Danielle Kurtzleben

Temperatures hovered at around 20 degrees as thousands gathered in Washington, D.C., for the 49th annual March for Life protest.

The march occurs around the anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision: Jan. 22, 1973. And this year, there's a growing sentiment among the protesters that it could be the last march before Roe is possibly overturned.

"We are hoping and praying that this year, 2022, will bring us historic change for life," March for Life president Jeanne Mancini said. "Roe is not settled law," she said to cheers from the crowd.

Americans' views on same-sex marriage have undergone a revolution in a few short decades.

Public opinion on the issue swung so swiftly and decisively — and so little uproar resulted once it was legal nationwide — that one might easily assume the march toward marriage equality was a neat, steady progression.

In 1992, an estimated half a million people gathered on the National Mall for a rally for abortion rights.

The speakers made many of the same arguments that abortion-rights advocates have made for decades, arguing that government shouldn't limit people's ability to make decisions about their own bodies.

But in nearly four hours of speeches, no one stepped up to the mic and said, "I have had an abortion."

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Abortion-rights advocates are protesting in cities across the U.S. on Saturday, with their movement feeling deeply uneasy about what comes next after Texas enacted the nation's most restrictive abortion law, and with the conservative Supreme Court possibly ruling on the future of Roe v. Wade during its next term, which starts Monday.

Anita Hill stares frankly out from the cover of her new book, Believing — which, if you only know her from the 1991 Clarence Thomas Supreme Court hearings, may lead you to expect the book to be something it's not.

Believing: Our Thirty-Year Journey to End Gender Violence is not a book about Anita Hill. Yes, it has plenty of her personal stories and, yes, it references her role at the center of the Supreme Court hearing firestorm that first acquainted many Americans with the concept of "sexual harassment."

Morgan Byrd said that had it not been for the restrictive new Texas abortion law, she probably wouldn't have signed up to volunteer to canvass for Planned Parenthood.

"I wish I could say that I would have, but no — this is really the far stretch that's kind of encouraging me to stand up more," she said. "This is telling me I need to be out there. I need to be spreading the word."

Byrd was part of a small group of volunteers who met outside a cafe in Arlington, Va., this month to learn about canvassing for the abortion-rights group.

If you are old enough to remember the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky scandal, there's a good chance that a lot of what you remember are the prurient details, as recounted in The Starr Report.

The report was the official conclusion of independent counsel Kenneth Starr's investigation and the basis of Clinton's impeachment.

A particular question had been quietly rolling around in my head for years — one that I finally started thinking harder about lately: When did the word "progressive" creep into my news stories?

More specifically, I started thinking more about it when I covered an Ohio Democratic congressional primary last month — a primary in which the candidates and voters talked a lot about who was more "progressive" (and whether being "progressive" is a good thing).

A hard-fought primary wraps up Tuesday in Ohio's 11th Congressional District, a race that has seen national Democrats descend on the Cleveland area to take sides as two competing factions of the party fight for a historic Democratic seat.

While 13 people are on the party ballot, two have emerged at the front of the pack:

There's an inescapable tension in the upcoming Democratic primary for Ohio's 11th Congressional District.

On the one hand, there are voters making personal, locally informed decisions about whom to support.

DeWayne Williams, for example, says he will support Nina Turner, a former state senator and co-chair of Bernie Sanders' 2020 presidential campaign.

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It's an election off-year. November is still months away, but people, money and energy are flooding from across the country into one Democratic House primary in the Cleveland area. NPR's Danielle Kurtzleben reports.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.


Updated July 1, 2021 at 11:55 AM ET

We know that President Biden won the 2020 election (regardless of what former President Donald Trump and his allies say). We just haven't had a great picture of how Biden won.

When The Wall Street Journal's Michael Bender wrote his book about former President Donald Trump's 2020 defeat, one section stuck out as particularly difficult: telling the story of what Bender dubbed "Hell Week and a Half."​

"It was the 10 days in 2020 that started with the superspreader event in the Rose Garden, included Trump's disastrous debate with Joe Biden in Cleveland, and then Trump himself obviously testing positive for COVID a few days later," Bender said.

When Ronald Reagan accepted the 1980 Republican presidential nomination, he ended his speech with a pious request.

"I'll confess that I've been a little afraid to suggest what I'm going to suggest — I'm more afraid not to — that we begin our crusade joined together in a moment of silent prayer," he said.

Amazon was already an economic behemoth before the start of the coronavirus pandemic. But when many Americans ramped up their shopping from home, the company saw explosive growth. In short, ProPublica journalist Alec MacGillis writes in Fulfillment, its fortunes diverged from the nation's economic fortunes.

There's a sort of time warp going on at The Villages, the enormous retirement community in Florida.

On streets made up to look like small-town Main Streets, it's maybe an idealized, slickly varnished version of the 1950s — albeit with legions of golf carts.

At a hotel ballroom on Friday night, it was something like 2017.

"I just got to check something; I just want to make sure I'm in the right place. Tell me, who is your president?" Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene yelled to a packed ballroom of mostly maskless supporters.

"Donald Trump!" they yelled in response.

President Bill Clinton had his eye on the future when he nominated Stephen Breyer to the Supreme Court in 1994.

"Judge Breyer will bring to the court a well-recognized and impressive ability to build bridges in pursuit of fairness and justice," Clinton said in announcing his nomination. "In the generations ahead, the Supreme Court will face questions of overriding national importance, many of which we cannot today even imagine."

It's not just the things the court has ruled on that have changed; the atmosphere around Supreme Court confirmations has shifted dramatically.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren's Persist sent me digging for some old tape, from the February 2019 annual gathering of the National Action Network, a major civil rights organization. Most of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates gave their stump speeches an early test-drive that day.

In at least 30 states nationwide, lawmakers have introduced bills aiming to keep transgender girls and women from participating on girls' and women's sports teams. These type of restrictions have become a major culture war battle, with Republican lawmakers being the loudest proponents of such bills, while Democrats often oppose them.

One recent tweet from New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand — along with its reams of snarky responses — sums up a key divide over infrastructure in Washington right now.

"Paid leave is infrastructure. Child care is infrastructure. Caregiving is infrastructure," she wrote.

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had a blunt initial response to the prospect of a new, climate-focused infrastructure package weighing in at around $2 trillion.

"The size of it is disappointing. It's not enough," she said.

When the South Dakota state legislature passed HB 1217 in early March, South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem tweeted that she was "excited" to sign it.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.


Here are two trends that very well may be preoccupying the White House right now:

One, midterms tend to be rough for a president. The more seats the president's party holds in Congress, the more they tend to lose, according to data from the UCSB's American Presidency Project. In fact, if you plot seats lost or gained against seats held, the slope points decidedly downward.

Updated March 11, 2021 at 4:59 PM ET

There was an impassioned debate in the South Dakota State Senate this week over a proposed bill that would restrict transgender female students from participating in female sports.

Legislators supporting the bill framed their arguments around fairness.

Updated Feb. 25, 4:39 p.m. ET

The House of Representatives voted on Thursday to pass the Equality Act, a bill that would ban discrimination against people based on sexual orientation and gender identity. It would also substantially expand the areas to which those discrimination protections apply.

"Cancel culture" is everywhere.

No, not cancel culture the phenomenon (that is, if you believe it is a phenomenon, an opinion that is itself contentious). Rather, "cancel culture" is everywhere — as in, the phrase that inundates you lately when you listen to a political speech or turn on cable news.