Mika Brzezinski used Attorney General Ken Paxton’s brutal attacks on Kate Cox’s rights over her own body to make the case that everyone in this country needs to wake up to the far-right Republican assaults that have already cost this country so much.
Brzezinski said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe:
Today is Monday, December 11th. Believe it or not, it is 2023, not 1923. That’s where we’re going to begin this morning. This is an unsettling and all-too-common story. Once again, an aging, white man faces indictments, is accused of covering up an affair, faced impeachment, and still his wrecking ball use of political power continues with brutal consequences on the lives of women.
Sounds familiar. I’m actually not talking about Donald Trump. This time, it’s another far-right Republican who considers it a compliment to be called Trumpy. After all, this man, according to Reuters, tried to sue Joe Biden over 50 times, on issues including immigration and gun rights and a ton of other garbage. I’m talking, of course, about Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. But that’s how desperate he is.
The man is so desperate to mimic Trump that he behaves in a cruel, brutal fashion and won’t back down until an ill woman is physically and emotionally destroyed. That woman is Kate Cox and her health is in danger because of Ken Paxton, who is using laws against abortion- thank you, Donald Trump, Leonard Leo and many others – to make sure her suffering is the most it can be. We gotta wake up, we need to wake the hell up. This country has lost so much already. Women have lost so much, whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, a man or a woman. Please look at the face of this moment in time. Kate Cox could be your daughter, your sister, your wife, you.
Kate Cox is 31 and needs an abortion. Her physical and emotional well-being is in peril.
Her developing fetus has trisomy 18, a rare chromosomal disorder that’s likely to cause stillbirth. That’s where she gives birth to a dead baby or her baby will barely survive the birth and then will die shortly after. She will watch her newborn suffer, gasp for air, and then die. then die. There are also other risks, that’s the reason she needed an abortion, of bringing this pregnancy to term, including making it impossible for Kate to ever have a baby again. It will sterilize her. Kate needs that abortion now, to protect her own health too. She’s been to the ER four times for severe cramps, leaking fluid, and elevated vital signs, according to her lawyer. And then, of course, there is the mental anguish.
So why isn’t this woman at the OR right now getting the life-saving health care she needs? Because the Texas Attorney General is not a doctor, not a scientist, an aging white far-right-Republican male believes he knows what should happen with Kate’s body. He would prefer that she carry her non-viable fetus to term consequences. Be damned. That’s Ken’s choice. Ken has choices. Kate does not.
Ken is choosing to block Kate’s health care once again by threatening legal action against any doctor who performs Kate’s life-saving abortion and legal action against the hospital where the procedure happens. He wants to do that as well.
So for Kate, a desperate mother in need of health care, the reason her body may lose its ability to have more children. The reason her young children have a sick, suffering mother, the reason her very life may be absolutely shattered and in danger, is because Ken Paxton is driving home the reality that we all must face. that because Trump and his cronies were able to destroy Roe – something he loves to brag about, we have no rights to protect ourselves.
Mika Brzezinski’s message that women have no rights to protect themselves, even in a medical emergency, is powerful, and all the more because it was delivered on a mainstream TV show, in the morning.
Brzezinski speaking on a mainstream show about how these far-right Republican men want to make sure women have no rights is very moving for women who have been fighting for basic human rights far longer than the Dobbs ruling, and who warned about the dangers of a Trump presidency for women in terms of rights over their own bodies. It’s also moving the needle for many women who were former anti abortion supporters, because it’s easy to support “the unborn” over women until you see it in practice. It’s easy to argue theoretically that one is “for life.” It’s not so easy to argue in practice that one is against life and health for women and girls.
Yes, rights for women and others in this country have gone backward, but also, overturning Roe has now brought mainstream shows to making the case for the necessity of choice for women’s health and as human beings, across political and cultural differences. Before Dobbs and in its immediate aftermath, the mainstream media was full of condemnation for women and doctor “abortion activists.” That changed pretty quickly after a 10-year-old rape victim needed an abortion that Republicans claimed she was lying about needing and the media fell for those lies and got egg on their faces when it was pointed out that a ten-year-old girl cannot consent and a pregnancy can be life and health threatening for a young girl.
Every single story like Kate’s tells the lie behind the “pro-life” mantra. It tells the story of the real reason behind the Republican push against abortion: Control of women.
It also belies the claim Republicans are desperately trying to make for 2024, which is that their abortion bans are not harmful to mothers, that they are not brutal monsters seeking to inflict torture on women and girls. But Kate’s story tells the truth about these bans: The bans are all about women and girls having no authority over their own bodies. So ultimately, Ken will be in charge of women and girls.
Ken isn’t a very nice person. Neither is Donald Trump or Ron DeSantis. None of these men have good track records on human rights. But they believe they should be in charge of women and girls lives, the decision over whether they get to live or die; have children in the future or not; be healthy for their existing children; make choices about their own lives after rape and more – including overruling women and girls’ doctors’ advice out of sheer barbaric malice, stemming from little man syndrome.
Take a good look at Kate’s situation: This is what “pro-life” looks like in reality.