Weekly Review — April 10, 2001, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Yugoslavia established a truth and reconciliation commission to investigate the causes of the wars in its former territories and to help the country achieve “social catharsis.” President Vojislav Kostunica said that Slobodan Milosevic should never be extradicted to the Hague. Japan approved a new history textbook that, according to critics in China and elsewhere, fails adequately to criticize Japanese conduct in World War II. A Palestinian man who was suspected of collaborating with Israel was assassinated by three men wearing hoods. Jewish settlers in Hebron blew up several Arab shops. Israeli soldiers shot an 18-month-old Palestinian girl in the head from a distance of about ten yards. Human-rights groups said that 51 bodies had been exhumed from a mass grave in Chechnya; many had been tortured; 12 were Chechens last seen in Russian custody. Italianpolicearrested two men for stealing the body of a dead investment banker to protest the recent drop in the stock market; the body was found under a pile of hay near Turin. The men said they chose their victim because he was easy to kidnap. Former president Bill Clinton paid a $25,000 fine in Arkansas for lying under oath in the Paula Jones sexual-harassment lawsuit. The United States and China were negotiating an apology for the spy-plane accident in which one Chinese pilot died; American officials visited the crew of the American plane, who were still being held by the Chinese, and handed out candy.

The United States Senate passed a budget plan that contained a $1.2 trillion tax cut. NASA said it would have to cut costs on the International Space Station because it faced a budget shortfall; the agency also launched the Mars Odyssey, which will reach Mars in October if all goes according to plan, though the ship’s name bodes ill. Astronomers discovered 11 new planets, one of which was in a “habitable zone” where temperatures conducive to life might be possible. Scientists found evidence of negative gravity, also known as dark energy and the “cosmological constant,” in a photograph of an exploding star. A 13-year-old boy in Queens, New York, was arrested after he took a stun gun to school; he and his friends used it on one another, inflicting minor burns. Elizabeth Bush, a 14-year-old girl who shot a classmate in the shoulder, was remanded to a psychiatric ward; she claimed that she wanted only to scare her victim. In Philadelphia, a crazed drifter cried, “God lives on,” and struck the Liberty Bell with a hammer, damaging it slightly. Several Americans died in Vietnam when their helicopter crashed; they had been looking for the remains of American soldiers who were missing in action. Two beggars in Chisinau, Moldova, were arrested for selling human body parts, which were apparently taken from a cancer clinic, as dog food.

Researchers in Texas found that men who sniffed T-shirts in a laboratory were able to tell whether they had been worn by a woman who was fertile; the men described such shirts as smelling “pleasant” or “sexy.”The Girl Scouts unveiled their new, up-to-date uniforms. New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani announced his new decency panel, which will police the city’s museums for smutty art; the panel includes Leonard Garment, the lawyer for pardoned fugitive Marc Rich, and John Howard Sanden, an artist who makes portraits of corporate chief executives. Israelireligious leaders declared that Viagra was not kosher for Passover, though a rabbi can authorize its use “in the event of urgent medicalneed.” Customs officials in New York arrested a Canadian stripper who tried to smuggle 78,771 hits of ecstasy into the United States inside some Legos. An Algerian who tried to smuggle explosives into the United States from Canada was convicted of “an act of terrorism transcending a national boundary.” The Bush Administration proposed dropping a program of random salmonella testing of ground beef destined for school lunches; the public was not amused, and the secretary of agriculture withdrew the proposal. There were reports that President Bush will try to open millions of acres of public land in the Rockies to oil and gas development. Former Philippine president Joseph Estrada was indicted for “plunder.” Vice President Dick Cheney said he thought the United States should build some more nuclear power plants; “I think I am a pretty good environmentalist,” he said. Wildlife in the New York area failed for some reason to notice three separate oil spills. San Diego banned the use of the word “minority,” deeming it offensive to minorities. Members of Clowns International held their annual meeting and discussed the legal implications of pieing people who turn out not to have a sense of humor. Finnish researchers found that babies whose mothers swallow capsules of certain benign bacteria while pregnant are less likely to develop eczema and asthma, which supports the theory that excessive cleanliness contributes to these conditions. A man was arrested in New York for using a spray bottle to contaminate Manhattan salad bars with a cocktail of his own urine and feces; he was charged with reckless endangerment, criminal mischief, criminal tampering, possession of a forged instrument, and public urination.

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Ashley arrived for her prenatal appointment at Black Hills Obstetrics and Gynecology, in Rapid City, South Dakota, wearing a black zip-up hoodie and Converse sneakers.1 To explain her absence from work that morning — a Tuesday in April 2015 — she had told a co-worker that she was having “female issues.” She was twenty-five years old and eight weeks pregnant. She had been separated from her husband, with whom she had a five-year-old son, for the better part of a year. The guy who’d gotten her pregnant was someone she’d met at the gym, and he’d made it abundantly clear that he wanted nothing more to do with her. Ashley found herself hoping that the doctor would discover some kind of fetal defect, so that her decision would be easier. She glanced across the waiting room at a television playing a birth-control ad and laughed darkly. “Jesus, Lord, it would be so nice if someone just pushed me down a flight of stairs.”

In the exam room, she perched on the table with her feet crossed at the ankles, her blond hair brushing the back of her pink hospital gown. “I don’t know what’s available for me here,” she told her doctor, Katherine Degen, who sat facing her on a stool. “I figured nothing.”

 Some names and identifying details have been changed. 

“Big, fat zero, unfortunately,” Degen said, making a 0 with her fingers. The last doctor who provided abortions in Rapid City retired in 1986, three years before Ashley was born.

The baby was due in November, when Ashley, who was a nurse, hoped to be enrolled in a graduate program to become a nurse practitioner. Getting pregnant as a teenager had forced her to put that dream on hold, but she had thought that she was finally ready; she had even submitted her application shortly before the March 15 deadline. For the first time in her adult life, Ashley felt as if her plans were coming together. Then she missed her period.

It would be too difficult to attend school as a single mother of two, Ashley knew. She had made an appointment for three weeks from now at the nearest abortion clinic, in Billings, Montana, 318 miles away. But just a week and a half ago, her husband had said he wanted to get back together and offered to raise the child as his own. Was it a sign that she was meant to continue the pregnancy? As a rule, Ashley approached her problems with resolve. She was capable and tough; she liked shooting guns and lifting weights. She kept track of her stats and checked off her goals as she achieved them one by one. Yet the dilemma before her had shaken her confidence. She leaned back and turned to watch the ultrasound screen. The black-and-white image danced. A sharp, fast thumping emerged from the machine. As Degen removed the wand, Ashley wiped the corner of her eye.

Photograph (detail) by Brian Frank
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A Window To The World·

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Ashley arrived for her prenatal appointment at Black Hills Obstetrics and Gynecology, in Rapid City, South Dakota, wearing a black zip-up hoodie and Converse sneakers.1 To explain her absence from work that morning — a Tuesday in April 2015 — she had told a co-worker that she was having “female issues.” She was twenty-five years old and eight weeks pregnant. She had been separated from her husband, with whom she had a five-year-old son, for the better part of a year. The guy who’d gotten her pregnant was someone she’d met at the gym, and he’d made it abundantly clear that he wanted nothing more to do with her. Ashley found herself hoping that the doctor would discover some kind of fetal defect, so that her decision would be easier. She glanced across the waiting room at a television playing a birth-control ad and laughed darkly. “Jesus, Lord, it would be so nice if someone just pushed me down a flight of stairs.”

In the exam room, she perched on the table with her feet crossed at the ankles, her blond hair brushing the back of her pink hospital gown. “I don’t know what’s available for me here,” she told her doctor, Katherine Degen, who sat facing her on a stool. “I figured nothing.”

 Some names and identifying details have been changed. 

“Big, fat zero, unfortunately,” Degen said, making a 0 with her fingers. The last doctor who provided abortions in Rapid City retired in 1986, three years before Ashley was born.

The baby was due in November, when Ashley, who was a nurse, hoped to be enrolled in a graduate program to become a nurse practitioner. Getting pregnant as a teenager had forced her to put that dream on hold, but she had thought that she was finally ready; she had even submitted her application shortly before the March 15 deadline. For the first time in her adult life, Ashley felt as if her plans were coming together. Then she missed her period.

It would be too difficult to attend school as a single mother of two, Ashley knew. She had made an appointment for three weeks from now at the nearest abortion clinic, in Billings, Montana, 318 miles away. But just a week and a half ago, her husband had said he wanted to get back together and offered to raise the child as his own. Was it a sign that she was meant to continue the pregnancy? As a rule, Ashley approached her problems with resolve. She was capable and tough; she liked shooting guns and lifting weights. She kept track of her stats and checked off her goals as she achieved them one by one. Yet the dilemma before her had shaken her confidence. She leaned back and turned to watch the ultrasound screen. The black-and-white image danced. A sharp, fast thumping emerged from the machine. As Degen removed the wand, Ashley wiped the corner of her eye.

Artwork by Imre Kinszki © Imre Kinszki Estate
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The Lords of Lambeau·

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Ashley arrived for her prenatal appointment at Black Hills Obstetrics and Gynecology, in Rapid City, South Dakota, wearing a black zip-up hoodie and Converse sneakers.1 To explain her absence from work that morning — a Tuesday in April 2015 — she had told a co-worker that she was having “female issues.” She was twenty-five years old and eight weeks pregnant. She had been separated from her husband, with whom she had a five-year-old son, for the better part of a year. The guy who’d gotten her pregnant was someone she’d met at the gym, and he’d made it abundantly clear that he wanted nothing more to do with her. Ashley found herself hoping that the doctor would discover some kind of fetal defect, so that her decision would be easier. She glanced across the waiting room at a television playing a birth-control ad and laughed darkly. “Jesus, Lord, it would be so nice if someone just pushed me down a flight of stairs.”

In the exam room, she perched on the table with her feet crossed at the ankles, her blond hair brushing the back of her pink hospital gown. “I don’t know what’s available for me here,” she told her doctor, Katherine Degen, who sat facing her on a stool. “I figured nothing.”

 Some names and identifying details have been changed. 

“Big, fat zero, unfortunately,” Degen said, making a 0 with her fingers. The last doctor who provided abortions in Rapid City retired in 1986, three years before Ashley was born.

The baby was due in November, when Ashley, who was a nurse, hoped to be enrolled in a graduate program to become a nurse practitioner. Getting pregnant as a teenager had forced her to put that dream on hold, but she had thought that she was finally ready; she had even submitted her application shortly before the March 15 deadline. For the first time in her adult life, Ashley felt as if her plans were coming together. Then she missed her period.

It would be too difficult to attend school as a single mother of two, Ashley knew. She had made an appointment for three weeks from now at the nearest abortion clinic, in Billings, Montana, 318 miles away. But just a week and a half ago, her husband had said he wanted to get back together and offered to raise the child as his own. Was it a sign that she was meant to continue the pregnancy? As a rule, Ashley approached her problems with resolve. She was capable and tough; she liked shooting guns and lifting weights. She kept track of her stats and checked off her goals as she achieved them one by one. Yet the dilemma before her had shaken her confidence. She leaned back and turned to watch the ultrasound screen. The black-and-white image danced. A sharp, fast thumping emerged from the machine. As Degen removed the wand, Ashley wiped the corner of her eye.

Photograph (detail) by Balazs Gardi
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"She glanced across the waiting room at a television playing a birth-control ad and laughed darkly. 'Jesus, Lord, it would be so nice if someone just pushed me down a flight of stairs.'"
Photograph (detail) by Lara Shipley

Price of ten pencils made from “recycled twigs,” from the Nature Company:

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In Colombia, U.N. delegates sent to serve as impartial observers of the peace process aimed at ending the half-century-long war between the FARC and the Colombian government were chastised after they were filmed dancing and getting drunk with FARC fighters at a New Year’s Eve party.

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