MSNBC host Ali Velshi has offered some strong words to pro-life advocates, characterizing laws that restrict access to abortion as “Christian Sharia.”
Velshi’s comments came in the context of an interview on SiriusXM radio’s The Dean Obeidallah Show. Velshi is a longtime broadcast journalist who serves as a business correspondent for MSNBC and NBC. He is also host of “Velshi,” a weekend news program on MSNBC.
Velshi’s interview with Dean Obeidallah covered a number of topics, but the pair became decidedly more animated when discussing the Republican Party.
Citing the 2021 Capitol Riot, controversies over school curriculums and books, and the continued advancement of anti-abortion laws, Obeidallah suggested that while Republicans often talk about freedom, he’s “deeply concerned” that GOP leaders “don’t know what that word means.”
“First of all, Florida: six-week ban,” Velshi replied, referencing the legislation that Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law last week. “You don’t have to be a woman; you just have to read a pamphlet on menstruation to realize that a six-week ban is essentially a ban on abortion.”
“If you figure out that you’re pregnant in Florida, and you don’t want to be pregnant, you would then have to process that thought, have a pregnancy test, think about what you want to do, and then it’s too late. There’s just no time left to actually get an abortion,” Velshi went on to say, adding that out-of-state abortion can be difficult, as the states immediately bordering Florida also have abortion bans.
Velshi continued, “It used to be that states like Florida and Texas would advertise themselves as ‘the land of the free,’ right?”
“They would tell businesses and entrepreneurs from California, for instance, ‘Come to my state and you’ll pay fewer taxes and there are fewer regulations.’ And it actually worked for a long time,” Velshi said, recalling a time he was in Arizona and a citizen there remarked that New Yorkers “have no freedom” because of a state law restricting the sale of sodas to containers no larger than 16 ounces.
“You go to one of these red states, and you can’t get an abortion, you can’t be gay, can’t be trans, can’t have a trans kid, can’t get your trans kid healthcare…and that’s just the beginning of the list,” Velshi said. “There’s a whole lot of other things you can’t do.”
Equating pro-life policies with Christian nationalism, Velshi compared the Dobbs Supreme Court decision, which ruled that abortion would no longer be recognized as a fundamental right, to Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” a dystopian novel about a religious takeover of the American government that leads to the systematic oppression of women.