion law to slavery

MSNBC analyst Claire McCaskill said she was having heart palpitations during a debate over the new Texas abortion law on Thursday’s “Meet the Press Daily.”

The Texas Heartbeat Act, enacted on Wednesday, bans abortions after six weeks, when a fetal heartbeat can be detected, and allows individuals to sue abortion clinics or anyone who helps women obtain abortions in the state. The law’s critics ripped the measure, arguing many women don’t even know they’re pregnant at six weeks, and it was challenged in court. But the Supreme Court rejected attempts to halt the measure this week.

National Review editor Rich Lowry told host Chuck Todd that while critics may be fuming over the Supreme Court’s decision, the law did not overturn Roe v. Wade, as some have suggested. Instead, Texas has found a way to restrict abortion by “working around Roe,” he noted.

McCaskill was visibly upset by his remarks.

“I got to tell you my heart is beating so fast right now,” McCaskill said in response, while holding her hand over her chest. “It is very hard for me to stay calm.” 

“This is not a workaround,” she continued. “It shouldn’t be a tip of the hat. It should be condemnation. That they are trying to take 50 years of Supreme Court precedent and throw it out by creating a private police that can invade women’s life at the most personal, private and difficult moment they ever face.”

She added that she wants “bounty hunters after the people who are raping their children.”

Lowry told McCaskill she was letting the rhetoric “get out of hand.” She replied by calling Lowry her friend but that he was “so flat wrong” on the issue and kept up the fiery rhetoric.

“They have gone too far on this,” she said. “There will be huge political ramifications for private bounty police going after women who want to terminate a pregnancy as soon as they find out they’re pregnant, which many times is after six weeks.”

McCaskill, a former Democratic Senator from Missouri, is the latest analyst to have a meltdown over the Texas abortion measure. For the past two days, media figures have compared the law to terrorism, predicted it would be doomsday for women’s rights, and compared the law’s pro-life supporters to the Taliban.

“Who is gonna invade Texas to liberate women and girls,” the Washington Post’s Karen Attiah asked.

“It’s worth noting that many of the same people attacking the Biden Administration for leaving women’s rights behind in Afghanistan are eager to control women’s bodies and choices in the United States,” ex-CBS anchor Dan Rather tweeted.

“There are five justices…who seem like solid votes to overturn Roe v. Wade,” CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said. “We’ve been accused, those of us saying that Roe is about to be overturned as being Chicken Little, the sky is falling, the sky is falling. We’ll see, because it certainly looks like the sky is falling now.”

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