♪ this is "nightline." >> tonight, challenging abortion rights. >> roe v. wade has got to go! >> the supreme court case that could end nearly five decades of precedent. >> we need care! >> what the justices said today. >> i think we all should be alarmed. >> we're on the ground with the activists we've been following for years. >> do you believe that will become reality, that roe v. wade will be overturned? >> i do believe that that will be reality. >> and inside the mississippi clinic at the heart of the case. plus dr. oz wants to go to washington. >> pennsylvania needs a conservative who will put america first. >> running for the u.s. senate as a republican who says he can fix the country.
but will the tv doctor's controversies come back to haunt him? >> i don't get why you need to say this stuff because you know it's not true. do you struggle with occasional nerve aches in your hands or feet? try nervivenerve relief from the world's #1 selling nerve care company. nervive contains alpha lipoic acid to relieve occasional nerve aches, weakness and discomfort. try nervivenerve relief. ♪ ♪ tequila herradura. extraordinary awaits.
before the supreme court is expected to impact the right to choose throughout this country. and today we got a real sense of how the justices might decide the case. the fate of roe v. wade. here's abc's rachel scott. >> come on, come on, join the fight, abortion is a human right! >> hey, hey, ho, ho, roe v. wade has got to go! >> reporter: outside the supreme court today, thousands clashed over the fate of a woman's right to choose. while inside, nine justices heard arguments on the most consequential abortion case in 30 years. a case that could overturn roe v. wade and lead to severe new abortion restrictions or even ban it in about half the country. >> the reason this issue's hard is that you can't accommodate both interests. you have to pick. that's the fundamental problem. >> reporter: the court's two newest justices who were appointed by former president
donald trump, brett kavanaugh and amy coney barrett, are the keys to the six-member conservative majority. >> you could hear in realtime the conservative majority on this court discussing that historic step of overturning roe v. wade. but they weren't talking about whether they should do it, they were talking about how they should do it. it felt like you could sense the walls crumbling. it was one of those moments, rare moments, where you knew history was happening. >> reporter: the court hearing, oral arguments on a mississippi law that seeks to get rid of the federal precedent which allows legal abortions up to about six months of pregnancy. and instead asks to give states the power to decide the cut-off point for abortions. given what you heard today, are you bracing for the supreme court to let this mississippi law stand? >> yes, i'm bracing for the fact that it seemed as though there were six justices who were
willing to consider letting this law stand and who were willing to entertain the idea that precedent does not always stand. >> reporter: a recent abc news/"washington post" poll found 60% of americans believe the supreme court should uphold roe v. wade. >> roe is a precedent that's been on the books for 50 years, several generations of americans have come of age against the backdrop of roe with the understanding that because of roe, they had the ability to choose the timing of their reproductive lives. >> reporter: justice sonia sotomayor pointing out that mississippi state legislators introduced the bill specifically because the supreme court now leans conservative. >> will this institution survive the stench that this creates? in the public perception that
the constitution and its reading are just political acts? i don't see how it is possible. >> reporter: the court also focusing on fetus viability. the mississippi bill seeks to ban abortions after 15 weeks. >> why would 15 weeks be an inappropriate line? viability, it seems to me, doesn't have anything to do with choice. but if it really is an issue about choice, why is 15 weeks not enough time? >> first, the state has conceded that some women will not be able to obtain an abortion before 15 weeks, and this law will bar them from doing so. >> reporter: justice amy coney barrett offering the idea that women are allowed in most states to give up their newborn babies as an alternative to abortion. >> justice barrett seemed to say, given the ready ability of adoption today, is it really true that requiring woman to carry a pregnancy to term necessarily impedes professional
prospects? that i think was a very striking line. it was impossible to hear the questions and not think about justice barrett and her own biography. she's a mother of seven, two of her children are adopted. it did feel as though her personal experience may have figured somewhat in the sorts of questions that she posed. >> why didn't you address the safe haven laws and why don't they matter? >> i think they don't matter for a couple reasons, your honor. >> reporter: the attorney representing mississippi's only abortion clinic pointing out that pregnancy itself is not always a medically safe condition for women. >> in particular, in mississippi, those risks are alarmingly high. it's 75 times more dangerous to give birth in mississippi than it is to have a pre-viability abortion. and those risks are disproportionately threatening the lives of women of color. >> now is our turn. >> reporter: shannon brewer is on the front line of that reality in mississippi. >> december what? guess what? when you make abortion illegal, it does not stop abortions. >> reporter: she's the director
of that one remaining abortion clinic in the state. jackson women's health. they provide abortion services up to 16 weeks of pregnancy. >> i still can't understand why this case is even taking place. because i think this has got to be the most unjust thing that has been done to women. >> reporter: after working at the clinic for 20 years, brewer knows that a law restricting abortion anywhere impacts women everywhere. >> it's how the game is played. if they can get it passed in one place, they're going to get it passed in as many places as they can. >> reporter: when a texas law banning abortions after six weeks took effect this fall, she said her clinic was flooded with women from the lone star state. >> the new texas law is not deterring people from getting an abortion. we've almost doubled our capacity. our phones are ringing nonstop because of this. >> reporter: 21-year-old maddie
was one of those women who called. traveled 400 miles from her home in texas to the clinic this fall after finding out she was pregnant at 10 weeks along. what was the point when you realized that you wanted to go forward with an abortion procedure? >> i would say it probably took between two and three minutes of thinking before i knew that that was going to be my choice. >> what do i think? when a woman has to travel from texas to mississippi, to the only abortion facility in the state? to receive a legal abortion? that tells me that this country is moving backwards. >> reporter: kristin hawkins sees it differently. she's the president of the anti-abortion groups students for life and has been working towards this moment for nearly 15 years. >> the strategies that we laid out 15 years ago are now coming
to fruition. >> reporter: we first met her in 2015. >> today i speak to you pregnant with my fourth child, my first daughter. we are the pro-life generation! pro-life generation! >> reporter: we were with her the following year here on the steps when the supreme court too up a texas law that put restrictions on how abortion clinics could operate. >> my mission is to abolish abortion. make abortion unthinkable and illegal. >> reporter: we talked with her again in 2018 as she voiced support for brett kavanaugh's supreme court nomination. >> we see this battle as epter:odayhes they're closer than ever. >> do you believe that will become reality, that roe v. wade will be overturned? >> i do believe that that will be reality. the fact that the court even took up this case, the mere fact they heard the arguments, means that there is a serious conversation happening on the court.
>> did you feel defeated after hearing some of the arguments? >> no, i felt alarmed, rachel. i think we all should be alarmed.pwe're not surprised. we've seen 600 restrictions introduced just this last year alone. and we've also seen a court be remade during the last administration. we're seeing the real impact on the ground. but to hear it at that -- at our highest court in the land i think really -- it proved to be incredibly distressing. >> reporter: a decision on this case will not come until next year. in the meantime, abortion providers say they'll continue to fight to keep their doors open for all women. >> in a matter of months, the supreme court could make a decision that could essentially say, you can be equal in a certain set of states, and in about 26 states, you wouldn't be. >> people always ask me that.
the type of women that come in here is every woman. and that's the truth. the one thing that's in common for the majority of our patients is, most are not the wealthy. >> our thanks to rachel. up next, tv's dr. oz, he's a household name. is it enough to make it to the u.s. senate? people everywhere living with type 2 diabetes are waking up to what's possible... ...with rybelsus®. (♪ ♪) rybelsus® works differently than any other diabetes pill to lower blood sugar... in all 3 of these ways... increases insulin when you need it... decreases sugar... and slows food. the majority of people taking rybelsus® lowered their blood sugar and reached an a1c of less than 7. people taking rybelsus® lost up to 8 pounds. rybelsus® isn't for people with type 1 diabetes.
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>> pennsylvania needs a conservative who will put america first. >> reporter: the man once dubbed america's doctor is now hoping to become pennsylvania's senator. dr. mehmet oz, named heart surgeon and talk show host, running as a republican in the key state's primary saying he can heal what he describes as an ailing country made worse by the response to the pandemic. >> we lost too many lives, too many jobs, and too many opportunities because washington got it wrong. they took away our freedom without making us safer. and tried to kill our spirit and our dignity. >> reporter: he's leaning into his medical experience, but the tv doctor has become increasingly controversial. his judgmet called into question for his past support of some treatments that lack rigorous medical proof. >> he is dr. oz himself -- >> reporter: last night the political novice touting his record with conservative talk show host sean hannity. >> i've taken on big pharma,
i've gone to back with big tech, i've gone against agrochem companies and i have scars to prove it. >> you have one of the best individuals in the medical world, in the country, joining a race in a state he isn't necessarily even from. an immediate target for attacks. he becomes a megawatt star in a state that republicans know is critical to their hopes of retaking the senate. >> reporter: announcing his candidacy, oz blasted the handling of the pandemic, saying it became an excuse for the government and elite thinkers who control the means of communication to suspend debate, targeting the arrogant closed-minded people in charge who shut down our businesses and took away our freedom. >> it's a message that ties in the economy, jobs, inflationary concerns, supply chain worries. but also speaks to republican voters who see this as a basic liberty issue and more of a culture war fight. >> reporter: oz was born in cleveland, ohio, the son of turkish immigrants. >> step number one, got to lift weights. >> reporter: a renowned heart
surgeon, in the early 2000s he became a household name with regular appearances as a merrill expert on "the oprah winfrey show." 2009, he launched his own highly rated tv program, "the dr. oz show." >> one, two, three -- >> reporter: he was featured in the 2012 abc news docuseries "n.y. med" showcasing medical staff and patients at new york hospitals. >> it's impossible to imagine dr. oz without the medium of television. it made him into who he is. this is a man who became quite famous for the television shows, media appearances, weighing in on the issues of the day, sometimes touting very controversial medical advances. >> i've got the number one miracle in a bottle to burn your fat. >> reporter: oz has come under fire by some in the medical community for pushing what he called miracle products that promised rapid weight loss. >> i want to be practical, i don't want to overpromise. >> we've got to be honest. >> the scientific community is almost monolithic against you in terms of the efficacy of the three products you call
miracles. >> reporter: in 2014 during a senate hearing on false advertising in the diet industry, lawmakers took him to task. >> i don't get why you need to say this stuff, because you know it's not true. so why, when you have this amazing megaphone and this amazing ability to communicate, why would you cheapen your show by saying things like that? >> well, if i could disagree about whether they work or not, and i'll move on to the issue of the words that i used. i'm not going to argue that it would pass fda muster if it was a pharmaceutical drug seeking approval. but among the natural products that are out there, this is a product that has several clinical trials -- >> reporter: oz eventually acknowledged he needed to be more careful when characterizing the products. >> i actually do personally believe in the items that i talk about in the show. i passionately study them. i recognize that oftentimes they don't have the scientific muster to present as fact. if you look deeper into the
shows, i'll almost always mention something about the fact that these are crutches, they're designed for short-term support, you won't get there without diet and exercise. >> reporter: in 2015, a group of doctors pen adler to columbia university urging the institution to remove oz from its faculty, saying dr. oz has repeatedly shown disdain for science and for evidence-based medicine, worst of all, he has manifested an egregious lack of integrity by promoting quack treatments and cures in the pinterest of personal financial gain. >> you may have seen the headlines -- >> reporter: oz fired back on his show. >> figuring out how to talk about your health and how to talk to you about it can be difficult. there's been a backlash to my approach in some parts of the medical community. these doctors are criticizing me for promoting treatments and cures in the interest of personal financial gain. something i tell you every day on this program, i never do. >> reporter: last year at the beginning of the pandemic, oz faced criticism when he suggested schools should reopen even if it cost lives. >> to get every child back into a school where they're safely
being educated, being fed, and making the most out of their lives, with the theoretical risk in the back side, might be a tradeoff some folks would consider. >> reporter: oz later apologized. we reached out to him for comment but didn't immediately hear back. looming over this pennsylvania race, former president trump. he and oz have enjoyed a friendly relationship. trump appointing oz to serve on his presidential council for sport, fitness, and nutrition. >> donald trump has not endorsed anyone in the pennsylvania senate race, however, we do know dr. oz spoke with former president trump ahead of his announcement, clearly courting that endorsement. there's no question that president trump's endorsement in the pennsylvania race will be meaningful. but with such high name i.d., you could see dr. oz actually pulling ahead before he even gets an endorsement or doesn't from president trump. >> reporter: in the crowded race that could determine control of the senate, ords is campaigning on a slew of conservative issues, from supporting the anti-abortion rights movement to stopping illegal immigration. >> he has a persona that cuts
both ways. he is extremely well known, perhaps the best-known doctor in the country. he's also been on the record in a whole lot of controversial ways over the years, all of which is going to become fodder for a competitive primary. >> our thanks to mary. up next, a preview of the abc news exclusive, alec baldwin opening up about that tragic accident on his movie set. the classic hollywood story. we meet the hero, the all-new nissan frontier hero faces seemingly impossible challenge. tension builds... the plot twist the hero prevails in hollywood, this would be the end. but our here, we are just getting started. introducing the all-new nissan frontier.
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♪ finally tonight, actor alec baldwin breaking his silence, sitting down with our george stephanopoulos. baldwin was asked about that moment cinematographer helena hutchins was shot and killed rehearsing a scene. >> it wasn't in the script for the trig tore be pulled. >> the trigger wasn't pulled, i didn't pull the trigger. >> you never pulled the trigger? >> no, no, i would never point a gun at someone and pull the trigger, never. >> he had he had no reason to suspect the gun contained a live bullet. "alec baldwin unscripted" here on abc news, then streaming on hulu. that's "nightline" for this