Melissa Harris Perry Compares Abortion to Cancer Treatment, Hand Amputation

By Melanie Arter | January 26, 2015 | 1:35pm EST

Melissa Harris-Perry, host of MSNBC's "Melissa Harris-Perry" show. (AP)

( - MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry compared abortion to cancer treatment and hand amputation during a segment of her self-titled show Saturday on Alabama's abortion law that requires minors to get written parental consent before an abortion or petition the court if they don't.

"But I want to ask one final question though: Are you at all distressed in the ways that I am about the idea that there is a separate interest between an individual and something that is happening in her body that cannot at that moment exist outside of her body?" Harris-Perry asked. "So, the idea, for example, that I would need a court's permission for cancer treatment or the court's permission for surgery that would remove my hand. If it's my body, I can't understand why the state would have to give me permission."

Harris-Perry was addressing Julian McPhillips, a civil rights attorney and former Democratic Senate candidate,  who represents the rights of the unborn as a a guardian ad litem in Alabama court because of a state law (HB 494) that allows juveniles who don't have parental permission to petition the court for an abortion.

"Well you wouldn't have to, because I presume you're well over 17, but someone 17 or younger, especially 16, 15, 14, having an abortion or having a baby could have great consequences," McPhillips said in response to Harris-Perry's question about why the state would have to give her permission to have an abortion.

"And at their age and stage, they can't enter into any contract legally in any state anyway, and the rules of civil procedure in Alabama and in most states allow for the appointment of a guardian ad litem to protect the property interests of an unborn child," he said. "We reason if the property interests of an unborn child can be protected, why not the life interests, because without the life, you can't have property.

"And there's a due process in both life and property, and so there's great interest at stake, and it's done with great sensitivity and should be - and in my opinion will always be that - and so it may be the forefront of the cutting edge of something, but more and more, we recognize the law of the land in the Supreme Court decision of Roe v. Wade," McPhillips said.

"But I will say this: I want to raise the consciousness people out there that there's much at stake, great life itself. The only problem with pro-choice is it's absolutely no choice for the one life that's really at stake," he added.

MRC Store