Weekly Review — December 21, 2004, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: A Christian martyr, 1855]
A Christian martyr.

Time Magazine named President George W. Bush “Person of the Year” and praised him for “reframing reality to match his design.”CBS NewsTommy Franks, George Tenet, and Paul Bremer III were awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor,New York Timesand Donald Rumsfeld announced that from now on he would personally sign condolence letters sent to the families of soldiers killed in action, instead of using a machine.CNNFox News hired Zell Miller.New York TimesUnited States military officials couldn’t explain the failure of the most recent missile shield test, but maintained that it was “a very good training exercise.”GuardianSenator John McCain said he had no confidence in Donald Rumsfeld.New York TimesScientists discovered a new monkey species,New York Timesand Muamar Qaddafi said President Bush couldn’t have won the election without him.New York TimesThe supreme court of Kansas declared that the state’s death penalty is unconstitutional but then issued a stay of its own ruling.Associated PressRepresentative Billy Tauzin, an author of the House Medicare Drug Law, announced that he will become a lobbyist for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.New York TimesThe Securities and Exchange Commission accused Fannie Mae of cheating on its taxes.New York TimesPfizer admitted that Celebrex doubled the risk of heart attack in certain patients, but declined to take it off the market, Reutersand a survey found that one fifth of all FDA scientists had been pressured to recommend approval of a new drug.New York TimesThe DEA told the University of Massachusetts it couldn’t grow marijuana on campus.New York TimesThe Trust For America’s Health reported that two thirds of U.S. states were not adequately prepared for a bioterrorist attack,Pjstar.comand the National Guard was offering a $15,000 enlistment bonus.New York TimesPresident Bush made privatizing social security a major priority for his second term, and his daughter Jenna considered becoming a schoolteacher.New York TimesScientists announced that 70.6 percent of husbands are obese.New York Times

The Iraqi Special Tribune opened hearings into the crimes of prominent former Baath government officials, most notably Hassan Al-Majeed, aka “Chemical Ali.” Evidence against him included a tape on which he boasted that if any Kurd defied him, he would “blow him away, cut him open like a cucumber,” and bury him with a bulldozer.The TelegraphThe election season began in Iraq with 73 parties participating,Reutersand car bombs killed more than 60 people in Najaf and Karbala.New York TimesFourteen U.S. Marines were convicted of abusing Iraqi prisoners, including one soldier who used an electronic device to make a detainee “dance.”New York TimesThe United States Army decided to drive less and fly more.New York TimesThe United Nations reported that there had been widespread smuggling of oil out of Iraq under the Coalition Provisional Authority,New York Timesthe British House of Lords said the indefinite detention of foreign terrorism suspects violates EU human rights laws,Bloombergand Osama bin Laden urged Muslims to attack oil facilities in Iraq and the Persian Gulf.TurkishPress.comSaddam Hussein met with his lawyer.ReutersMahmoud Abbas called for an end to political violence,Reutersand Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom called Yasir Arafat’s death “an opportunity we should not miss,”Haaretz Internationalwhile Palestinian militants insisted that “the blessed Intifada will continue” and an Israeli raid in Gaza left 11 dead.United Press International The Pentagon announced it wanted to spend more time spying.New York TimesThe Tenth International Convention on Climate Change ended with a resolution for all parties to meet again soon,Associated Pressand General Motors sued a Chinese automaker for cloning the Chevrolet Spark.The Wall Street JournalRussian border guards discovered an underground “vodka pipeline” used to smuggle alcohol into Estonia,New York Timesand an Australian man nearly died after his “jug helmet,” a beer-drinking device made from a hose and a power drill, malfunctioned.The West AustralianWorkmen discovered that U.N. headquarters in Geneva were bugged.New York Times

The prime minister of Spain accused his predecessor of erasing all computer files related to last year’s Madrid terrorist bombing. “Not a single trace of any files was left behind,” said one official, “zero, nothing.”New York TimesAugusto Pinochet had another stroke.Associated PressA Washington State man received a three-year prison sentence for attempting to circumcise his eight-year-old son, The Columbianand a Minnesota company was building a power plant that will be fueled primarily by turkey droppings.ReutersThe Australian government warned its citizens to avoid major hotels in Indonesia.USA TodayRussia forced the Yukos oil conglomerate to auction off its largest subsidiary to a little-known company with suspected government ties in a sale that was widely interpreted as a way to punish Yukos’s politically outspoken founder, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who is currently in jail.New York TimesA virtual island on the planet Calypso sold for $26,500,The New Scientistand the United States forgave $4.1 billion in Iraqi debt.Boston GlobeCongressman John Conyers Jr. said he would ask the FBI to investigate “inappropriate and likely illegal election tampering” in Ohio during the presidential election,New York Timesand Gillette unveiled its newest product, a vibrating razor for women called “The Venus Vibrance.”USA TodayA general from the African Union called the situation in Sudan a “bomb that could explode at any moment,” as a deadline to end hostilities there was ignored.New York TimesScientists estimated that ten percent of all bird species will become extinct by the end of the century, and enrollment was down at London’s premier Santa school.Stanford UniversityNew York Times Twelve million honeybees died in a Las Vegas freeway accident.Associated Press

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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.

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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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