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Abortion opponents push for 'fetal personhood' laws, giving rights to embryos


This is FRESH AIR. I'm Tonya Mosley. Abortion is now on the ballot in Florida. Voters will decide in November whether to enshrine abortion rights into its constitution. Now, this comes after Florida's Supreme Court ruled this week that the state's constitution does not protect abortion, and this removed the barriers for a separate six-week ban that will take effect next month. This ruling has also primed abortion opponents to seek broad fetal personhood protections. Now, you've probably been hearing that phrase a lot lately. Over the last year, lawmakers in nearly a dozen states have considered efforts to give legal rights and protections to embryos and fetuses - everything from income tax deductions to giving a fetus the right to child support. And in some cases, these proposed rights outstrip those given to pregnant people.

The longstanding effort is an outgrowth of decades of anti-abortion organizing rights journalist Carter Sherman. The latest ruling happened in February when the Alabama Supreme Court decided that frozen embryos used in in vitro fertilization have the same rights as children. Carter Sherman covers reproductive health and justice for The Guardian. Previously, she worked as a senior reporter at Vice News, where she focused on reproductive rights, sexual violence and LGBTQ+ rights. Carter Sherman, welcome to FRESH AIR.

CARTER SHERMAN: Thank you for having me.

MOSLEY: Well, let's talk about the significance of this week's news out of Florida. First, I think it will be a good idea to explain this state court's ruling and how it intersects with this simultaneous decision to actually take this issue to voters.

SHERMAN: Yeah. So what the Supreme Court actually did was issue a pair of rulings on two separate cases, one of which was about a proposed ballot measure that would give voters the chance to enshrine the right to abortion to the point of fetal viability, which is generally about 24 weeks of pregnancy, into the state constitution. Now, there were questions about whether or not that ballot measure was too broad. That was the contention made by the state's Republican AG. And the state Supreme Court said, you know what? This is something that the voters can decide for themselves and make really the call for themselves on this issue.

The other thing, though, that the state Supreme Court did is really raise the stakes of that ballot measure immeasurably. There was another case going on over a 15-week abortion ban. Abortion is currently banned in Florida to 15 weeks, and the state Supreme Court upheld that 15-week ban and, in so doing, paved the way for a separate six-week abortion ban. That six-week abortion ban is now set to take effect on May 1. And what it has meant for abortion providers and their advocates on the ground in Florida is that they have about 30 days to rapidly redo everything about how they perform abortions and how they help patients either get abortions in the state or go out of state for the procedure.

MOSLEY: OK, so most states in this area - I mean, we're talking about the South and Southeast - all now have abortion bans. So can you orient us on how Florida's decision actually impacts access regionally?

MOSLEY: Florida is one of the greatest surge states, as advocates call it, in the post-Roe era. So after so many states banned abortion, there were certain states that became really havens for people fleeing those bans. Florida is one of them. Illinois is another. And once you ban abortion past six weeks, that is the point before many people even know that they're pregnant. And so a six-week abortion ban, in the eyes of many advocates, is essentially a total abortion ban. That means for people across the southeast, Florida is no longer a lifeline for them to get those abortions. They're going to have to go further out to other states like Illinois or further up the East Coast. And those abortion clinics, I will say, are also overwhelmed by patients at this point. It is going to be very hard for them to fit more people into their appointment slots.

MOSLEY: You also reported on something interesting - that the travel time then to get to these places now - now that Florida has this six-week ban, many of these providers of abortions were flooded with support after Roe v. Wade was overturned. Now that money has essentially dried up, or there's just not as much money as there was. And so now that they have to factor in the travel for people to go other places, what have they told you about the challenges financially?

SHERMAN: So when Roe v. Wade was first overturned, money gushed into organizations called abortion funds, which basically help people pay for abortions and help pay for the associated costs around an abortion, including things like hotels or flights or even child care. Because many people who get abortions already have children. And over time, the need has really only gone up for these funds. They're seeing more and more people all the time as more states pass more restrictions. And so there's an increasing need and a decreasing amount of money to fund that need.

I talked actually to one person who works at an abortion fund in Florida, and she was telling me that, you know, after Roe was overturned, they saw thousands and thousands of dollars gushing into their coffers. When the Florida state Supreme Court decision came down, they got about a thousand dollars, which is about enough to pay for a single abortion patient. And she's just really worried that, you know, even if the ballot measure succeeds, even if abortion access is restored in Florida after November, there are months and months where there's going to be people who need more money than ever to get out of Florida or to get out of the region entirely in order to get abortions.

MOSLEY: I want to talk just a little bit more about what it means to have abortion rights enshrined in Florida's constitution. What exactly would it say? What would the language be if this were to pass in November?

SHERMAN: The language of the proposed ballot measure would say that the right to abortion would be protected in Florida up until the point of fetal viability. And fetal viability can sometimes be a moving benchmark in pregnancy, but it is generally pegged for about 24 weeks of pregnancy. Abortions would also be permitted in cases where doctors thought that there was a medical emergency and that that person needed to have an abortion to terminate the pregnancy in order to protect themselves.

MOSLEY: I've been reading that legal scholars point out that six of the seven Florida state court justices appear to endorse this idea that life starts at conception. I'm just wondering. What does this look like in the defining of personhood in the state's constitution? What could this all mean for this movement to define fetal personhood in Florida?

SHERMAN: I think what we're going to see in Florida, as we've really seen in every state in the country since the overturning of Roe v. Wade, is fetal personhood advocates trying to figure out what they can do next and how else they can sort of increase areas of law where fetuses or embryos have the same legal rights and protections as anybody else. I think that so much opposition to abortion is undergirded by this belief that a fetus is a person. And so it's very hard to always keep an eye on exactly where fetal personhood is popping up in all these different areas of law because there's just so many of them.

MOSLEY: And as we talk about fetal personhood, it's defined as this idea that life starts at conception. There have been proposals dating back all the way back to Roe v. Wade to codify some form of fetal personhood, but this idea has always been somewhat fringe. I'm just wondering. How did this idea during this political cycle go from fringe to mainstream?

SHERMAN: What's interesting about the belief in fetal personhood is I don't know that it is as fringe as people might imagine it is, frankly. I think that many anti-abortion activists - their opposition to abortion stems from the idea that a fetus is a person, that an embryo is a person and they deserve full legal rights and protections, that, you know, abortion is tantamount to killing a person. What has happened, though, is that there has been a sort of fringe effort to enshrine fetal personhood into the law in many ways, and this has occurred across all areas of law. Virtually every state has some kind of statute or case on the books where a fetus has been recognized as having some kind of rights that we would generally ascribe to a human person. And I mean human person in the way that, you know, a lot of people think of it as someone like you or me. And I think what's interesting is that post Roe v. Wade, so many of the guardrails around abortion rights have been stripped away in such a way that fetal personhood advocates feel very emboldened and feel like they can speak more plainly about what it is that they really want. And that's how you get something like the Alabama IVF decision.

MOSLEY: Right. Let's talk about that a little bit. So the Alabama state Supreme Court ruled that embryos have the same rights as children. And what came next is an example of what you've been writing about are the infinite consequences of recognizing a fetus as a person. I mean, can you remind us of that case that brought forth that latest ruling in Alabama?

SHERMAN: So there was an incident several years ago where frozen embryos at a IVF clinic were damaged, and the people who had created those embryos sued under a law about the wrongful death of a minor. And the Alabama state Supreme Court said, you know what? Embryos are actually extrauterine children, and this lawsuit has merit. And that had extremely wide-ranging impacts immediately on IVF in the state of Alabama. Three IVF providers said that they were pausing their operations because they were worried about what this could mean, and one IVF provider said to me, you know, there's always been liability in his work and the work of any doctor. You can always be sued.

But the question here is now, is there criminal liability? If an embryo is damaged in some way, has somebody just killed a person? Could they go to jail for murder? And these questions were really swimming not only in Alabama, I think, but across the country as people were really starting to realize, oh, wow, if we say that fetuses and embryos are people, there's a lot that could happen as a result of that. Since all of that fallout happened, the Alabama state legislature has taken steps to curb that liability. But experts say that that is not enough. It doesn't address the root cause of the issue, which is that the Alabama state Supreme Court says embryos are extrauterine children. It's just pushed this issue further down the road.

MOSLEY: You're bringing up something that is really interesting. You talk about it in your reporting that there are so many different contexts to fetal personhood that even supporters might be surprised by. You talked to an expert who believes that many people who, in theory, support this idea that life starts at conception don't really know the full consequences of deeming a fetus a person. You've highlighted some of the most extreme legal outcomes that could come from this. In Missouri, for example, there's this argument for changing the age of victims of abuse to factor in the time that they were conceived versus the date of birth to calculate their ages. Can you explain this proposal?

SHERMAN: Missouri has broad personhood language already on the books in its state, and there have been at least two cases that I'm aware of where men who were accused of child molestation and statutory rape have pointed to that language and explicitly said, you know, actually, my victims, who were 13 and 17, they were really nine months older than what we might imagine them to be. And therefore, you know, these laws shouldn't apply to me. I should not have been charged with these crimes. You know, when I tell people about these cases, people are extremely struck by them. I don't think that people think that these are the kinds of implications of fetal personhood, but this is the kind of stuff that we have seen play out in court.

MOSLEY: I mean, some states are even allowing parents to seek child support for fetuses. You've been writing about this, as well. Do you know if there are any cases - like Georgia, for instance, is one state that allows this - where this has actually been argued, where someone has gone to court for back child support for a fetus?

SHERMAN: Yeah. Kentucky has also advanced legislation to say that after a baby is born, you can retroactively claim child support. And again, these are cases where I think even people who support abortion rights might say, oh, yeah, actually, you know, a man should be forced to pay child support because pregnancy is expensive. But then you start to play it out and play it out and play it out, and it raises immeasurable questions.

MOSLEY: Let's take a short break. If you're just joining us, I'm talking with journalist Carter Sherman, who covers reproductive health and justice for the Guardian. We're talking about the latest efforts to restrict and criminalize abortion in our country, including efforts to give protections and rights to embryos and fetuses, as well as the latest efforts to restrict medication abortions. We'll continue our conversation after a short break. This is FRESH AIR.


MOSLEY: This is FRESH AIR. And today we're talking to journalist Carter Sherman, who covers reproductive health and justice for the Guardian. We're talking about the latest efforts to restrict and criminalize abortion in our country. Sherman is currently working on a book that examines how the overturning of Roe v. Wade has impacted young people's sex lives.

I want to get some clarification on fetal personhood laws and fetal homicide laws and how they intersect. You write about women who have faced criminal charges over miscarriages. Specifically, there's this case of Brittany Watts in Ohio who had a miscarriage and was charged with abuse of a corpse. What happened in her case?

SHERMAN: So last year Brittany Watts, who is a woman in Ohio - she miscarried into a toilet. And according to news reports, she then went to the hospital and explained what had happened. And she was charged with the felony abuse of a corpse, which could have sent her to jail. Those charges were ultimately dropped. A grand jury declined to indict her. But obviously Brittany Watts' name is now out there. This is now something that will probably follow her for the rest of her life.

What's interesting about her case, and something that I've talked to experts about, is that is - are remains from a miscarriage a corpse? Is this a proper use of this statute? And what's interesting is that we don't actually necessarily have in U.S. law a great standardized definition for what a corpse is. We used to think that, you know, a human body was a body that had a birth certificate and a death certificate. And then in the years before the overturning of Roe v. Wade, anti-abortion activists started pushing these laws that would force hospitals and abortion clinics to recategorize the remains of abortions or miscarriages as human remains. And you have to treat human remains differently than you can treat the remains of a medical procedure. You have to bury them or cremate them or otherwise show them some level of dignity that we would expect to give to a human body.

And when you start to change in some areas of law what a corpse is, what a human body is, prosecutors can look at that element of the law and say, OK, if this is a human in this context, why isn't it a human in that context? And I think that's kind of what we saw in Ohio, is that - this question of, well, are the remains of a miscarriage a corpse, and if so, what is the appropriate way to deal with them? What's interesting, I think, in talking to many women who've had miscarriages, many women don't know what to do with the remains of a miscarriage. Many women do just flush them down to the toilet because many people do miscarry into a toilet. And so what happened to Watts could theoretically happen to other women in the future.

MOSLEY: Also, what position does this put some doctors in? I mean, they're making choices in real time, too, especially in places where abortions are banned. I mean, if one of the choices for a woman who has a miscarriage at home is to then collect remains and bring them to a doctor, what have you heard about doctors' hesitance to actually take what might be considered now a corpse?

SHERMAN: Yeah, one doctor told me that she straight up does not know what is safe legally for someone who is miscarrying to do with the remains of that miscarriage. In some cases, someone might want to bring the remains to the doctor for testing to try to figure out, you know, why did this miscarriage happen? And it's just not clear if that is necessarily safe for the doctor to handle in these instances.

MOSLEY: I mean, there's also - you know, a miscarriage and an abortion, I mean, they look pretty similar. It involves a D&C. If you go to a doctor and you're having a natural miscarriage and you want to be under the care of a doctor, they will give you a D&C. Are there doctors who are refusing treatment out of fear of facing criminal or legal consequences?

SHERMAN: We have seen many doctors basically say that the way that abortion laws are written right now, it doesn't map onto how they understand medicine and it makes them - it makes it very difficult for them to practice medicine. So every state in this country that has an abortion ban, for example, has some kind of exception written into that ban that says if you are in a medical emergency, you should be able to get an abortion. Now, those exceptions are written in different sorts of ways. Some of the exceptions apply only in cases where someone's life might be threatened. Others apply in cases where someone's health might be threatened, which is a broader way of defining it and something that is preferred by advocates, to the extent that any of these bans are preferred.

But what doctors have told me and told many reporters across the country is that because of the wording of these bans, they're so vague as to be unworkable. And women have ended up in situations and come forward and said I was denied a medically necessary abortion. And I was threatened, or my pregnancy was threatened. And they've actually filed lawsuits to that effect.

MOSLEY: Right. I mean, there's so many considerations to make in what in many instances is an emergency, is a medical emergency. Have you actually encountered during your reporting pregnant people who have opted not to go to a doctor or ER, I mean, out of fear that they might be charged with something?

SHERMAN: Yeah, I mean, I think the other fear is even if they seek medical treatment, they might not be honest with their provider about what's going on in their lives because they're afraid they could say something that would lead them to be criminalized. Of the pregnancy criminalization cases that we know about, 1-in-3 have been instigated by a medical professional. And so those fears are justified.

MOSLEY: You know, another thing I was thinking about on this issue of criminalizing women - you know, I know that history has shown us that, you know, back in the '80s and '90s, women were criminalized for having drugs in their system when they gave birth to children. And their children - their child, their baby - might be taken away. You are seeing that happen more and more often today, women going to jail for using drugs while pregnant, having - giving birth and being tested.

SHERMAN: Yes, that absolutely continues today. And it continues in particular in states that have interpreted child endangerment and child neglect and child abuse laws to apply as well to fetuses. So Alabama, for example, leads the country in criminalization of pregnancy cases. And I think that these are circumstances where people don't necessarily have a lot of sympathy for the women at the center of them because people think, oh, well, if someone uses drugs during pregnancy, that's something that shouldn't happen. But I think a question that advocates have raised to me is, like, well, if we send pregnant women to jail, are they getting the help that they need there? Are they getting help for any kind of substance use disorder they may be dealing with? Are their fetuses getting the kind of prenatal care that we would like them to see? And this is an issue that I don't think has really attracted the public attention in the way that, say, the Alabama IVF case has attracted attention, but they are all connected.

MOSLEY: Our guest today is journalist Carter Sherman with The Guardian. We'll continue our conversation after a short break. I'm Tonya Mosley, this is FRESH AIR.


MOSLEY: This is FRESH AIR. I'm Tonya Mosley, and today we're talking to journalist Carter Sherman, who covers reproductive health and justice for the Guardian. We're talking about the latest efforts to restrict and criminalize abortion in our country, including efforts to give protections and rights to embryos and fetuses, as well as the latest efforts to restrict medication abortions. Sherman is currently working on a book that examines how the overturning of Roe v. Wade has impacted young people's sex lives.

You know, there's this new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll that just came out this week. It reports that 84% of Americans believe women who have abortions should not face penalties like fines or jail. So essentially, women should not be criminalized for abortions and under this same scope, criminalized for something that might happen naturally, like a miscarriage. I mean, couple that with some of the shifts we've seen in power. Just recently, a Democrat in Alabama won a state House seat after campaigning in support of abortion access and in vitro. What does this say about the possibility of maybe even a collision course between what voters want and what lawmakers and courts are deciding?

SHERMAN: I think there is very broad support for abortion rights in this country. Many people did support Roe v. Wade, and most people do support some degree of abortion access, at least through the first trimester of pregnancy. And so the collision course that we might end up seeing come November, there could be a lot of states where outrage over the overturning of Roe and over these abortion bans and their consequences could propel Democrats to victory, could lead to abortion rights to be reinstated or protected further in many states across the country.

The other thing I wanted to bring up, actually, about women being criminalized in some way for their pregnancy outcomes is that this is something, actually, that has come up within the fetal personhood movement and is something that is a struggle for mainstream anti-abortion groups to deal with. If you look at abortion bans in this country, they target abortion providers. They do not go after the people who have abortions. But there is a segment of the anti-abortion movement called anti-abortion abolitionists, and that's what they call themselves. I'm borrowing their terminology, big quotation marks around the use of the term abolitionists. And they say if a fetus is a person, if abortion is murder, we should be treating people who get abortions like they have committed murder. Why are we skipping over that person and just going after the provider?

MOSLEY: We're seeing that many anti-abortion activists now want the Supreme Court to amend the 14th Amendment. First off, how does the 14th Amendment apply to unborn persons?

SHERMAN: I think the question is, does the 14th Amendment apply to unborn persons or to fetuses and embryos. There is a movement among some anti-abortion activists that the 14th Amendment, with its protections for things like due process, should also apply to fetuses because the framers of that amendment did not explicitly say that this doesn't apply to born persons. There's other scholarship. The other experts I've talked to who've said, come on, they are not talking about abortion. They're not talking about fetuses. But we do have a very conservative Supreme Court at this point, and we keep on seeing cases go up to the Supreme Court that deal with abortion. And so I think it is very possible that at some point in the future, we will see the Supreme Court get asked to deal with this question of fetal personhood and the 14th Amendment.

MOSLEY: How will they take that on? How will they clarify, or will there be an amendment within the 14th Amendment?

SHERMAN: I don't think it would necessarily be an amendment within the 14th Amendment. I think it would be an interpretation of the 14th Amendment to look at, say, you know, is there a history and tradition in the United States of protecting fetuses and saying that they have rights and traditions? And this is actually part of the goal of the fetal personhood movement, is to seed protections for fetuses and embryos in so many different areas of law and so many different cases that the U.S. Supreme Court can say, look. We treat fetuses as people in all of these different kinds of areas of law, all of these different elements of U.S. life. Why doesn't the 14th Amendment apply to fetuses, as well?

MOSLEY: In thinking about politics, former President Donald Trump has said just this week that his campaign would address his stance on abortion. He's been very quick to remind conservatives that he appointed three Supreme Court justices who helped overturn abortion protections. What challenges do you see for both candidates - both Biden and Trump - based on what you know in covering all sides of this abortion issue?

SHERMAN: Well, to start with Biden, I think Biden has struggled to even say the word abortion in public. He has really deputized Kamala Harris to come out and be the face of his campaign to protect abortion rights to say that Donald Trump is a threat to abortion rights. And I don't know from talking to abortion rights advocates that they really feel that Joe Biden is going to be their guy, is going to really be their champion and do what they would like to see on the federal level to protect abortion rights.

Now, for Trump, overturning Roe was really unpopular. People have repeatedly demonstrated at the ballot box that they would like to protect abortion rights. And Trump has been doing this sort of interesting dance where on one hand, he really does like to remind people, hey; it was my justices who overturned Roe v. Wade. I appointed those guys and woman. But he also has warned Republicans that extreme measures on abortion could be very dangerous for them in elections. And I think that he has tried to walk this line into the general election. And we're going to see at some point that he might have to take a stance and might have to say what he believes.

An interesting sort of back-and-forth between the anti-abortion movement and the GOP to try to figure out, you know, how can the GOP, which has grown so reliant on these anti-abortion votes and their support, still satisfy anti-abortion activists, given that the GOP is seeing so much backlash for its support for abortion rights. But at the end of the day, I do think that anti-abortion activists, you know, they're going to side with Republicans. If you really believe that abortion is murder, you're probably not going to be voting for a Democrat.

MOSLEY: What are you looking at in the coming weeks and months as we get closer to the presidential election? So many things are happening on the state level. As you said, it seems that the strategy from anti-abortion activists is to have as many states as possible to lay down a law or measure that would do things, for instance, like making a fetus a person in various contexts. What are some of the things you're watching out for?

SHERMAN: Well, I'm very interested in how these ballot measures are going to turn out. There are efforts in states like Arizona and Nevada, which are probably going to be swing states in the presidential election to protect abortion rights, and it is going to be interesting to see to what extent might any support for abortion rights translate to broader support for Democrats. Democrats are very much hoping that the turnout in favor of abortion rights will also help them win. The other thing that I'm keeping an eye on is cases where women have come forward to say that they have been denied medically necessary abortions. There are several lawsuits in the works in places like Texas and Idaho and Tennessee.

There's actually a hearing this week in a Tennessee case over this exact issue. And I think that these are the cases that have really stunned people about the consequences of banning abortion and have really moved the needle for abortion rights supporters. I've interviewed many of these women who have sued and said that they were denied medically necessary abortions, and their pain is very real, and it can be very moving to people.

MOSLEY: You have been talking with women who have said that they were denied medically necessary abortions. Can you tell us a few of those examples of what they've been telling you that they dealt with when they went to seek one and they could not get one?

SHERMAN: Yeah. I was actually speaking just this weekend with a woman named Kathryn Archer, who is in Tennessee and who has filed a lawsuit. She had a wanted pregnancy, as many of these women did, but, at her 20-week anatomy scan, was devastated to learn that her fetus had a litany of severe abnormalities. That meant that delivering a healthy baby would just be impossible. And Archer learned that it would take extreme surgeries to try to fix those abnormalities after birth, that her daughter, should she be born, would need lifelong help. And Archer decided that that was not something that she was willing to put a child through. She has another daughter. She felt that it would be emotionally very difficult, so she ultimately decided to get an abortion. But she could not get one in Tennessee because that circumstance does not fall under Tennessee's abortion exceptions at the moment.

She ended up actually going to Washington, D.C., to get an abortion. And what was particularly unique about her case in some ways was that she was actually pregnant for three extra weeks because so many abortion clinics were booked up. They just had too many other patients that they were seeing, and she couldn't get to those clinics in time for them to perform an abortion before the gestational age cutoff. You know, many clinics don't do abortions past a certain point in pregnancy.

She was telling me, actually, about circumstances where she would be on the playground and be visibly pregnant, and people would be trying to make small talk and ask her, you know, when are you do? What are you having? And it would just be extremely painful for her. And she really felt that this was a circumstance where her doctor could have provided comprehensive in-state medical care, but she was not able to get it, and she had to travel out of state to the tune of more than $10,000 to get this abortion. And she was just - I mean, as we spoke on the phone, she was very emotional over what had happened.

MOSLEY: Wow. You know, I hadn't thought about this element, this consequence of really putting genetic testing and amniocentesis, which is this prenatal test that essentially tests for genetic conditions, in flux because women who have wanted pregnancies often take these tests to determine whether or not they will have a viable child or a child that may have genetic conditions.

SHERMAN: Yeah, and those tests often have to occur later on in pregnancy, past the point at which many states have banned abortion. Many of the women I've talked to did not learn that their wanted pregnancies had issues until the 20-week anatomy scan. It's just been so, so difficult for those women, I think, to feel in particular like their circumstances were not considered by state legislatures when they passed those abortion bans, and that's why many of them are now going to court.

MOSLEY: Are providers from states with more severe bands moving other places, moving to other states so that they could provide services?

SHERMAN: Yes, Idaho in particular, which is the state at the center of this emergency abortion case that is coming up that the U.S. Supreme Court has talked about losing qualified providers who could be helping people through difficult pregnancies. Providers are very scared. These are really strict abortion bans. And the thing for providers is oftentimes in circumstances where there is some kind of medical condition that threatens a pregnant person's pregnancy or their life, you know, what a provider wants to do is keep them from getting to the point of being in a true emergency. Ideally, if a provider notices that something is going wrong, they would like to intervene at that time and not just wait for someone to get sicker. But what doctors have told me is that because of these abortion bans, they are forced to wait until someone gets sick enough that they can legally intervene. And those are not circumstances that doctors necessarily want to live under.

MOSLEY: Carter Sherman, thank you so much for this conversation and your reporting.

SHERMAN: Thank you for having me.

MOSLEY: Carter Sherman covers reproductive health and justice for The Guardian. Her recent reporting focuses on the latest efforts to restrict and criminalize abortion in the United States. After a short break, TV critic David Bianculli reviews the new miniseries "Ripley," and film critic Justin Chang reviews the new French-language drama "Coup De Chance." This is FRESH AIR.

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Tonya Mosley
Tonya Mosley is the LA-based co-host of Here & Now, a midday radio show co-produced by NPR and WBUR. She's also the host of the podcast Truth Be Told.