Weekly Review — September 10, 2002, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

President George W. Bush and British prime minister Tony Blair got together at Camp David to talk about Iraq; at a news conference both men cited a satellite photo showing recent construction activity at an old Iraqi nuclear site as evidence that they must invade Iraq now. President Bush compared Saddam Hussein to a crawfish and said he was “stiffing the world.” Bush and Blair also mentioned a 1998 report by the International Atomic Energy Agency and said that Iraq could be six months away from developing nuclear weapons. “I don’t know what more evidence we need,” Bush said. But the IAEA report, it was soon noted, said no such thing. In fact, the report said that Iraq had been six to 24 months away from developing the bomb prior to the Gulf War and the subsequent weapons inspections but that there was no evidence that Iraq had retained the physical capability to develop nuclear weapons now. An IAEA spokesman pointed out that Bush had also misinterpreted the satellite photo: “There is no new information about any Iraqi nuclear activity.” A White House official later admitted that mistakes had been made. The leaders of Russia, France, Germany, and China all refused to support President Bush’s plan to attack Iraq. The White House said not to take the refusals too literally. Nelson Mandela said he was “appalled” by the United States‘ threats to attack Iraq and said that America was “introducing chaos in international affairs.” Congress, which convened briefly in New York for the first time since 1790 to commemorate September 11, promised weeks of hearings on the war issue. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, asked by his deputy Paul Wolfowitz for advice on how to deal with the press, replied: “Here’s how you deal with the media. Begin with an illogical premise and proceed perfectly logically to an illogical conclusion.”

The German company Siemens abandoned its plans to trademark “Zyklon,” which means “cyclone” in German, for a line of consumer products in the United States, including gas ovens, after the similarity with Zyklon B, the gas used in Nazi gas chambers, was publicly noted. Siemens, which used slave labor under the Nazi regime, already sells a Zyklon vacuum in Germany. Israel’s supreme court upheld the banishment of two relatives of a Palestinian militant from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip. Amnesty International said that the “forcible transfer” of Palestinians under Israeli occupation was a war crime under the Fourth Geneva Convention. At the Hague, a former Yugoslav soldier admitted to helping slaughter unarmed civilian Albanians in Kosovo: “What I remember most vividly,” he said, “is how a baby was shot, and it was screaming unbelievably loud.” American officials admitted that the administration’s opposition to the International Criminal Court was due to fears that civilian politicians could be indicted for war crimes rather than peacekeeping troops: “The soldiers are like the capillaries; the top public officials??President Bush, Secretary Rumsfeld, Secretary Powell??they are at the heart of our concern,” said an anonymous official. “Henry Kissinger: that’s what they really care about.” Muammar Qaddafi announced that Libya is no longer a rogue state. McDonald’s said it was going to reduce the harmful fats in its french fries but that they would still taste the same. A schoolteacher in North Carolina was reprimanded for correctly using the word “niggardly.” Contestants in the Miss World pageant, which is to be held in Nigeria, were threatening to boycott the event to protest the death-by-stoning sentence of a young single mother. Two teenagers in Oslo, Norway, found a human brain in a box on the street.

Federal regulators allowed CryoLife Inc, a body-parts company that was forced in August to stop selling many of its tissues and to recall its tendons, ligaments, and cartilage, to resume selling veins, arteries, and nonvalved cardiac patches but suggested that surgeons acquire heart valves from another source. China said that 1 million Chinese have the AIDS virus and warned that it will begin manufacturing its own version of anti-HIV drugs if Western pharmaceutical companies fail to lower prices. American cancer patients and potheads were said to be fleeing to Canada, where marijuana use, though illegal, is more tolerated. The Institute of Medicine said that Americans should exercise for at least one hour per day. The Greek Internet Cafe Union sued the Greek government because of a new law that bans playing games on all computers, consoles such as the PlayStation, and mobile phones. A British couple decided to implant their 11-year-old daughter with a microchip that will emit a homing signal to pinpoint her location in the event of an abduction. German officials refused to allow a Turkish couple to name their baby Osama bin Laden, and it was noted that President Bush has spent 42 percent of his term at Camp David, Kennebunkport, and his ranch in Texas. A large chunk of frozen urine crashed through the roof of a home on Long Island. Hindu pilgrims were traveling to Bombay to worship a potato shaped like Lord Ganesha. , and a four-legged duckling drowned in Russia on its first attempt to swim. Officials in Indiana were investigating the mysterious death of 200 tadpoles.

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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.”

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 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.

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Photograph (detail) by Brian Frank
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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

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