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Sarah McCammon

Sarah McCammon worked for Iowa Public Radio as Morning Edition Host from January 2010 until December 2013.

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With the U.S. Supreme Court mum, a new law went into effect in Texas that bans abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy. That's well before many women even know they are pregnant.

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A bipartisan infrastructure package cleared a procedural hurdle in the Senate last night after 17 Republicans, along with 50 Democrats, voted to begin debate on the bill. President Biden praised the vote.

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Wearing a rainbow sequin gown she designed herself in honor of Pride Month, Kataluna Enriquez made history last weekend when she was crowned Miss Nevada USA — the win will make her the first openly transgender contestant to compete in the upcoming Miss USA pageant this fall.

"My win is our win," she posted afterward on her Instagram in a message to the LGBTQ community. "We just made history. Happy pride."

After a contentious debate, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has voted to move forward with a process that could call into question the eligibility of politicians like President Joe Biden to receive Communion.

The bishops voted 168-55 in favor of drafting "a formal statement on the meaning of the Eucharist in the life of the Church," officials announced on Friday afternoon, the final day of their three-day virtual meeting. Six bishops abstained.

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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says he intends to withhold paychecks to state lawmakers after House Democrats staged a walkout to block voting restrictions proposed by their Republican counterparts.

President Biden's budget proposal fulfills a campaign promise to remove a longstanding ban on federal funding for most abortions known as the Hyde Amendment.

Religion, education, race and media consumption are strong predictors of conspiracy theory acceptance among Americans, according to a new survey from the Public Religion Research Institute.

The survey of 5,149 adults living across the United States released on Thursday finds a strong correlation between consuming right-wing media sources and accepting conspiracy theories such as QAnon.

Updated May 19, 2021 at 5:15 PM ET

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday signed into law a bill that bans abortion the moment a fetal heartbeat has been detected, a move that makes Texas the largest state in the nation to outlaw abortion so early in a pregnancy.

The Texas law effectively prohibits any abortion after around six weeks of pregnancy — before many women are even aware they are pregnant.

Friends and family of Andrew Brown Jr. say they will remember him as a devoted and loving father who wanted to give his children things he didn't always have.

"Andrew was a sweetheart," said Monique Gaddy, 52. "He dropped out of school, but he was very adamant about his children getting an education."

Gaddy, like many in Elizabeth City, a small community in coastal North Carolina, knew Brown since he was a small child.

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Seven sheriff's deputies have been placed on administrative leave after Andrew Brown Jr., a Black man, was fatally shot while deputies were carrying out a search and arrest warrant on Wednesday morning in Elizabeth City, N.C. Three other deputies have resigned, the sheriff's office says, but it wasn't related to the incident.

During a press conference streamed online Friday evening, Pasquotank County Sheriff Tommy Wooten II expressed condolences to Brown's family and pledged that if any of his deputies are found to have violated laws or policies, "they will be held accountable."

Not even one full day went by after the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for George Floyd's murder before another American Black man was killed by police.

Fetal tissue is uniquely valuable to medical researchers - useful for developing treatments and better understanding diseases like HIV, Parkinson's, and COVID-19.

But many anti-abortion rights groups oppose it on moral or religious grounds.

Now, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra says he's reversing several restrictions on fetal tissue research put in place during the Trump administration.

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Updated April 14, 2021 at 4:26 PM ET

The Biden administration is moving to reverse a Trump-era family planning policy that critics describe as a domestic "gag rule" for reproductive healthcare providers.

Jared Cornutt has heard some farfetched concerns about the coronavirus vaccine in some of his Southern Baptist Facebook groups.

"I have a very hard time getting from vaccine to the Mark of the Beast," Cornutt said, referring to one baseless rumor that linked vaccination requirements to an idea in Revelation, the apocalyptic book at the end of the New Testament.

Balaram Khamari is a doctoral student in microbiology who has always felt the connection between science and art.

"They are interlinked," he says. "Even doing a science experiment requires art."

Now, Khamari is bringing the worlds of art and science together – in a petri dish. He's been spending a lot of time in his lab in Puttaparthi, India, culturing colorful bacteria and artfully arranging it on a jelly like substance called agar. He is part of a growing body of scientists across the world who make agar art, and even compete for prizes.

In 2003, the rock group Evanescence released their debut album, Fallen – which went on to sell more than 17 million copies worldwide and win two Grammys, while hit singles such as "Bring Me to Life" and "My Immortal" remain anthems for angsty teenagers. Now, almost a decade since their last album of original material, Evanescence is back with a new album, The Bitter Truth. The group's co-founder and lead singer, Amy Lee, is more than ready to spill the truth on why it took so long to release this album.

One day before the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol in January, thousands of miles away in northern California, anger began to boil over at a meeting of the Shasta County Board of Supervisors.

"This is a scamdemic, it's a plandemic, and it's a damndemic. We're sick of it!" one woman shouted.

A coalition of evangelical Christian leaders is condemning the role of "radicalized Christian nationalism" in feeding the political extremism that led to the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 by supporters of former President Donald Trump.

On Jan. 6, Hilary Izatt was watching TV when she began to worry.

"My husband and I are both political scientists; we're kind of nerdy; we watch C-SPAN a lot," Izatt says. "And when we were watching C-SPAN is when the rioters started breaking into the Capitol."

At a time when the country seems more and more divided, it can be a lot to ask of a person to "love thy neighbor," even when they don't necessarily love you back. It takes an aggressive kind of love to start engaging, and that's the idea that inspired the title track of Ani DiFranco's newest record, Revolutionary Love. The phrase is also the name of a book by DiFranco's good friend, activist Valarie Kaur, which encourages an understanding of one's adversaries.

Joe Biden is only the second Catholic president of the United States. He's also a supporter of abortion rights — a position at odds with official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

For some Catholic activists, like Marjorie Dannenfelser, Biden's high-profile example of a Catholic who supports abortion rights is troubling.

"It's a negative example of a deep and important moral issue that is being debated in this country," she said.

President Biden is preparing to reverse a Trump administration policy that prohibits U.S. funding for nongovernmental groups that provide or refer patients for abortions — the first of several moves reproductive rights advocates are hoping to see from the Biden administration.

In prepared remarks released by the White House on Thursday, Dr. Anthony Fauci tells the World Health Organization's executive board that Biden will soon revoke the Mexico City Policy "as part of his broader commitment to protect women's health and advance gender equality at home and around the world."

As it gets colder, and harder to gather outdoors, some of Kenzie Billings' conversations with her loved ones are feeling a bit more fraught.

"It's felt frustrating at times. You know, you can feel energy from people in terms of wanting to be together," the 29-year-old from Portland, Ore., says.

Lately, Jon Horton has been dreaming about freezers.

"I was opening the freezer and I was taking something out of the freezer and putting it in something else," Horton said. "And it was just like — whew!"

And not just an ordinary freezer. Horton is pharmacy operations director at Sentara — a health care network based in Norfolk, Va.

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