Wednesday, October 30, 2013

  • Renewed Showdown over Texas Anti-Choice Law Highlights State-by-State Battle for Abortion Access

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    A legal battle is being waged in Texas over the controversial new anti-choice law that inspired a people’s filibuster over the summer. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has asked a federal appeals court judge to immediately reinstate a key part of the new law a day after it was ruled unconstitutional by a lower court judge. On Monday, District Judge Lee Yeakel struck down the provision requiring onerous hospital admitting privileges for abortion doctors. But Yeakel upheld another provision of the law that requires doctors to use a specific protocol for non-surgical, pill-induced abortions — a protocol even the judge himself acknowledged is "assuredly more imposing" and "clearly more burdensome" to women. That provision, and the law’s ban on abortion at 20 weeks post-fertilization, both went into effect on Tuesday. We discuss the impact of the Texas law and the national landscape of abortion access with RH Reality Check legal analyst Jessica Mason Pieklo, author of "Crow After Roe: How 'Separate But Equal' Has Become the New Standard in Women’s Health and How We Can Change That."

  • Shackles and Ivy: The Secret History of How Slavery Helped Build America’s Elite Colleges

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    A new book 10 years in the making examines how many major U.S. universities — Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Brown, Dartmouth, Rutgers, Williams and the University of North Carolina, among others — are drenched in the sweat, and sometimes the blood, of Africans brought to the United States as slaves. In "Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities," Massachusetts Institute of Technology American history professor Craig Steven Wilder reveals how the slave economy and higher education grew up together. "When you think about the colonial world, until the American Revolution, there is only one college in the South, William & Mary ... The other eight colleges were all Northern schools, and they’re actually located in key sites, for the most part, of the merchant economy where the slave traders had come to power and rose as the financial and intellectual backers of new culture of the colonies," Wilder says.

    Click here to watch part 2 of this interview.

  • Filmmaker Uncovers Her Family’s Shocking Slave-Trading History, Urges Americans to Explore Own Roots

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    As we continue our conversation on slavery, we are joined by a woman who uncovered that her ancestors were the largest slave-trading family in U.S. history. Katrina Browne documented her roots in the film, "Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North," which revealed how her family, based in Rhode Island, was once the largest slave-trading family in U.S. history. After the film aired on PBS in 2008, Browne went on to found the Tracing Center on Histories and Legacies of Slavery. We speak to Browne and Craig Steven Wilder, author of the new book, "Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities."