May 17, 2019

This week on To The Contrary with Bonnie Erbe, our panelists discuss the multiple abortion laws nationwide that poses a threat to Roe V. Wade, President Trump’s immigration overhaul that focuses on skill instead of family.

On the panel this week joining host Bonnie Erbe is: Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC); Rina Shah, Republican Strategist; Genevieve Wood, Senior Advisor, The Heritage Foundation; and Siobhan-Sam Bennett, Chief Strategic Officer, Legal Momentum.

Click read more to see what they had to say!

Abortion Laws

Laws in states across America narrow abortion rights, with Alabama's governor signing a near-total ban. What's the future of Roe v. Wade?

  • Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton: ”Medical science has already enabled a woman to take a pill before she even knows that she’s pregnant, and there it goes. So I think one of the reasons that we’re seeing these extreme views come forward is they’ve seen that medical science has made it possible for women to do their own aborting… Science is out-running them.”

  • Genevieve Wood: “I think it all depends on the cases brought forward, whether it’s the Alabama law, whether it’s - I mean, there’s a lot to work with here, shall we say. And so it will depend on the cases brought forward and the reason it’s brought forward and what the judge will be asked to rule. But let’s remember, when we talk about overturning Roe v. Wade, that doesn’t mean saying abortion’s now going to be illegal all over the country. It means it will go back to the states which is what it was before Roe.”

  • Siobhan “Sam” Bennett: “I would like to point out what Elizabeth Warren said. This is unbelievably cruel, right? As myself having been raped, as my mother having been a victim of incest, as myself having been commercially sexually trafficked. Imagine having to carry the baby of your rapist, of the father that incested you, and then having to give that rapist, that father, parental rights to the fetus - the pregnancy that you were forced to carry to term. This is unbelievably cruel, egregious, and our hope can only be that women wake up.”

  • Rina Shah: “It’s been very restricted, particularly in those southern states we’re talking about, and that’s what leads me to believe that somebody like Justice Kavanaugh may kick it right back and say ‘we’re not going to overturn.’ But I would like to see the states continue to handle this and have this on their hands.”

  • Bonnie Erbe: “It kind of depends on Chief Justice Roberts who will split from the majority - he did on Same Sex Marriage - and Kavanaugh’s an unknown, and I’ve been told by three or four connected conservative women that he will not vote to overturn Roe.”

Immigration Priorities

Donald Trump's new proposal seeks to prioritize "merit" over family ties.

  • Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton: ”Well, hooray for you. That’s not been the story of this country. I’m not gonna come out for that or for the kind of immigration we’ve had all along because this is a compromise on the table, for goodness sake… This bill, as the Speaker has said already, is dead on arrival. But the Democrats were willing to negotiate on changes in immigration for DACA. And you know that’s the immigrant children, who came here - been brought here by their parents, and know no other country and didn’t choose to come here.”

  • Genevieve Wood: “There are a number of things that I think Republicans and Democrats actually agree on on this issue. There’s a lot of voices here. I think a lot of Conservatives, a lot of Republicans are very happy with what the President said yesterday. But like I said, there are people from all sides, there are a number of things we all agree on. The problem is, we try to put this whole comprehensive thing together and every time it falls apart. Can we just pass the pieces that we agree on?”

  • Siobhan “Sam” Bennett: “I think the thing we’re not saying here is I feel like this is Trump throwing a bone to part of his constituency. And why take a very important, serious issue and obfuscate it like this? And you know what, I know we’ve got problems in immigration but we’re still the number one immigration nation in the world. Gallup poll does that research every single year and everybody wants to come here and guess what? We’re the largest economy in the world.”

  • Rina Shah: “I’m the daughter of two merit-based immigrants, you know… They were highly-skilled, had terminal degrees, had something to contribute when they came to America. Everybody that followed after my parents were family. We helped a lot of people come over because we felt that they would contribute to the economy. My demographic is a little bit different. The Indian American community obviously believes in not taking any sort of help. We look within family structures to get help rather than government assistance. We really believe in elevating our socioeconomic status when we come over here, so it’s just really hard for me because my parents followed all the rules and it cost a lot of money to follow all the rules for everybody we helped in my family come after.”

  • Bonnie Erbe: “Democrats are also the basis of the war on poverty and have spent since Lyndon Johnson’s time - since he declared war on poverty - $50 billion trying to bring people out of poverty. And you know what? It works. But when you bring in a million plus uneducated immigrants per year, that’s the poverty that’s being created today.”

Be sure to tune in this week for more discussion! Click here to check your local listings.