Weekly Review — January 21, 2003, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

United Nations weapons inspectors discovered 11 empty chemical warheads in southern Iraq; the inspectors said that the warheads were not included in Iraq’s weapons declaration, but Iraqi officials said that they were. Inspectors also searched the private homes of two Iraqiscientists, one of whom was upset that his clothing and his wife’s medical Xrays were examined. The inspectors later expressed surprise that the Bush Administration was making such a big deal out of the empty warheads, which have a range of 12 miles; Hans Blix, the head of the U.N. team, said the warheads were not important, and a French diplomat agreed: “I have only one thing to say ?? empty.” Tens of thousands of peace protesters demonstrated against the coming war in cities across the United States and Europe; more than 100,000 people marched in Washington, D.C. American officials said they thought “the moment of truth” on Iraq would come in early to mid-February. After repeatedly insisting that the United States would not submit to nuclear blackmail, President George W. Bush indicated that he might reward North Korea with a “bold initiative” of aid programs if it dismantles its nuclear program. A United Nations envoy said that six to eight million North Koreans are in danger of going hungry. Hearings began in the case of two Air Force pilots who bombed Canadian troops in Afghanistan; attention was being focused on the practice of giving pilots amphetamines (“go-pills”) to keep them flying. Thirty vials of plague were reported missing at Texas Tech University, but investigators later concluded that researchers had destroyed them without completing the proper paperwork. A French yacht sailing in the round-the-world Jules Verne Trophy was briefly detained by a giant squid.

Administrators at the University of California at Berkeley refused to permit the Emma Goldman Papers Project to use the following Goldman quotations in a fund-raising letter: “In the face of this approaching disaster, it behooves men and women not yet overcome by war madness to raise their voice of protest, to call the attention of the people to the crime and outrage which are about to be perpetrated on them”; and “We shall soon be obliged to meet in cellars, or in darkened rooms with closed doors, and speak in whispers lest our next door neighbors should hear that freeborn citizens dare not speak in the open.” The resulting outcry shamed the university’s chancellor into reversing the decision. Lawyers for the Archdiocese of Boston began subpoenaing the records of therapists who are treating victims of pedophile priests. Orthodox prelates in Cyprus called for a ban of the latest Harry Potter movie because it promotes wizardry and casts a demonic spell on children. Japan’s Imperial Household Agency revealed that Emperor Akihito has prostate cancer. Ukraine said that workers cleaning up the Chernobyl nuclear site had dumped radioactive material in areas previously uncontaminated by radiation. Many U.S. veterans were angry about cutbacks in their health benefits. President Bush visited five wounded soldiers and promised them the best possible medical care. Scientists found that the shark population in the Atlantic Ocean is dropping. Venezuelan soldiers raided a Coca-Cola plant that has been closed because of the ongoing general strike. “We are distributing this product to the population because collective rights come above individual rights,” said General Luis Felipe Acosta Carles, who then took a swig of warm soda and burped into a television camera.

Lucio Gutierrez, Ecuador’s new leftist president, was sworn in and immediately promised to deal with “the corrupt oligarchy that has stolen our money, our dreams, and the right of Ecuadoreans to have dignified lives.” The International Monetary Fund agreed to postpone Argentina’s scheduled $1 billion debt payment. Former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani made a quick tour of Mexico City as part of his $4.3 million contract to reduce the city’s crime rate. The White House budget director announced that the national budget deficit will be more than $200 billion this year and $300 billion next year. The Supreme Court upheld the 1998 Copyright Term Extension Act and said that it was clearly within the authority of Congress to make bad policy. Governor Gray Davis of California proposed spending $220 million on a new state-of-the-art death row. Rebels in Congo were accused of systematic rape, torture, and cannibalism in the northeast region of the country; some Pygmies were reportedly forced to eat their own relatives. Fighting continued in the Ivory Coast. The United Nations reported that the Gypsies of Eastern Europe are getting poorer. A new study found that surgeons leave tools inside about 1,500 patients every year. The queen of England underwent an operation on her knee. Slobodan Milosevic was not feeling well. The European Space Agency cancelled plans to land a spaceship on a comet, and a British man beheaded himself with a homemade guillotine.

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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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With Child·

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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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