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Democratic Governor's Veto of 12-Week Abortion Ban Bypassed by North Carolina Republicans; Oral Argument on Abortion Pill Case will be Heard Before Fifth Circuit Appeals Court; Harry and Meghan in "Near-Catastrophic Chase" with Paparazzi. Aired 10:30-11a ET

Aired May 17, 2023 - 10:30   ET



STATE REP. JULIE VON HAEFEN, (D) NORTH CAROLINA STATE HOUSE: Doing that override vote like they did tonight, you know, in the dark of night, that this -- they know this is not popular. So, for Democrats we're going to continue to talk about this issue.


DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And that is what I heard from every single Democrat who I spoke with last night, before the vote, during the vote, after the vote. They all said that they anticipate this is going to be a galvanizing issue, not just for their base and also for moderate voters in what is a purple state. The governor said we are energized to fight back.

Sara, I spoke with one State Senator, Sydney Batch, she told me their opinion is when Democrats are talking about abortion, it is a winning issue. When Republicans are talking about it, it is a losing issue. That is why they feel this was rushed through the way it was. After that veto override last night, it was almost to the minute, two weeks from the point this bill was actually introduced, pushed through in 48 hours, vetoed, and then overruled less than two weeks.

SARA SIDNER, CNN NEWS CENTRAL CO-ANCHOR: Diane Gallagher, thank you for all of that.


KATE BOLDUAN, CNN NEWS CENTRAL CO-ANCHOR: Thank you. So, that's on the state level. On the federal level, abortion access is back in court today. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals will soon be hearing oral arguments over whether mifepristone, a key abortion pill, should be banned nationwide. It was a month ago that a Texas judge ruled the FDA approval of the abortion pill should be suspended.

CNN's Joan Biskupic, she's joining us now. She's been, obviously, following every move on this. Just to remind folk, as you know Joan, abortion pills are involved in more than half of U.S. abortions these days. So, what is expected to happen in court today?

JOAN BISKUPIC, CNN SENIOR SUPREME COURT ANALYST: You know, Kate, that's exactly right. The -- this -- there's -- the stakes are high because this is the main way that most women in America, right now, end pregnancies. So, what's at issue is a lower court decision by a judge in Amarillo, Texas that invalidated the FDA's approval of mifepristone, the first drug of a two-pill protocol for medication abortion. That authorization from the FDA dates all the way back to the year 2000.

But he said that there were red flags, there were all sorts of safety issues that the FDA should have heeded. Meanwhile, the Biden administration and many, many medical officials defending the approval of mifepristone, say that it has been proven safe and effective over and over again. Now, just to remind people, the state of play of this new chapter in the legal litigation is that the justice -- the Fifth Circuit panel has already --

BOLDUAN: It is coming in.

BISKUPIC: -- has already --

BOLDUAN: Let's go over to John.

BISKUPIC: -- ruled again --


JOHN BERMAN, CNN NEWS CENTRAL CO-ANCHOR: All right. We'll get back to Joan in a second. We have much more information now on the situation here in New York involving Prince Harry and Meghan. We were told, they were involved in a near-catastrophic car chase. This is the full statement from their spokesperson, it reads, I'm just going to read the whole thing.

Last night, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Ms. Ragland, that's Meghan's mother, were involved in a near-catastrophic car chase at the hands of a ring of highly aggressive paparazzi. The relentless pursuit lasting over two hours resulted in multiple near collisions, involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two NYPD officers.

While being a public figure comes with a level of interest from the public, it should never come at the cost of anyone's safety. Dissemination of these images, given the ways in which they were obtained, encourages a highly intrusive practice that is dangerous to all involved.

Again, the fact that the statement is coming out like, I think the implication is that Harry and Meghan are OK, which is the first thing, I think, that we wanted to know for sure.


BERMAN: But much more information -- OK. I'm just hearing now, we have our Senior Royal Correspondent Max Foster on the phone. Let's get to him right away for as many details as you have, Max.

MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. So, you've got the main statement there. They're pretty shaken, I mean, very shaken. And as you can see, their spokespeople, you get a real sense of what way they went through last night. It happened around midnight and this was a long pursuit. Several cars in blacked out windows, I understand, were in pursuit of the car which had Harry and Meghan, but also Doria Ragland inside.

And they're really -- you know -- I mean, frankly -- you know, for Harry, this is particularly traumatizing, as you can imagine, because it certainly reminds us of what his mother went through, as well. And this is a similar, sort of, narrative and the fact that, in what they're suggesting, and that photographers were chasing and trying to get these pictures. And they're already making the point that this is a completely inappropriate way of getting pictures and also, you know, a fair warning, really, to anyone who wants to use these pictures, I think, frankly from their side.

So, half of the blacked-out vehicles with unidentified people driving recklessly. I mean, endangering the convoy and everyone around them, that's what I'm hearing. It's the sort of thing I'm hearing from their people and people around them or people that were there. And the chase could have been fatal, I am told.


So, they're pretty traumatized a little bit and they're also talking about a whole list of different violations of road rules and laws. They say they have evidence of this, as well. So, I think we're going to hear a lot more about this and some the repercussions from this. But right now, they're putting out the message that they are, you know, very traumatized by this, but they are OK, thankfully.

BOLDUAN: Yes. I mean -- and Max, it says it even involves two NYPD officers which, obviously, we can look to get a statement from NYPD on what they see has happened here. But just remind folks, I mean, one of the reasons that Harry and Meghan moved from the U.K. and moved to the United States was because of the long, long battle that Harry and Meghan have had with the paparazzi and what they believe was intrusion of their lives, obviously, stemming from Harry's long life and horrible history with the paparazzi with his mother and then now this. I mean, that -- there is some important context around this.

FOSTER: Yes, now making the point that uniformed officers did approach the individuals involved here, they're saying, multiple times and they just sped off to continue this pursuit. So, Harry involved in multiple cases at the moment about invasion of privacy and use of illegal tactics, really, on getting a story (ph) about him and his wife. Him throughout his life, really, and obviously with his wife since they got married. And how that absolutely compromised so many of their relationships, they've been hearing a lot about that in court recently.

But, you know, this story really goes back to the death of Diana. And that, you know, the tension and the anger that both William and Harry feel about the way their mother died, and they very much blame the paparazzi, not just the paparazzi for her death but also the pitch editors that created a market for paparazzi pictures.

So, this is seriously (ph) the trauma for Harry. And he's, you know -- to put the statement out was pretty dramatic, but obviously what happened last night was something that deeply affected them, and it went on for a couple of hours, as I understand it.

And basically, what they're saying is they accept the heightened level of attention when they are out in public. But in this case, they exited and entered a venue publicly and paparazzi took their pictures. So, their frustration is that they're giving the media what they want and then they want more and they are creating a very dangerous situation for the family, but also all the people who work for them and the people around them.

SIDNER: You know, when you look at this and you remember what happened to Princess Diana, most people were so riveted and so disturbed by how that went down. And to see -- I think that's what makes this even more even more shocking is to see that Harry and his now wife are going through this in a very different way. But knowing the background, the psychological effect on Harry, he's already talked about it, of how his mother died, was great.

And we also know that the two -- the couple has sued over people taking pictures of their children and won some of those cases. But what I think that stands out in the statement is the fact that there were multiple near-collisions with other drivers, pedestrians and, as Kate mentioned, two NYPD officers. It is surprising to me, actually now, that we didn't hear about this last night considering what they're saying here. Although there were no, I guess, crashes. These were all near misses.

FOSTER: Yes, but just imagine that feeling of, you know, having that experience of growing up with that sort of trauma and then going through it yourself.


FOSTER: And Harry has repeatedly talked about one of the reasons he moved to America was that he wanted to protect Meghan and their subsequent children from the media intrusion that his mother suffered. He didn't want her to end up in a similar situation. And ultimately, he's talking about he didn't want Meghan ending up in a car crash, like his mother. He wanted to get them away from that. So, this is deeply traumatizing for him.

We'll wait to hear what he has to say later on in the day, but I'm sure he's just dealing with the immediate aftermath and any repercussions on the back of this. But also, the -- he feels with future engagements. I mean, this engagement last was the Duchess of Sussex receiving an award in New York. It was a big public affair. They distinctly accept that they were there from the cameras. What they won't accept is the other side of it, which is trying to get pictures which are private and trying to invade their privacy but also creating a danger.

BERMAN: Max, if you're still with us -- actually, let me just tell people what this event was last night. They were here in New York City at the Women of Vision Awards because Meghan was receiving an award there for her global advocacy to empower and advocate in behalf of women and girls. It was at the Ziegfield theater. I actually walked by --

SIDNER: You did?

BERMAN: -- the Ziegfield theater last night --

BOLDUAN: I was actually --

BERMAN: -- at night. I did not see anything going on there.

BOLDUAN: But you also know -- that is in, like, it's in the heart of, kind of, midtown Manhattan. I mean, it is --

BERMAN: Yes, 54th Street.

BOLDUAN: 50 -- yes.


BOLDUAN: It's a very, very congested area.


BERMAN: That gets to my question, Max, they say this went on for two hours and that's just in the statement. The paper statement released by the spokesperson for Harry and Meghan. Two hours of driving inside New York City is unusual.


BERMAN: I mean, that's not something that people normally do. Is it clear what exactly that means? A two-hour drive in the city?

FOSTER: Well, I have a bit more information by John Miller actually, we're getting this from a law enforcement source. There was a swarm of paparazzi following in cars, motorcycles and scooters. There was an NYPD protective team that was following Harry and Meghan in another car, and they had to try some evasive maneuvers to get away from the paparazzi. But the paps on the scooters and bikes zoomed down the sidewalk to keep up. I would assume that there were also paparazzi on scooters and bikes that were chasing Diana.

The swarm went to the 19th Precinct and blocked off both ends of the street and had to figure out some extraction plan to get to the next location without this hazardous thing going on. So, this was clearly a really serious moment. And there were a lot of close calls --

BOLDUAN: It sounds wild.

FOSTER: -- short stops between front and back of cars, but there was no car accident fortunately.


FOSTER: They went to the precinct not to report this, but rather to shelter in place. People on the protective detail said this created a very dangerous situation. SIDNER: You talked about scooters and that's one way to quickly, sort of, get through the city. But we have to also look at this -- I mean, this is coming from a spokesperson for Harry and Meghan. We have not yet heard from police or from anyone else, and I know we're trying to get answers from them, as well. Normally, there wouldn't necessarily be a police report. There were no accidents that happened. But, I suppose, they could file one if they felt like they were being threatened.

BOLDUAN: Yes, and we also have -- Max, stick with us. We have Kate Williams who's a CNN historian and royal expert. Kate, just your reaction to hearing this very scary incident now involving Meghan and Harry and the paparazzi?

KATE WILLIAMS, CNN ROYAL COMMENTATOR: It's just terrifying. and I think that anyone would find themselves terrified in a situation being followed, being cornered. But particularly Harry when he lost his mother. He lost his mother in exactly the same way. And before Meghan and Harry left the royal family, Harry issued the statement saying, he was terrified that his wife was going to die like his mother because she wasn't being protected, she wasn't being looked after.

And this experience for Harry, this experience for Meghan is totally terrifying. And I, you know, I think that this is going to be really significant in terms of how people think about Harry and Meghan. You know, Harry and Meghan, ever since they left the royal family, lots of people have been saying, well, they're fair game. We can get photos of them anywhere we want. We're going to chase them. And I think it really makes us think. This is not acceptable, the -- this way of getting pictures. This way of getting pictures for the global media is going to kill someone eventually.



BERMAN: Listen --


BERMAN: John Miller --

SIDNER: John Miller is here.

BERMAN: -- just what -- are you miced? Yes, John Miller is here wearing a microphone right now. John, obviously you worked with the New York City Police Department for a long time. You've been working your sources over the last few minutes. I imagine you never thought you'd be here talking to us about this. What are you hearing about what actually happened?

MILLER: So, what actually happened was nothing, because this originally came in as a story about, you know, they had a car accident yesterday, which apparently is not the case. What the case is, speaking to people around the protective detail that was assigned to this was, they were overwhelmed by paparazzi. These were people in cars. These were people on motorcycles. These were people on scooters that had surrounded the vehicle in midtown traffic.

And now you've got the NYPD team, that is the protective detail, behind the principal car. And there's scooters and motorcycles running in between them, ahead of them, crossing in front of them. They're trying to create some distance and this is becoming worse and worse.

So finally, in frustration, they made a command decision of, you know, trying to first, slow down traffic, block a street and get some distance. That didn't work because then the scooters and the motorcycles flew down the sidewalks with pedestrians scattering. You know, no regard to law or traffic regulations or people to keep up.

So, they went to the 19th Precinct, that's 67th street in Manhattan, they blocked off both ends of the street, they created basically a buffer, and then they spent some time, A, trying to cool down from this and say, all right. What's our strategic plan to get to the next location without bringing this entire crowd because the protective detail is to protect from stalkers, attackers, the things that royals and famous people have to deal with. The actual threat and the hazard had become the paparazzi. And I don't have to remind us, we all know the history of that.



MILLER: And you know, that has led to terrible consequences within that family.

BOLDUAN: But there also is -- you know, New York City sees celebrities and heads of state all the time. I mean, the U.N. General Assembly, this -- you know, New York City is quite a while place to be. And he --

MILLER: We get the president. We get kings.

BOLDUAN: Yes, and handled without incident most often.

SIDNER: But the paparazzi isn't --

BOLDUAN: This is so --

SIDNER: --isn't so interested.

MILLER: But I mean the --

BOLDUAN: This is just so strange how out of control it sounds like.

MILLER: When you take royals and tabloids internationally and put them together, you get a certain press hysteria that doesn't fit the normal mold, and that's what they confronted yesterday.

BERMAN: Now -- I'm so sorry, the two hours, that is the statement from Harry and Meghan's publicist, does that include a period of time at the police station? Were they there for some time trying to wait this out?

MILLER: Well, they were there so that the NYPD, the protective detail, could strategize in saying, OK. What we're doing, which is trying to get, you know, trying to do this the regular way is not working. We need a plan B. And that's what they worked out and that succeeded.

SIDNER: I'm wondering what police can do at this point because there were, like you said, nothing happened as far as an accident. But clearly laws were broken as they're trying -- and because they're watching this happen all around them. Is there something they can do going forward or not really?

MILLER: I'm laughing because, you know, we've created this mess ourselves in New York which is some scooters have license plates --

SIDNER: Some don't.

MILLER: -- some scooters don't.

SIDNER: That's right.

MILLER: You know, there's mopeds and motorcycles. Things that have license plates yesterday had the license plates covered so that police couldn't write them down or that a traffic camera that has a license plate recorder at a red light, for instance, wouldn't capture it. So, you know, was there taking police action right there, which would have meant stopping and, you know, pulling out a summons book or trying to create that distance.

The protective detail is, let's get off the X, that's their job. But they'll be reviewing those videotapes and they'll be looking at that. And you know, this is something that they're going to have to think about because if you don't figure this out, you're going to go through it the next time.

BOLDUAN: Let me I ask you really quickly, because this was originally coming in, this statement from the spokesperson from -- for Prince Harry and Meghan, described it as a near-catastrophic car chase. Is NYPD -- are your -- the conversation you're having about what happened from the prospect of the NYPD, do they dispute that? That -- how close to disaster this was?

MILLER: No, they said this was very dangerous. It caused close calls between the principals' car and the security car running behind them and the scooters zipping in between them. They said this was annoying, inappropriate and dangerous with the emphasis on dangerous.

Now, look, there's a way to do this. You get the president of the United States here, we freeze the route. We have outriders and blocker cars. Right now, these two royals are famous and subject to threat and in need of protection, but they're not heads of state or members of, you know, their country's representatives. So, this package was just a cautionary package and then the threat shifted to the people around them as opposed to what you would consider the normal threat. BERMAN: I want to pick up on that last point you just made, and our Senior Correspondent Max Foster is still with us by phone. Max, first of all, we've heard from Harry and Meghan's team, has the palace said anything? And to the point that John Miller was just making there, they're now kind of free agents, right? I mean, they're not traveling officially in any way for the royal family. So, they've got to deal with all their own security with basically no help. Is this a consequence of that schism?

FOSTER: Well, it's interesting, I was actually just messaging, you know, Kensington Palace where we have Prince William and Kate, and also Buckingham Palace which is obviously where Harry's father is based to see if they have any comment. There hasn't been any communication generally between Harry and his father and his brother, more with his father, but certainly not with his brother.

So, I don't know whether or not they were even aware of this until, you know, we got the same statement. But in terms of Harry's security, he is actually pursuing a case currently in the U.K. where he's trying to get police protection when he comes to the U.K. that he used to have. And the police and the government are arguing he doesn't have that right anymore because he doesn't carry out public work. And that's a big court case currently playing out right now

And certainly, when he went to America -- well, Canada and then America, one of the big routes to the tension was that his security, his police security was taken away, then he would have to pay for those security. So, he does have security, it costs a huge amount money. And it's certainly one of the things he's been deeply concerned about.


And he feels he does have access -- he should have access to public security -- publicly paid for security by the Brits because he was a public figure here and his profile comes from that. That's a big debate and currently playing out. He's certainly going to talk about it, I think, if he ever talks of this episode, saying, this is why I wanted security.

The deed, the accusation, if you look at all of the, sort of, narrative that he's been giving in recent months in the last year is that he always said he was under threat if his father pulled out his security. It wasn't his father pulling away the security, it was the government. But he may well speak to how this has made him vulnerable and things like this possibly wouldn't have happened if he has full public protection.

SIDNER: It's interesting that you mentioned that they're paying for some of their security. But do they have to, sort of, tell New York City, hey, we're coming. You might have a situation and warn the police department about that? Did they get any help?

MILLER: So, the New York Police Department is very clear on this, which is they understand that these -- that this couple has no diplomatic or government status. But they also understand the reality of this which is, they're going to be here. They're going to be going to public events and private events, and that's going to come with the normal mayhem of how they are covered by the press but the paparazzi, specifically.

So, the NYPD calculous here is we're not obligated to protect them. But what's going to end up happening if we're not there is we're going to end up being called there anyway. So, let's put together a package where we work in tandem with their private securities that they pay for, but we add the NYPD element in case someone has to take action on the route, and yesterday that became quite apparent.

BOLDUAN: And -- that's actually -- does it -- it's quite thankful. And I mean, I think, we can say, it's a wonderful thing and they -- everyone should be very thankful that they did -- that NYPD was there because this very likely could have gone a very different direction had they not been able to create that buffer, slow down, stop and cool things off considering the direction it was going.

Max, we -- there's the what happened and what could have happened. And there's just also quite frankly, this is just really sad. I mean, it's just -- the fact that just to get photos of them, I mean, we say this as members of, I would say, the media who would keep a respectful distance and allow people to go in and out, wouldn't threat these public events, of course. It's just sad that this couple, these people have to go through this. Are they still in New York? Like, where are -- what happened? What are -- what goes now?

FOSTER: Yes, so we're not being given information exactly on where they are right now. I think that they're absolutely hunkering down, as you can understand. I mean, you know, we haven't seen Meghan out in public, have we, recently. And Harry has made a very low profile when it came to the coronation. I think that was deliberate on their part, not to steal any, sort of, attention away from King Charles' coronation.

So, this was the first big, sort of, event since then where -- you know, the way it was interpreted by some columnist is that this was Meghan bouncing back and throwing herself back into the public spotlight. She now has a big-name agent, as well. So, we were -- this is the first sense of what she's going to do moving forward as this independent woman receiving this award.

So, I think it's a big shock to them that this would happen on the first touch (ph) event. And, you know, they're not going to take it down. You know, they're not going to lie down and just accept this, particularly as it plays right into Prince Harry's deepest trauma, about what he grew up with. How his mother died and how he's trying to protect Meghan from what his mother went through.

And he really thinks there is a genuine threat to Meghan that, you know, something happening in a similar way to what happened to Diana. And this would have brought it all home, particularly, with those scooters surrounding them and other blacked-out cars as well chasing them and they had to take refuge, as you were just hearing there.

SIDNER: I'm curious as to why we haven't heard about this when it first happened. We talked just a bit about that. When this first occurred, I guess it's their responsibility because the police didn't make any arrests. Like, how did no one know this happened last night in the press?

MILLER: I think this wasn't being covered by the mainstream press. And what I mean by the mainstream press is you know, I think with "The New York Times", and "CNN", and you know "CBS News." I think it was this core group of paparazzi and they were certainly not going to be covering their own overreaching or misconduct. And because there was no car accident that would have resulted in the police report, there was no official report. This is just kind of leading out yesterday because -- today because the story's been passed around.

SIDNER: Right, their spokesperson.

MILLER: You know, they didn't stay at a hotel because when you stay at a hotel then, you know, between the hotel staff and, you know, people noticing things, you know, that becomes a center of gravity. And you know, they stayed at a private residence on the upper east side.


They kept that under wraps, you know, hopefully so that they would be able to come and go. And part of that kind of hunkering down at the 19th Precinct was, you know, how do we get from here, you know, back to the residence without bringing everybody there and turning that into a nightmare for, you know, the friend with whom they were guests.

BERMAN: I want to bring back in Kate Williams into this discussion. Kate, as Max was pointing out in this -- our friend, Erica Hill, who just did a wonderful special on the royal family the, and I point out to be an e-mail. I mean, Harry is in court on this matter right now. I mean, Harry is not obsessed. I mean, Harry is very focused on his security and making sure that he gets the security he thinks he needs. He's willing to pay for it, but he wants help from the British government and the legal system in the U.K.

How much have had these concerns over security fueled the decisions that he has made over the last many years, the life that he's chosen to lead over the last many years? Can you hear me, Kate?

WILLIAMS: Well, this is very significant. This is really quite terrifying that Harry has wanted this security. He needs this security. It's really important to him but he hasn't been getting it. And what I think is very important here is that Doria was in the car, Meghan's mother was in the car, how terrifying for her. And the children weren't in the car because Harry and Meghan on this official engagement, Women in Vision, that she was accepting her award in that fantastic gold dress, we saw her -- dressed in.

And we are going to see a situation when the children are in the car for this moment. And how terrifying for them as an early memory to have two hours of relentless car chase which is resulting in danger to the pedestrians around, to other drivers, to other people in New York's very crowded traffic system, and Harry and Meghan themselves. This is very clear that, I think, since Harry's father has become king, he is even more celebrity big game than he was. The hunters are out for him -- they're out for him, they're after Meghan, and something has to be done.

BOLDUAN: That's an interesting point, Kate. How things have changed even since his father's become -- been coronated and become king.

Max, what have you heard about that, in terms of -- obviously, Meghan and Harry, as we've all been discussing have been the target of paparazzi for a very long time. Do you think that they have had a sense that things have gone to a different level or have changed or become, you know, more serious in -- which would be in their view, since his father was coronated?

We may have lost max. Do we have Max back?


BOLDUAN: I don't think we have Max anymore.

SIDNER: Max did a whole thing on a really good story on the press coming at Meghan in a very pointed way, in a very different way than the rest of the royals. And so, it's sort of interesting to see the protectiveness -- Harry has been extremely protective, as John mentioned. You know, he's suing over pictures of them and particularly of their children. But this is one of those scenarios where is something going to have to happen or change in the way that the police and security deal with him coming in?

BERMAN: I have to say, this is -- they're in California right now.


BERMAN: And here in New York, this is not always the type of thing you see here in the United States.

SIDNER: That's right.

BERMAN: Yes, we have paparazzi that do things here. But to some extent, this is a fairly unique situation to the royals. John, possibility that anyone will face charges on this if these paparazzi, as you said, were up on the sidewalks, driving on the scooters, you know, reckless endangerment. Is there any charge that could be brought against any of them?

MILLER: So, there's plenty of charges that could be brought against them, including reckless endangerment and of -- all kinds of traffic laws. Some of these are credentialed press, which means their press cards are issued by the City of New York. Those press cards are issued with conditions that, you know, you have to abide by the rules in order to enjoy those privileges.

But it's a real challenge. You know, you have scooters with covered license plates. You have cars running through red lights. You have the security detail and the NYPD, deliberately and they're authorized to do that, going through red lights and making turns in order to conduct, you know, evasive measures to get away from that. And then you have people who were not authorized, breaking all of the same laws to keep up, including running down the sidewalks.

So, you know, they'll look at the videos. They'll look at the red- light cameras. They'll look at other things and say, can we find a couple of persistent violators here that we can identify? But it went on for a couple of hours. It happened at night.