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“Real Time” host Bill Maher blasted the protests that have taken place outside the homes of Supreme Court justices following the leaked majority opinion that signaled the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
During a panel discussion about the abortion debate, Maher called out outgoing White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki for being “down with this” when she told reporters at a briefing last week “I don’t have an official U.S. Government position on where people protest.”
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“But we do!” Maher reacted on Friday. “It’s wrong! It’s intimidation! It’s against the law!”
The HBO star acknowledged the demonstrators who gathered aren’t “terribly violent” but asked his guests, “Would you want this outside your house?”
Former Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., agreed with Maher, citing a 1950 law that says no one can protest outside a residence to influence a judge, adding “it would be much better” to gather for a rally in Washington D.C., even telling Maher she “might” be there.
Earlier in the conversation, Maher warned about a “civil war” division where “we gonna be two countries, one where you’re a free woman and one where it’s a Dred Scott situation.”
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“Look at some of the things that are being proposed in some of these states,” Maher said. “I mean, Louisiana says flat-out it’s a homicide. So when you drive from LA to Nevada, on one side of the border, you’re just a free person. The other side, you’re a criminal. You can fly across the country and gain and lose your reproductive rights 20 times. How can America sustain that?”
“It can’t,” Harman responded. “And it’s wrong. And what’s wrong with this is that we’ll get worse unless the Supreme Court- let’s pray, let’s pray- comes out with a different decision from the draft opinion.”
“That’s not gonna happen,” Maher told Harman.
The “Real Time” host suggested the abortion debate will give a “tangible sort of concrete pretext” for those who’ve been calling for secession to separate the red states from the blue states.
“This gives a real issue to it. I wonder where this is going,” Maher said.
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Harman seemed to dismiss Maher’s concerns, pointing to polling that shows high popularity for Roe v. Wade and even touted her 1992 congressional victory saying her pro-choice stance helped her get elected.
“You’re kind of making my point. That’s not where we are now,” Maher told Harman.
Maher cited the Clinton-era abortion mantra “safe, legal and rare,” arguing “that’s not where the Democrats are now” and that they “don’t say that anymore.” He went on to slam the pro-choice caucus in the House for sharing terminology changes, which included changing “choice” into “decision” and using “pro-abortion.”
“No one should be pro-abortion!” Maher exclaimed.
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Political scientist Ian Bremmer agreed, pointing to this week’s show vote in the Senate that failed to get the support of Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V. because “the progressives wanted to be able to drive more of a spike on this issue.”
“So much of what we’re seeing right now is unprecedented compared to the days of 1992,” Bremmer said. “You didn’t have opinions leak. You didn’t have people- masses demonstrated outside of the houses of Supreme Court justices!”