Weekly Review — November 14, 2006, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Midterm elections were held in the United States; the Republican Party lost its majority in the House of Representatives and the Senate. Six incumbent Republican senators, including Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, were defeated, and Santorum’s daughter cried. Nancy Pelosi of California, who is expected to become the first female Speaker of the House, had lunch with President George W. Bush.Reuters via Yahoo!MSNBCBoston.comIn Iraq the parliament extended the nationwide state of emergency by 30 days, and eight soccer players and fans were killed by mortar rounds. “We are the Shiite nation,” yelled a man from his hospital bed.MSNBCThree U.S. soldiers, four British soldiers, and 159 Iraqis were killed on a Sunday; Aljazeerah.infoThe Toronto StarBaghdad’s morgues were clogged. “Every day, there are crowds of women outside weeping, yelling, and flailing in grief,” said a morgue director. “They’re all looking for their dead sons and I don’t know how the computer or we will bear up.”AP via Seattle Post-IntelligencerThe Saddam Husseingenocide trial resumed, even though Hussein was sentenced to death two days before the U.S. election.MSNBCABC News OnlineFifty performances of “Saddam at the Gallows,” a new play due to open in Kolkata, India, had already sold out.Reuters

The principal of a high school in North Carolina apologized after an excerpt of a speech by Joseph Goebbels was played over the PA system during a soccer game,CNNand the walls of a prison in Missouri were painted pink and accented with stenciled teddy bears. “We made it like a day care,” explained Sheriff Mike Rackley.CourtTVNewsZama Ndebele, the wife of Premier S’bu Ndebele of the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal, promised to return her herd of Nguni cattle to the state in the wake of a cows-for-favors corruption scandal.Business DayIOLDespite the objections of the Vatican, a gay rights rally was held in Jerusalem under the guard of nearly 3,000 police. Rabbi Yehuda Levin flew from Brooklyn to denounce the rally. “They are not,” said Levin, “being tolerant of our feelings.”The New York TimesIn Beit Hanun, Gaza, Israeli forces accidentally killed 18 civilians, including seven children; Prime Minister Ehud Olmert described the killings as a “technical failure.” The U.N. Security Council drafted a resolution condemning the attack, but the United States, represented by Ambassador John Bolton, vetoed it.The Jerusalem PostBBC NewsDemocraticsenators made it clear that they would not confirm Bolton (who was installed as U.N. ambassador via recess appointment) to his position in 2007.ABC NewsRepublican Party Chairman Ken Mehlman resigned,CNNand in Patna, India, twenty eunuchs were hired to sing, beat drums, and collect municipal taxes.MSNBC

Ed Bradley and Jack Palance died.CBS NewsLos Angeles Times.Officials in Sydney, Australia, refused to allow a cargo ship to dock until a rogue monkey on board was captured or killed; the ship’s crew later said that the monkey–a “small brown blur”–had probably been blown overboard during a typhoon.The AgeSMH.com.auThe moon appeared to be leaking gas,PhysOrgthere was a hurricane on Saturn,ABC News Onlineand fourteen ducklings were stomped to death in Florida.TBO.comThe civil war in Iraq was breaking up marriages. “I love my husband, but my family has forced me to divorce him,” said Hiba Sami, a Shiite woman who was married to a Sunni man for 18 years. “We have four children and every day they cry because they miss their father.”Reuters AlertnetDefense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld resigned, and to replace him President Bush nominated Robert Gates, a member of the Iraq Study Group and former head of the CIA, who was investigated in 1991 by the office of the independent counsel for his role in the Iran-contra scandal, and was suspected to have passed military intelligence to Saddam Hussein’sIraq.GlobalSecurity.orgMercury NewsThe New York TimesBBC NewsNewsdayTo protest the Iraq war, a man named Malachi Ritscher committed suicide in Chicago by setting himself on fire next to a 25-foot-tall sculpture called “Flame of the Millennium.” Along with a self-penned obituary, the 52-year-old Ritscher posted a farewell message on his website in which he described the “deep shame” of a day in 2002 when he stood, knife in hand, next to Donald Rumsfeld, but was unable to bring himself to slash the defense secretary’s throat. “I too love God and country,” wrote Ritscher, “and feel called upon to serve.”Malachi RitscherChicago ReaderChicago Sun-Times“Who’s Rumsfeld?” asked Marine Lance Corporal James L. Davis Jr., who is serving in Zagarit, Iraq.The New York Times

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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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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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