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Need to Know, September 28, 2012: Women’s choice

This week's host Jeff Greenfield

This week, Need to Know’s Mona Iskander travels to Virginia, a vital swing state in the 2012 election, to examine how the state’s Republican-controlled general assembly’s efforts to curb access to abortion providers could affect the presidential contest.

Anchor Jeff Greenfield interviews Elaine Kamarck of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

In this week’s essay, Greenfield offers an analysis of how the abortion debate has had an impact on previous presidential elections.

Read the transcript.

What’s on this week:

Women’s choice

Need to Know travels to Virginia, a critical swing state in the 2012 election, to look at how issues of women’s health on the local level may impact the general election.


Interview with Elaine Kamarck

Anchor Jeff Greenfield interviews Elaine Kamarck of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

A look at the abortion debate

Greenfield offers a historical essay about how the abortion debate has affected past presidential elections.

Watch more full episodes of Need to Know.


  • Harold Salwen, Teaneck, Nj

    I am pro-choice BECAUSE I am pro-life. My mother had an abortion more than 85 years ago because of an ectopic pregnancy. Without it she most likely would have died at the time and certainly would have been unable to have another pregnancy. In that case, I and my six children and six grandchildren would never have been born.

  • Larry Reisinger

    Unlike the commercial news networks, PBS programming news shows are usually balanced. I admire that about PBS.

    However, the 9/28 Need to Know program is about as biased as it gets. In fact, if I was the Romney campaign, I’d protest the blatant pro-choice nature of this show. This is a hatchet job against Republicans and a clear pro-Democratic half-hour infomercial using public money.

    By the way, who, exactly, represented the unborn in this discussion?

  • Paul

    Wow! I just watched this show and was shocked that public broadcasting could be so biased. It’s propaganda at it’s worst, because it’s disguised as non-partisan “reporting”. Effectively this was a half hour advertisement for Obama’s reelection and funded (in part) by taxpayer dollars! It doesn’t matter where you stand on the abortion issue, if you watch this and you think you’re watching “reporting”, you’ve been duped. This is a blatant attempt to sway women votes toward Obama. Shame on you PBS!

  • Mitch, San Francisco

    Choices for women yesterday: get married. Pregnant and not married? A dirty, back room abortion or shunned by your community. Single Mom? No chance at a good job so poverty & the stigma of being a “bad” women.
    Choices for women today? Better; Education, opportunity for a decent job, being a single Mom is an OK & respected choice. Birth control, and access to better reproductive health.
    Seems the anti-womens right folks have forgotten that choice is not a black & white issue, is not limited to having or not having an abortion, that the more choices a women has the less reasons the choice is black or white.
    How self-righteous does one need to be to feel you’ve been appointed by God to intrude into a women’s health care decisions? You were not!

  • Bob

    That guy who had a job with Vesta for 3 years and was laid off because
    the Republicans are attacking wind energy subsidies said he would vote
    for Romney.

    Good lord, he’s going to be unemployed the rest of his life.

    I’d like to see in tens years if I’m right.

    Romney is a vulture capitalist. He made his fortune from workers who were fired and stole their pensions.

    Good luck with him creating jobs for Americans.