Part of a Series

Rewire News Group Editor-at-Large Imani Gandy joins the show to discuss U.S. Supreme Court arguments on medication abortion, attacks on reproductive rights, and how progressives can fight back. Daniella and Colin also discuss the economic ramifications of Donald Trump’s proposed 10 percent tariff and the Republican Study Committee’s disastrous budget plan.


Daniella Gibbs Léger: Hey everyone! Welcome back to “The Tent,” your place for politics, policy, and progress. I’m Daniella Gibbs Léger.

Colin Seeberger: And I’m Colin Seeberger. Daniella, basketball season has unfortunately already fizzled out for me. My UT [University of Texas] Longhorns are out of the tournament. I was really excited about Oakland beating Kentucky in the first round, but it seems like they didn’t make the Sweet 16. We are in rough shape this March Madness.

Gibbs Léger: My March Madness basically ended before it began, because Virginia was in a play-in game, and we looked like we really shouldn’t even have qualified for the NIT [National Invitation Tournament] this year. So, not great stuff happening.

Seeberger: It’s brutal. It’s brutal. Well, March Madness may have been a bust for us, but this week’s episode certainly won’t be.

Gibbs Léger: No, it will not, Colin. I had a fantastic interview with Rewire News Editor-at-Large Imani Gandy. We talked about recent and upcoming [U.S.] Supreme Court cases on abortion access, steps the Biden administration is taking to protect reproductive rights, and what it all means for 2024.

Seeberger: A super important conversation, to be sure. But first, we have to get to some news.

Gibbs Léger: Yes we do, Colin. Do you remember when [Donald] Trump announced he wanted to impose a 10 percent tariff on all imports if he’s elected this fall?

Seeberger: You know, I do. A half-baked Trump policy idea? Never heard of it before. I’m kidding, of course. But yes, it was a shocking and haphazard policy idea.

Gibbs Léger: That’s right. And listeners may remember us gawking at how this policy could actually significantly raise costs for everyday Americans. But you don’t just have to take our word for it: Our colleagues Brendan Duke and Ryan Mulholland at the Center for American Progress Action Fund analyzed data from a number of government agencies to figure out how a 10 percent across-the-board tariff could impact the typical American household. They found that Trump’s proposal would amount to roughly a $1,500 annual tax increase for the typical household. That includes a $90 tax hike on food, a $90 tax hike on prescription drugs, and a $120 tax hike on oil and petroleum products, among other increases. They also found that while this policy would dramatically drive up prices, it wouldn’t boost U.S. manufacturing or jobs. Trump claims his policy would stick it to China, but the importers who pay tariffs like these are usually domestic companies that import products to distribute them to U.S. customers. No Chinese company even falls within the top 10 importers. So who would it really hurt?

Seeberger: It would hurt us, Daniella. It would hurt Americans, to be sure. Trump’s own allies have admitted that a 10 percent across-the-board tariff would be detrimental to our economy. Casey Mulligan, who served as chief economist on Trump’s Council of Economic Advisers and who’s currently an adviser to the far-right America First Policy Institute, admitted that the new tariff would raise inflation. So while you’ve got President [Joe] Biden out there who’s been working hard on fighting inflation—we’ve seen it fall by about two-thirds from its peak—Trump is openly endorsing policies that would worsen a serious economic problem that’s squeezing families. It’s no surprise for the man who said he wished the economy would tank so he could have an easier time getting reelected. For him, it’s never about trying to lessen the anxiety of families. It’s always about his own politics first, his ability to hang on to power, to protect himself from legal liability. So if we want to talk about protecting U.S. manufacturing, just look at what the Biden administration has accomplished. He’s implemented a comprehensive and thoughtful strategy, which has helped generate $650 billion of new private sector investment in manufacturing here at home, which stands in stark contrast to Trump’s slapdash tariff proposal and to his actual record when he was president. Let’s not forget that when he was in the White House, he was responsible for a real decline in investment in U.S. manufacturing facilities: 1,800 factories shut down during just the first two years that he was in office. That was before the pandemic played any sort of role as well. And despite pledging to bring this industry back, it lost 60,000 jobs over his term. Compare that with the close to 800,000—I’ll repeat again: 800,000—manufacturing jobs created under President Biden as of the end of last year. So, when Trump tells you he’ll implement this America-first proposal—one that will raise costs for Americans and inflation for our economy at large—we should believe him and talk about what it’s going to mean for families just trying to get by.

Gibbs Léger: Yeah, he has experience in doing that. So yes, we should believe him, Colin.

Seeberger: We sure should.

Gibbs Léger: But Trump’s tariff plans aren’t the only horrible economic policy proposals on display this week. The rest of his MAGA party have been cooking up something truly awful. The House Republican Study Committee released their 2025 budget this week. And what do we always say about budgets here on “The Tent,” Colin?

Seeberger: Well, they’re a statement of values, of course.

Gibbs Léger: That is exactly right. And this budget is a troubling statement of a party that values tax giveaways to the rich over everyday Americans, including seniors. It proposes cutting Social Security by $1.5 trillion, with a “t”; raising the retirement age to 69; and cutting disability benefits from the program. It would take away Medicare’s ability to negotiate for lower drug prices as well as the $35 a month insulin cap and other measures that the Biden administration has implemented to bring down health care costs for Americans.

Seeberger: Who’s asking for this, right?

Gibbs Léger: No one. Absolutely nobody is asking for this.

Seeberger: Unless you’re Big Pharma.

Gibbs Léger: Well, yeah, that is true. I guess somebody is. And over the next 10 years, this budget would cut Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program by $4.5 trillion—again, with a “t.” Millions of Americans rely on these programs, but MAGA Republicans have shown time and time again that they’re willing to put them on the chopping block. They proposed similar measures in last year’s Republican Study Committee budget.

Seeberger: That’s right, they did. And they still haven’t learned their lesson. It seems that Americans really care about these programs and making sure that they can have their back when they need them, right? Over 80 percent of House Republicans, including every member of House Republican leadership, supports this budget plan wholeheartedly. The Social Security cuts, the turning Medicare into a voucher program—all of it. Meanwhile, their budget also proposes $5.5 trillion—again, with a “t,” as you say—in tax cuts, predominantly focused on giving those benefits to billionaires and large multinational corporations. Basically, they want to fund tax relief for the ultrawealthy and special interest [groups] by ripping away the ability to retire with dignity or access affordable health care or be able to send your child to a Head Start program so they can get the early education that they need. But that’s not all. The budget also advances MAGA Republicans’ disastrously unpopular abortion agenda. It endorses a national abortion ban with no exceptions for rape or incest. It proposes banning mifepristone, a safe and effective medication abortion drug that’s been used for decades. And it would make fertility treatment like IVF [in vitro fertilization] illegal. The extreme proposals in this budget—again, I just have to underscore—they stand in such stark contrast to the president’s budget, which we highlighted a few weeks ago. President Biden, he wants to expand Medicare and negotiate for even more drugs to be able to get lower prices for them. He wants to add vision, dental, and hearing benefits to Medicare. And he wants to make sure that the tax relief that folks have been getting through the Inflation Reduction Act and the Affordable Care Act to bring down health care costs are made permanent. And he wants to, of course, invest in the things that will help grow our economy, like making sure that people have access to affordable child care. The differences, just, they couldn’t be more stark.

Gibbs Léger: Yeah, they’re really telling on themselves here.

Seeberger: They sure are. Well, that’s all the time we have for today. If there’s anything else you’d like us to cover on the pod, hit us up on Twitter @TheTentPod. That’s @TheTentPod.

Gibbs Léger: And stick around for my interview with Imani Gandy in just a beat.

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Gibbs Léger: Imani Gandy is the editor-at-large for Rewire News Group and a co-host of the “Boom! Lawyered” podcast. She previously founded Angry Black Lady Chronicles, an award-winning political blog. She’s a self-described recovering attorney who previously served on the editorial board of the University of Virginia Law Review. Imani, thank you so much for joining us on “The Tent.”

Imani Gandy: Oh, thank you for having me.

Gibbs Léger: So, this week we heard oral arguments in a major medication abortion case before the Supreme Court. What’s this case about, and what did we hear from the justices? And what are the potential outcomes here? And what do they mean for medication abortion access?

Gandy: Well, the case is about whether or not some medication abortion protocol changes that the FDA [Food and Drug Administration] made in 2016 and 2021 were somehow improperly made, such that medication abortion access should be rolled back to essentially 2016 levels. So let me explain what that means. Initially, this lawsuit was brought so that the plaintiffs—this loose coalition of Christian doctors and dentists for some reason—but they wanted to basically take mifepristone off the market. They said that the FDA improperly authorized it back in 2000. By the time this case got to the 5th Circuit and the Supreme Court, that part of the case was taken out. The 5th Circuit said, “We’re not going to go back and look at the initial authorization of mifepristone. The statute of limitations was six years. You should have filed that lawsuit in 2006. But [what] we are going to do is we’re going to take a look at these protocol changes.” In 2016, the number of in-person appointments required to get medication abortion pills, to get mifepristone, was reduced from three to two. And then in 2021, basically in response to the pandemic, the Biden administration said that abortion providers could prescribe mifepristone via telemedicine, which made it so that no one had to go in person to get these pills at all. And that change was made permanent, I believe, last year.

So what’s remaining from this case is whether or not this coalition of Christian doctors and dentists were injured by the protocol changes, by this new regime, to such an extent that they have standing to sue the FDA for some sort of remedy. And what we saw yesterday is that the Supreme Court justices didn’t seem to buy that this group of doctors had legal standing to sue. I mean, not only do they not have legal standing to sue, because essentially their argument is that the protocol changes increase the number of medication abortion complications, such that emergency rooms and hospitals and other doctors were being flooded with medication abortion patients that were having these adverse reactions, and these adverse reactions were forcing these doctors to perform or to complete failed medication abortions against their own conscience. So this idea that—and it was even brought up in oral arguments—this idea that you’re in a rural hospital, and there’s one … It’s kind of like thinking about it this way: If I were the last doctor on Earth—I can’t remember who said it, it was one of the women who writes for Balls and Strikes—if I were the last doctor on Earth, could I force you to give birth? This idea that there’s one doctor in a rural hospital, and there’s someone who comes in with this horrible medication abortion complication, and that doctor is “pro-life” and is opposed to medication abortion. Can they say, “I don’t want to do this, because it makes me sad,” right? This sort of, like, “Abortion makes me sad. It makes me feel some type of way. And I don’t want to have to perform this health care procedure because I don’t like it.” Even though there are federal protections for just that sort of thing. There are conscience protections that say you are allowed to say, “I don’t want to perform this abortion, because it is against my religion to do so.”

What was fascinating to me is that it seemed, particularly with Amy Coney Barrett, she just wasn’t buying this particular fact pattern. She wasn’t buying that this group of doctors had been harmed in the way that they had said that they were—that this group of doctors somehow were faced with a medication abortion patient that they didn’t want to treat as a matter of conscience, but that they were forced to treat anyway. There was no evidence that that had ever happened. So how is it that this particular group of doctors have standing to say, “We don’t want anyone in the country to have access to mifepristone because we’re scared that someday some patient might show up, and I’m going to have to treat them. Even though that hasn’t happened yet, it might happen in the future.” I mean, that’s essentially what the claim was. And nobody seemed to be buying it, which was surprising to me because this is a group of judges who are put on the bench to take these sorts of cases and rule on these sorts of cases in a specific way.

Gibbs Léger: Exactly. And I’m still, like, not understanding the dentist part of … What?

Gandy: You know, nobody is. Because I’ve never been pregnant so I may not know, but I’m pretty sure no one’s going to a dentist for pregnancy care.

Gibbs Léger: I have been pregnant, and I did not go to my dentist. I can confirm.

Gandy: Did you go to the dentist? Because that seems like a weird thing to do.

Gibbs Léger: It seems very strange.

Gandy: But one thing I do want to add is that as optimistic as I am and other sort of pro-abortion—yeah, I’m going to say pro-abortion—pro-abortion legal analysts are, it doesn’t really matter to the anti-choice side whether or not they lose this case because by the time this case got to the Supreme Court, it had already been stripped down to such a point that it doesn’t make a difference to them. They want mifepristone off the market. So just rolling back access to 2016 levels isn’t really what they’re looking for. So what was alarming to hear, Sam Alito and Clarence Thomas bringing up the Comstock Act, is that the Comstock Act is what we’re calling a “zombie statute,” right? It was passed in 1873, and by the time it was whittled down, all it did was prevent the mailing of materials used for abortion, unless those materials were going to be used for an abortion that was going to save a person’s life. And the person mailing those materials had to have known that they were going to be used for an “illegal abortion.” But Republicans want to revive this law—because it has not been repealed yet and it is still on the books—they want to revive this law to make it illegal to mail abortion pills through the mail. And they’re doing this because medication abortion has become one of the most common forms of abortion, and it has the potential to widen abortion access to beyond what we saw under Roe [v. Wade]. Because even under Roe v. Wade, we all know that there are all of these state-level restrictions.

Gibbs Léger: Right.

Gandy: Medication abortion is sort of the great equalizer when it comes to that. If you can just get these pills through the mail and self-manage abortion on your own with the advice of a doctor, then that’s a much better way of going about terminating a pregnancy than having to go to a clinic and to get a procedural abortion. Anti-choicers know this, so they have been coming for mifepristone hard. And one of the ways to do that without even going back and saying, “Hey, FDA, you need to unauthorize this pill,” is to say, “Hey, everyone in America, you can’t mail these pills through the U.S. Postal Service because of this zombie statute called the Comstock Act,” which has not yet been repealed, and which Democrats really need to step up and start repealing because it’s a winning issue, and it would really stick it to Republicans to start—at least to have the conversation with people that, yeah, the Republican Party wants to take us back to a law passed in 1873, before women could even vote.

Gibbs Léger: Right.

Gandy: And they want to use this law to force you and anyone else with a uterus, anyone else capable of becoming pregnant, to remain pregnant against their will. That’s a winning issue for Democrats.

Gibbs Léger: We’re also going to be hearing oral arguments in another abortion case in the coming weeks. And this one is whether women with medical emergencies can receive abortions under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), even in states where abortion is restricted or banned. So what does this particular case reveal about the post-Dobbs [v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization] landscape? And how do you expect the justices to react to those realities that they’ve created?

Gandy: I mean, it’s funny because Dobbs was all about sending the issue back to the states, right?

Gibbs Léger: Right.

Gandy: We’re going to get the federal government out of abortion rights. We’re going to get the judiciary out of abortion rights. We’re just going to send it all back to the states. But what they’ve managed to do is essentially create a battle over federalism, over the way the government works, over the way the Constitution has said that the government works. Normally, we have something called the supremacy clause. And that means laws that are passed by the federal government preempt contradictory laws or laws that frustrate the purpose of the federal laws. They preempt state level laws that sort of deal with the same subject.

So, with the EMTALA case, what we’re talking about is the interplay between state laws regarding abortion, state laws banning abortion, and federal laws that require health care be provided to anyone who needs it—any stabilizing treatment must be provided to anyone who needs it needs it—and hospitals that are funded by the federal government, and Medicare-funded hospitals. And so normally, the preemption principle would kick in. And the fact that Idaho—which is, Idaho and Texas are the two states that we’re really battling this EMTALA emergency abortion care issue over—but Idaho has an abortion ban, and they want to know whether or not federal law requiring abortion care as stabilizing treatment, whether that trumps or preempts state law forbidding abortion care unless it’s a threat to the pregnant person’s life. And the problem between these two laws is that EMTALA is there to address people who are having deteriorating medical conditions, and it’s meant to address providing stabilizing treatment so that medical condition doesn’t deteriorate further. Whereas the abortion ban in Idaho and also the abortion ban in Texas say you’ve got to be on death’s door before we’re going to intervene with any medical care.

So there’s space between federal law which is, “We’re not just going to wait for you to die. We want to make sure that your health is OK.” It’s a health exception versus a life endangerment exception. And so there’s wiggle room there. There’s room in the joints there. And the issue is, how much wiggle room are we going to allow? Are we going to allow Idaho to say, “No, no, no—we know that the federal government says we’ve got to take care of you so that your health doesn’t deteriorate, but we think that it only matters as long as you’re not about to die. We’re only going to take care of you as long as you’re not about to die.” That’s really the reality that these justices have created. They have created a reality where they are going to be battling states for federalism. They’re going to be battling states to determine whether or not state laws are going to trump federal laws.

And it’s not even just in the repro context that we’re seeing this, right? We’re seeing this in the immigration context. I mean, we talk about reproductive justice—immigration is a reproductive justice issue. And we are seeing that the Supreme Court somehow couldn’t manage to say that, “No, Texas, you cannot enforce your state-level immigration laws above, over and above, federal immigration laws.” Federal immigration law is the purview of the federal government. States can’t interfere with that. But the Supreme Court didn’t say that. So now we’re sort of in no-man’s land when it comes to immigration, when it comes to abortion. And states are just sort of feeling themselves right now. They’re just out here saying, “Yeah, we don’t, we don’t think that the Constitution says that we have to pay attention to what the federal government does.” And I find that fascinating.

Gibbs Léger: I mean, speaking of states just being out there, the attacks are coming on all fronts. Let’s talk about Alabama. Their Supreme Court ruling has thrown the ability to access IVF care in that state into question, even after the legislature passed a law trying to protect those rights. So how is IVF still being impacted in Alabama? And what have the nationwide ramifications been? And how does banning or restricting IVF care fit into the larger “pro-life” MAGA movement?

Gandy: All great questions. So, Alabama has always been sort of like a flash point—I mean, along with states like Texas and Mississippi—but a flash point for anti-choice shenanigans, is what I’m going to say. And this idea that a frozen embryo is the same as an alive, breathing human person has been a goal of the anti-choice movement for 15, 20 years now, right?

Gibbs Léger: Right.

Gandy: This is personhood. This is elevating a fertilized egg to the same level as a person—as an alive, breathing human—and saying that killing a child, like infanticide, is the same as destroying a frozen embryo. We all know how IVF works. When you have IVF, you fertilize a bunch of eggs. Some of those embryos get implanted, and some of those just kind of stay stored until something gets done with them—whether they are destroyed, whether they are used for something else. But what Alabama is saying is that every time you destroy a frozen embryo, every time you don’t implant an embryo, you are committing murder; it is the same as murdering a person, which is absurd. But if you are coming from the standpoint that these anti-choicers are, it makes sense. If they believe that life begins at conception, then in their mind, it makes sense that destroying a frozen embryo is the same as killing someone. The problem that they’re facing with this sort of extreme viewpoint is that there are plenty of people who are anti-abortion but who still are pro-IVF.

Gibbs Léger: Right.

Gandy: And so what they need to do now is either pull the wool over the eyes of the “pro-life” community writ large and make it seem like they’re not doing what they actually are trying to do. For example, the Alabama governor signed legislation that protected IVF in Alabama. But if you think about how a state constitution works and how state legislatures work, state legislatures are created by the constitution. So if the Alabama Supreme Court interprets the constitution to say one thing—that frozen embryos are people—then it doesn’t matter if the legislature has come back and said, “Oh, yeah, frozen embryos are people except for when it comes to IVF.” Because that’s just not how the Alabama Constitution works anymore. So you’re going to see a lot of legislators pretending like they’re protecting IVF. And whether or not the governor of Alabama—is it Kay Ivey (R) who’s the governor of Alabama?

Gibbs Léger: I think so.

Gandy: Whether or not she actually believes she’s protecting IVF or she’s just playing her part in this grand role to make it seem like she is, knowing that the Alabama Supreme Court is going to come up behind her and say, “No, sorry, the Constitution protects eggs as people,” that’s sort of what is happening. It’s just this interplay between what the states want to do, what the legislatures want to do, what the Constitution says. And frankly, Alabama voters voted to have personhood in the Alabama constitution. So how is it that the legislature is going to come behind voters who, even though they may not have known what they were doing when they voted in this amendment, were making it so that they wouldn’t have access to IVF? That’s kind of too bad, because the Alabama Supreme Court gets to decide what the Alabama Constitution says. And they have shown in the past that they are not afraid of ignoring what the legislature has done in order to make its own rulings. It did that with chemical endangerment statutes, where they were imprisoning pregnant people for using crystal meth or any other sort of drug, even though the chemical endangerment statute that was putting these women away was specifically not intended by the legislature to be used to entrap pregnant people. It was intended to be used—to make a “Breaking Bad” reference—to make sure that Walter White wasn’t taking little Walter Jr. into the meth lab and back in the trailer, right?

Gibbs Léger: Right.

Gandy: That’s what the chemical endangerment statute was intended to prevent. It was not intended to make a pregnant person’s womb a meth lab if that pregnant person has a substance abuse problem. But that didn’t matter. The Alabama Supreme Court said, “Yeah, well, the chemical endangerment statute says that if you use drugs, then your womb is a crystal meth lab, and we can throw you in prison.” So it frankly doesn’t matter what the legislature does, particularly in a state like Alabama. And in terms of how it fits into the larger pro-life movement, Project 2025, which is this Heritage Foundation plan for the next time a Republican takes office—they are absolutely trying to foist fetal personhood on this country, and that means banning IVF. Even if they tell you to your face that’s not what they’re trying to do, that is absolutely what they’re trying to do. And if you look at, for example, anti-choice organizations like Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, who is one of the groups that has been signed on to Project 2025, they’ve come out and said that these resolutions protecting IVF are—they’ve come out against those resolutions because they believe that disposing embryos is murder. And so they are not willing to sign on to any sort of federal IVF protections, because it falls short of this expectation that they have that all human life has dignity, and all human life must be protected, and that includes frozen embryos.

Gibbs Léger: Phew! 

Gandy: Yeah, that was a lot.

Gibbs Léger: It is a lot. But like, honestly, words matter, man. And people really need to pay attention to what they are supporting and what they’re voting for.

Gandy: Yeah.

Gibbs Léger: I want to end on maybe a positive note, if we can. At the same time that we’re seeing these attacks, the Biden administration is also taking steps to try and protect reproductive rights and health care. So what are some of the proactive steps we’ve seen them take, and what are you hoping that they can accomplish?

Gandy: I mean, it’s not that much of a positive note, because honestly, I don’t think the Biden administration is doing enough. I mean, they’re sort of stuck in this old mode of thinking, that we’re going to restore Roe, we’re going to codify Roe. But it really frustrates me every time they say that, because how?

Gibbs Léger: Because the votes aren’t there, right?

Gandy: The votes aren’t there, and it ends up turning the responsibility to protect your reproductive rights away from Democrats and back onto voters who are already under siege, who are already having our rights stripped away. We haven’t had a Voting Rights Act functionally since 2013. And so it seems like every election cycle, it’s just, “Give me more seats, give me more Democrats, and we’re going to do these things.” But how? How are we supposed to give them more seats when all of these red states have gerrymandered Democrats out of existence, right? How are we supposed to do this if Democrats refuse to have a serious conversation about filibuster reform, so that they can actually get some of these things done?

In terms of what they’ve actually been doing, I do appreciate that they have been prosecuting people under the FACE Act—that’s the Federal Access to Clinic Entrances Act. Basically, it prevents anti-choicers from blockading clinics. So they have prosecuted more people under that. They have issued guidance to America saying that EMTALA is a thing that exists and that you are required to provide abortion care to people who need that as stabilizing treatment. Kamala Harris has been on a whirlwind tour talking to all sorts of people about reproductive rights. I really appreciate the work that she’s done on reproductive rights, reproductive freedom. They’ve announced all of these new initiatives to strengthen access to contraception, to reinforce the protections of the ACA when it comes to contraception. So there are things that are being done, but the main thing that needs to be done, they’re not doing, and that’s repeal the Comstock Act. “Codify Roe” is not something that’s realistic. To me, “codify Roe” is just a campaign statement. It’s just a throwaway campaign statement that they’re making, knowing that it’s not going to happen. Meanwhile, there’s this thing that they can do which is actually going to have some effect. Because the primary thing about the oral arguments yesterday is that I think we’re going to get a good ruling. I don’t think that there are five votes to say that these group of doctors have standing.

Gibbs Léger: Right.

Gandy: So that means it’s going to be another maybe 18 months to 24 months before another case makes it back to the Supreme Court. That gives Democrats 18 to 24 months to repeal the Comstock Act—to actually do something so that this argument that Sam Alito and Justice Thomas teed up for the anti-choice movement about, “Find us a case where you’re talking about the Comstock Act and we’ll rule in your favor.” If the Comstock Act is no longer on the books by the time that case gets to the Supreme Court, then we’re in a lot better shape. And so I really think it’s incumbent upon Democrats to do something. I was very glad to see Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) yesterday tweeting that—I think she’s the first person to say out loud, “We need to repeal this act.” Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said, “Eh, maybe we’ll do it if the court issues a bad decision, if we get an extreme court ruling.” But Cori Bush just said with her whole chest, “We need to repeal the Comstock Act.” And I hope that she’s able to get Elizabeth Warren in the Senate so that we can get it going in both the House and the Senate. And really even if it doesn’t go anywhere, we need to have a conversation about how Democrats are forward-thinking when it comes to reproductive rights, and Republicans want to take us back to literally 1873, which is when the Comstock Act was passed.

Gibbs Léger: Well, Imani, you have given our listeners a lot to think about this episode. I want to thank you, not just for joining us, but thank you for all of your work educating everybody about what’s at stake when it comes to abortion access in this country. So thank you so much for joining us on “The Tent.”

Gandy: Oh, it’s been my pleasure. Thank you for having me.

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Gibbs Léger: As always, thanks for listening. Be sure to go back and check out previous episodes. But before we go, got to talk about television. There was some good TV viewing happening this week. Got to start with the “Summer House: Martha’s Vineyard” premiere on Sunday.

Seeberger: With Preston Mitchum.

Gibbs Léger: That’s right.

Seeberger: A recent “Tent” pod guest.

Gibbs Léger: It was as great as he said it was going to be, and I cannot wait for this season. If you haven’t started watching this, Colin, I highly suggest that you add it to your list.

Seeberger: I definitely need to. I did see the meme that was making the rounds online from Preston’s appearance and that episode when he’s sitting at the table, they were having dinner or something, and he just shot daggers with those eyes.

Gibbs Léger: Ultimate daggers.

Seeberger: Somebody must have done something bad. I don’t know what it was, but I would not want to get on his bad side.

Gibbs Léger: No, the memes were hilarious. It was a great episode—I laughed, I cried. Literally, he made me cry. It was just really good. There was some other good television this week, too, Colin.

Seeberger: What could you be talking about, Daniella?

Gibbs Léger: I don’t know—maybe the finale of “The Bachelor”?

Seeberger: Oh, on your birthday?

Gibbs Léger: On my birthday.

Seeberger: Yay!

Gibbs Léger: Yay! Oh my goodness, Joey.

Seeberger: I’m just so happy for him that it worked out. I will say it did not work out how I expected, to say the least.

Gibbs Léger: No.

Seeberger: I feel like every season they always say, “This is the most dramatic finale in Bachelor/Bachelorette history,” right?

Gibbs Léger: Yes.

Seeberger: This one actually genuinely had me on my toes. I was kind of thrown for a loop. We’ve not seen what happened in this year’s finale happen before.

Gibbs Léger: No. The fact that Daisy basically self-eliminated and went to go talk to Kelsey first was amazing. And they rode to the final rose ceremony together in the same car. I gasped like everybody else did in the audience when they panned out to the two of them. I thought what Daisy did was courageous.

Seeberger: For sure.

Gibbs Léger: I thought it was great. I know some people were like, “Oh, she kind of took Kelsey’s thunder.” But I was like, no, I don’t think so at all. And I applaud her for doing that. And her line to Kelsey about her mom looking down—I was like, oh, the tears just came.

Seeberger: Oh, it was so moving. Well, first of all, I got a little bit of a bone to pick. The producers set Joey and Daisy up on their final date with this cool cultural experience where they’re basically getting fanned with smoke all around them, are hot and sweaty and clinging to each other, they can’t talk, they have to stay silent. And then you had Kelsey who was at the spa with her boyfriend having so much fun, relaxing, getting some body treatments, what have you—just having a good, romantic date together. And I was like, come on. Come on.

Gibbs Léger: The producers—several times this year, I’m like, jail. Guys, absolute jail.

Seeberger: Right, right.

Gibbs Léger: They knew what they were doing picking that particular date for Daisy and Joey.

Seeberger: For sure.

Gibbs Léger: Maximum drama and uncomfortableness, if that’s a word.

Seeberger: Let’s go with it.

Gibbs Léger: Okay, that’s fine.

Seeberger: Discomfort.

Gibbs Léger: Discomfort. There we go. I can’t wait to see, though, what happens with Joey and Kelsey. And I love the friendship that he has with Charity. It just gives me all the good feels.

Seeberger: Yes, totally. And I just have to say, I think it was incredible to watch how supportive the other women were of each other. I feel like throughout the closing part of the season, whether it was some of the women who had Maria’s back in the recent “Women Tell All” episode, or whether it is Kelsey just absolutely adoring Daisy, and Daisy absolutely adoring Kelsey and just wanting the best for her—I mean, it really seemed like even in this tense environment, that they really cared about wanting to support one another, and I thought that was amazing. To that end, they also showed some support for our new bachelorette, Jenn.

Gibbs Léger: Yes, Jenn. I have to say, I was surprised.

Seeberger: I was very surprised.

Gibbs Léger: But I’m fine with that because I found her to be bubbly and really fun once you got to know her, when they started showing her more toward the end of the season. So I am excited. I think the people who love Maria don’t need to bash Jenn because they’re not happy that Maria is not the bachelorette. My theory on Maria is that she’s not ready for that.

Seeberger: Well, one, I don’t think she’s ready for that. But two, I mean, it would have been great TV.

Gibbs Léger: Yes.

Seeberger: I will give you that. It would have been great TV. But I also don’t think this is the last we’ve seen of Maria.

Gibbs Léger: Oh, absolutely not. That girl is going to paradise at some point.

Seeberger: For sure.

Gibbs Léger: She will be there. And, woof, that beach—they don’t know what’s going to hit them.

Seeberger: So it sounds like “The Bachelorette” is coming back in July, which is a little weird because that’s usually when “Paradise” is. But my theory is that they are doing “Bachelorette” in July so, that way, [in] late fall/winter, they can do a new “Golden.”

Gibbs Léger: Yes, yes. And we can talk another time about Kelsey’s dad, who—if he’s not on “The Golden Bachelorette” as a contestant, he could be the next golden bachelor.

Seeberger: It’s possible. Anything’s possible.

Gibbs Léger: Anything is possible. All right. On that note, that’s going to do it for us. Thanks for listening. Take care yourselves, and we’ll talk to you next week.

[Musical transition]

“The Tent” is a podcast from the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It’s hosted by me, Daniella Gibbs Léger, and co-hosted by Colin Seeberger. Erin Phillips is our lead producer, Kelly McCoy is our supervising producer, Matthew Gossage is our video editor, Mishka Espey is our booking producer, and Muggs Leone is our digital producer. You can find us on YouTube, Apple, Spotify, Google Play, or wherever you get your podcasts.

The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.


Daniella Gibbs Léger

Executive Vice President, Communications and Strategy


Colin Seeberger

Senior Adviser, Communications

Kelly McCoy

Senior Director of Broadcast Communications

Mishka Espey

Senior Manager, Media Relations

Erin Phillips

Broadcast Media Manager

Muggs Leone

Executive Assistant

Matthew Gossage

Events Video Producer



Explore The Series

Politics. Policy. Progress. All under one big tent. Produced by CAP Action, “The Tent” is a news and politics podcast hosted by Daniella Gibbs Léger and co-hosted by Colin Seeberger. Listen each Thursday for episodes exploring topics that progressives are focused on.


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