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updated 6/19/2013 6:18:19 AM ET 2013-06-19T10:18:19

"The reason why women can participate in society so fully is because we have more control over our reproductive rights," The Guardian's Ana Marie Cox said.

Republicans across the country have once again begun pushing to strip women’s reproductive rights, from restricting access to contraception to banning abortion after 20 weeks. On Saturday’s Up with Steve Kornacki, the panel discussed the devastating effects these bills could have and why legislators seem more interested in regulating uteri than in creating jobs.

“Voters are upset that this is the priority when we have so many other problems,” Democratic pollster Celinda Lake said on the show.

The Guardian’s Ana Marie Cox added that reproductive freedom has been a crucial element of women’s participation in the economy. “The reason why women can participate in society so fully is because we have more control over our reproductive rights,” Cox said.

Watch the full discussion above and watch Up with Steve Kornacki every weekend at 8 a.m. ET.

Video: Ana Marie Cox: Abortion can be an economic issue for women

  1. Closed captioning of: Ana Marie Cox: Abortion can be an economic issue for women

    >>> came up there. north dakota now, we should just point out, is a state that has the most restrictive state-level law on abortion in the country, which was basically this fetal heart beat bill that went through this year where it basically says no abortion allowed in north dakota after six weeks. just want to get that out there. a thought before the break. what else were you about to say?

    >> a number of things here. i think, particularly, in how the issue is framed because we just saw polling over the last week that came out in terms of the american people and how they feel about abortion. and i think if we start off with the first premise that this is a choice that women and their families make and that is a choice that they should make personally. i can say here, like, i don't believe in abortion for myself, personally. but for someone else that may be the choice that they need to make and the difference with how this legislation and how these restrictions are being put off is that we are restricting your choice and restricting your decision and your family's decision on whatever it is you like. i say all the time to people, i had the personal situation of being in a hospital room, being pregnant and tell me either you die or your baby dies. what qualifies? any of these politicians men or other people to make this decision. be in the hospital room with me and making that decision that is put before women . that's the difference in terms of the framing of this issue. if someone's personal choice , based upon their current circumstance s on what they need to make. that's what women are pushing back on. whether they agree on abortion or personal belief. when you're pushing forth the legislation whether it's six weeks, 20 weeks and you have to get a vaginal ultrasound and it's government, again, going contrary against a conservative belief coming in this hospital room with you to help you make a decision that should be only yours.

    >> here's my, here's my concern, l. joy. but is it an informed choice? is a woman who is in a crisis situation, i mean, look, the polling data is really clear. no woman wakes up one morning and says, i'm going to trendal off to the abortion clinic . she is there because it is a crisis in her life and is it an informed choice? is she being told the options and how abortion harms women and the data out there now that is undisputable about how abortion harms women and the long-term effects of abortion.

    >> that's not undisputable. in terms of the informed decision, look, the legislation that's being proposed and passed is not making sure that she has all of the information. it's make sure she can see this on the screen. who is to decide that? and making sure that the information, the information is clear. that it is accurate. that it is medically accurate. all of that, that information. that is not what is being proposed and that's not what is being passed. so, having, yes, i had an informed decision from my doctor who was in the room. why does a politician in washington decide to tell him it's just recently in ohio another article that a doctor has to then tell me how much money he makes by performing abortions and how much he wouldn't be able to make if he's not. why is that information necessary in, as you say, a woman who may be in crisis and also woman who may not be in crisis. there is data of women who already have children that are having abortions.

    >> another thing i would like to say here is that this is, what is the priority of this? these legislatures are bogged down. montana state legislature two years ago. the first 13 bills on abortion, excuse me, the governor of iowa is going to sit there? there's nothing else going on in iowa that he has time to decide for every low-income women whether the insurance should cover, he has nothing better to spend his time on? voters are upset this is the priority when we have so many other problems going on.

    >> an interesting quote from a republican congressman from pennsylvania. this is charlie dent who said this week in roll call , i'll be very frank. i discouraged our leadership from bringing this to a vote on the floor. clearly the economy is on everyone's mind and very stagnant job numbers and now we're going to have a debait on rape and abortion. the stupidity is simply staggering.

    >> reproductive rights are an economic issue, among other things. i don't think you have to separate out. we're just going to have a social argument. the reason why women can participate in society because we have more control over our reproductive rights . i want to talk about this framing issue and i have seen an interesting thing happen in the pro-life movement when you make the debate not about having the doctor in the room with you, not about when does life begin, but having that woman make sher choice based and making it a human rights issue. i mean, you get a lot of people, sort of thinking about it differently and, also, i have to say, we have been talking about coalitions during this whole show. as long as the pro-life coalition is the coalition that had the other social issues tied to it, i'm not sure how much other headway they're going

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