The Issue Is: The abortion battle heats up


A week after the Supreme Court overturned Roe V. Wade, the fallout continues.

Protests continued in major cities across the country as the debate escalated over scrapping the Senate filibuster in order to codify abortion at the federal level.

Meanwhile, here in California, the State Assembly voted to amend the State Constitution to protect abortion rights. The Amendment will now head to California voters in November.

To discuss, and debate, Elex Michaelson is joined on The Issue Is by attorney Gloria Allred and former GOP Candidate for California Attorney General Eric Early.

Then, as she prepares for the release of her latest documentary, "Fair Play," California’s First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom sits down to talk gender roles and to give her thoughts on California’s place in the future of the abortion debate.


ALLRED’S CENTRAL TAKE: "The 'womb with a view' is because the wombs are the one the most affected by all of this. And, of course, the decision by the United States Supreme Court was made by for people who don't have wombs, never will have wombs, and one person who does but has many, many children and, you know, her religion makes it a sin to believe that you should be able to have an abortion, even though religious views are not supposed to come into play with a Supreme Court Justice... I'm saying there's something we can all do, and you don't have to be a lawyer and you don't have to be a politician to do it…

"I think the street protests that you just showed are important, I went to one on the day that the decision came down in downtown Los Angeles. In addition, we have to remember in November, we have to get out there and vote for pro-choice candidates, we can't take for granted that we live in a blue, pro-choice state, we have to get out there and also support pro-choice candidates, get people who are pro-choice to run for office, contribute to them....

"This is a war against women, and it is about risking our lives in many states to get an abortion because it's unsafe and possibly illegal... It's about what Hollywood can do to, unions like SAG-AFTRA, that I'm a member of, the unions like the Directors Guild, the Producers Guild, the Technical Crafts Guild, the technical group, all of them should not make films in any state where abortion is banned. So, there's something for everybody to do, and we all must do it because accepting the status quo is unacceptable…"


EARLY'S CENTRAL TAKE: "I support the Dobbs decision. It was right on the money, frankly, and there is no Constitutional right to an abortion. And so, you know, these justices followed the Constitution, interpreted it properly. I don't believe it's a war on women, with all due respect, Gloria. You know, there are millions of women in this country - I have utmost respect for smart and, you know, strong, independent women - and there are millions of women in this country who are pro-life and who support the Dobbs ruling. So I don't look at this as a war on on women. This was a proper interpretation of the Constitution... this is really a legal matter…"


EARLY’S CENTRAL TAKE: "Notwithstanding the Dobbs ruling, the right to an abortion remains legal in the state of California, because, as you know, Dobbs supported states rights, it said it's up to the state legislatures to make the decision, and that means it's up to the people of the state who elect the legislatures to make the decisions, and here in California, we have a legislature that supports abortion. So whether I agree with that ruling or not, here it is legal in California, here we don't need an amendment to our Constitution, and therefore, this whole this whole argument about an amendment to the Constitution brings into serious question what frankly, the ulterior motives of a Gavin Newsom and a Rob Bonta are…"

ALLRED’S CENTRAL TAKE: "Can I tell you why, why we need a constitutional amendment? Because in the late sixties, when I also was living in California and I was in my twenties, we didn't have a Constitutional amendment and we had an anti-choice legislature. And so it was a crime for anyone to help with what they called a 'miscarriage,' but it was an abortion - it was a felony. And so that's why I had to have an abortion when it was illegal in California for a woman or a girl to have one, and I almost died from it. And therefore, we can't count on the fact that we now have a pro-choice legislature - big shout out to all the pro-choice legislators out there and especially the people of California who have elected them - but it could change. It could go back to the sixties, just like Roe v Wade now is rolled back after all, you know, since 1973, we've had almost 50 years of Roe v Wade and safe and legal abortions. That could happen. It will make it harder in the future to roll back, eliminate the right to legal abortion in California if we have a Constitutional amendment to our state constitution. That's why we need it…."


NEWSOM’S CENTRAL TAKE: "I mean, the whole thing is crazy and people don't understand.... I appreciate that so many people are, so many progressives are, leaning into the redefining what 'pro-life' is really about - and that's what we're doing in California - you know, 'pro-life' is about prenatal care, and universal preschool, and universal afterschool, and universal health care, and, you know, taking care of foster kids, and feeding, you know, universal meals and etc., etc., etc., child care, like that's 'pro-life'. It's not conception. But again, the folks on the far right, they're missing is just this. They're living in this silo, this evangelical conservative silo that ultimately is it's it's just pulling us back as a country. It's, you know, again, this is 150 years of us regressing to a time and a place where we don't deserve to be and we're not going to be, because, honestly, young women and fathers of daughters are awake now and they're woke and they're not going to let us go back, and so I have so much hope because of that, and obviously, California has a huge responsibility to lead…."

The Issue Is: with Elex Michaelson is California's only statewide political show. For showtimes and more information, go to