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NBC's Mitchell and Cosmo Editor Bash House GOP for 'Picking a Fight' on Abortion

On her eponymous 1 p.m. ET show on MSNBC on Thursday, host Andrea Mitchell ranted against House Republicans daring to introduce pro-life legislation to limit abortions: "The House is expected to vote by tonight on controversial new restrictions that would go against Roe v. Wade. And if they were to pass the Senate, the President would of course veto it...So what's the point?" [Listen to the audio]

Turning to Cosmopolitan editor-in-chief Joanna Coles, Mitchell derisively wondered: "Here we have another abortion fight that seems to be just House Republicans, or those who are against abortion rights, picking a fight even though they know they won't win. What is going on politically?" Coles replied: "If you look at what happened to the Republicans at the last election, when they chose to make social issues – they put it at the front of the agenda, it didn't do them any good."

Coles then claimed: "...at Cosmo we have lots of Republican young women readers who are baffled about why the Republican Party's doing this."

The head of the women's lifestyle magazine went so far as to blame abortion restrictions for the atrocities committed by convicted abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell: "And of course the trouble is, if you make abortion difficult to get, then you enable doctors like Kermit Gosnell to be doing it on the side in all sorts of unpleasant, horrible, you know, life-threatening conditions for the women who need these procedures."

Wrapping up the exchange a few minutes later, Mitchell wholeheartedly endorsed Coles's left-wing advocacy: "It's very exciting, the changes at Cosmopolitan, as you make it more politically focused and sort bring it up to date by going back to first principles."

Here is a transcript of the June 18 segment:

1:46PM ET

ANDREA MITCHELL: News today on the abortion fight front. The House is expected to vote by tonight on controversial new restrictions that would go against Roe v. Wade. And if they were to pass the Senate, the President would of course veto it, even if they got past the Senate, which it won't. So what's the point?

Cosmopolitan magazine editor-in-chief Joanna Coles joins me now. Great to have you here.

JOANNA COLES: Thank you.

MITCHELL: Great to see you in Washington. I know I've enjoyed watching you on Morning Joe. Here we have another abortion fight that seems to be just House Republicans, or those who are against abortion rights, picking a fight even though they know they won't win. What is going on politically?

JOANNA COLES: Well, it's very interesting, isn't it? I mean if you look at what happened to the Republicans at the last election, when they chose to make social issues – they put it at the front of the agenda, it didn't do them any good. So one's asking, why are they doing it again? And we here – at Cosmo we have lots of Republican young women readers who are baffled about why the Republican Party's doing this. We know that they want women voters. We know they want young men and women voters. And yet, this is an issue which is clearly going to turn off both – both kinds of voters.

So really I think this is a play for the Right, and you know, the economy does definitely seem to be getting better and one can't help thinking – also, there was that awful case in, I think, Philadelphia with Kermit Gosnell, which was an unpleasant abortion doctor case and it gave people the opportunity to get back out in front of a very controversial social issue.

MITCHELL: It was a horrific case.

COLES: A horrifying case for everybody concerned. And of course the trouble is, if you make abortion difficult to get, then you enable doctors like Kermit Gosnell to be doing it on the side in all sorts of unpleasant, horrible, you know, life-threatening conditions for the women who need these procedures.

So I think it's just, you know, politics at play, but it's hard to see how the moderate Republicans can think this is in any way good at all.

MITCHELL: And this is as we have more women in the Senate, not that many women, proportionally, in the House of Representatives.

COLES: Right, twenty percent, yeah.

MITCHELL: And twenty percent in the Senate.

(...)

1:51PM

MITCHELL: It's very exciting, the changes at Cosmopolitan, as you make it more politically focused and sort bring it up to date by going back to first principles.