Weekly Review — January 12, 2010, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

President Barack Obama addressed the nation with the results of a security review he ordered after the failed Christmas Day underwear bombing. “We are at war against Al Qaeda,” he said, noting also that when it comes to security matters the buck stops with him. Rudy Giuliani, who was mayor of New York during the September 11 attacks, said that Obama’s response to terrorism was inadequate. “We had no domestic attacks under Bush,” said Giuliani.CNNPoliticoThe White House sought to reassure Americans that it had no intention of invading Yemen or Somalia, and also that the State of the Union address would not conflict with the season premiere of “Lost.” “I don’t foresee a scenario in which the millions of people that hope to finally get some conclusion in ‘Lost’ are preempted by the president,” said Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.New York TimesAP NewsSenator Harry Reid apologized for saying, during the 2008 presidential campaign, that Obama was a viable candidate because he was “light-skinned” and had “no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.” G.O.P. Chairman Michael Steele called on Reid to step down as Senate majority leader over his “anachronistic language”; Steele also called the current Republican platform “one of the best political documents that??s been written in the last 25 years,” adding, “honest Injun on that.”New York TimesChicago TribuneAn effigy of Obama was hanged over a sign that celebrates Jimmy Carter in Carter’s hometown of Plains, Georgia.New York Times

Seven coalition soldiers and one embedded British journalist were killed in attacks in Afghanistan. A military spokesman said that an increasing number of such deaths were likely in the future. “We are making more contact with insurgents in places where they had sanctuary before,” he said, “and there will be more of that kind of activity.”New York TimesNorth Korea announced that it would not give up nuclear weapons until the United States signed a peace treaty bringing a formal end to the Korean War after 60 years,New York Timesand Tsutomu Yamaguchi, the only confirmed survivor of both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic attacks, died at the age of 93. Washington PostMuslims in Malaysia firebombed at least half a dozen churches in the wake of a court ruling that allows the nation’s Christians to refer to God as “Allah,”Asia Timesand Brit Hume encouraged Tiger Woods to convert to Christianity.Washington PostA Massachusetts man was convicted of animal cruelty for raping his roommate’s pet rabbit.Boston Herald

A parliamentary panel in Iran blamed Tehran’s prosecutor, Saeed Mortazavi, for the beating deaths of three protesters in a detention center last summer, but called charges that protesters were raped by guards “illusions of a mother.”New York TimesThe website of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was hacked. “Dear God, In 2009 you took my favorite singer–Michael Jackson; my favorite actress–Farrah Fawcett; my favorite actor–Patrick Swayze,” read a message on the site. “Please, please, don’t forget my favorite politician–Ahmadinejad; and my favorite dictator–Khamenei in the year 2010.”Radio Free EuropeThe Supreme Court ruled that a federal judge in California could not broadcast over YouTube a trial challenging the constitutionality of Prop 8, the California ballot initiative that banned gay marriage.San Francisco ChronicleDemocratic Senators Christopher Dodd and Byron Dorgan and Governor Bill Ritter announced that they would not seek re-election in 2010.LA TimesIt was revealed that Iris Robinson, the 60-year-old wife of Northern Ireland’s First Minister, Peter Robinson, had a months-long affair with a 19-year-old man, acquired $80,000 in loans for him, and called him “the other son I would have loved to have been a mother to.”LA TimesBritish researchers said that the G-spot does not exist.BBC News

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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

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

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