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Thursday January 22, 2009


Taking a step to fulfill one of his major campaign promises, President Barack Obama issued an executive order today to close the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center within a year. However, the plan faces significant hurdles. Scott Silliman, professor of law at Duke University, joins us to discuss them.

Stories of an Abortion Doctor

On the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we rebroadcast our conversation with Dr. Susan Wicklund. She has written about her life as an abortion provider in the book, “This Common Secret: My Journey as an Abortion Doctor.”

White House Redecoration

The Obamas have announced that California-based interior decorator Michael Smith will lead their White House redecoration project. Our guest, Deborah Needleman, says the White House is both a museum and a living home, and she’s arguing that the Obamas should follow the example of Jacqueline Kennedy in stressing the living over the museum. Needleman is founding editor in chief of Domino magazine and co-author of “Domino: The Book of Decorating.”

First Kids

How have the children of presidents fared growing up in the White House? We speak to Noah McCullough, the 13-year-old author of the book, “First Kids: The True Stories of All the Presidents’ Children.”

Slumdog Millionaire

The sleeper hit film about a young man from a Mumbai slum who is poised to win the top prize on India’s version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” picked up ten Academy Award nominations this morning, including Best Picture. The movie opens in India tomorrow. What will be the reaction to its grim portrayal of life on the streets? We speak to Cambridge resident Maya Chaudhari, who was born and raised in India, and also to Keshni Kashyap, who writes on Indian culture for the blog site “The Daily Beast.”

  • Karen stevens

    My thanks to you for your efforts for women who may need abortions……..YOu are a courageous person…..


    karen stevens

  • Alan

    Love the new look of the website!

  • Deborah Massa

    Thank you for the segment on Slumdog Millionaire. I found that film to be deeply disturbing, but thought my partner and I were the only ones who did not get wrapped up in the fairy tale. Thanks to Maya Chaudhari, I now know that we were not the only ones.

    I came away feeling that there are two stories being told in this film. One is the feel good fairy tale, and the other is about what life is like for orphans in India. I was horrified at the whole orphanage scene. Ms. Chaudhari spoke of the anxiety she was feeling. I, too, felt very anxious. By the end of the film, I realized that I had been gripping my cup-holder for most of the film.

    Ultimately, I think one’s reaction to the film depends on which story one focuses on. We did not leave the movie theater feeling good about the unrealistic fairy tale after seeing the reality of so many orphans in India.

  • Kathleen Benoit

    Thank you for rebroadcastig your interview with Dr. Susan Wicklund. I have had the opportunity to attend a reading by Dr. Wicklund of her book The Common Secret. She is extraordinary…an angel…a warrior…a healer…giving hope and dignity to all women, regardless of their circumstances.

  • Jessica Miller

    I caught the end of the interview with Dr. Susan Wicklund and heard her tell her tales of people threatening her life and the lives of her family as a way to protest her occupation. I was deeply moved when she said that even that could not discourage her because she believed very strongly in what she does; or for lack of better term, a greater good. As a seminary student I sometimes feel torn between the pro-choice and the pro-life movements. I felt encouraged by her honesty and forthrightness as well as her ambition and resolve. She is a courageous woman and I believe she doing a service for women that our country has yet to recognize as such. I pray that she is not ever harmed for doing what she believes in.

  • Adrienne Pilon

    No matter how one feels about abortion, it was evident to me, listening to Dr. Wicklund, that keeping abortion safe and legal is essential. The story of her grandmother was heartbreaking. My own great-grandmother, according to family lore, gave herself three abortions in the bathtub, using crochet hooks. Certainly, we all strive for a world in which abortion is a last resort–but it must be a safe last resort. Thank you, Dr. Wicklund, to you and your family, for your bravery.

  • JEHL

    I empathize with Dr. Susan Wicklund’s fears from the threats and attacks of the pro-life protesters. What they are doing is just plain wrong and should be persecuted per the laws of the lands.

    But the poor actions of her opponents does not absolve Dr. Wicklund of her responsibility for the deaths of half of her patients — specifically the unborn. If Doctors have sworn to “do no harm”, and there are Doctors who specialize in the health of unborn children, how can she in good conscience specialize in killing these same unborn. The only difference between the aborted child that she grieved over after discovering that it was not the result of rape, and her other abortions is the story that surround it’s. In both cases she is killing a child.

    By the same token Dr. Wicklund applauds the Supreme Court decision that says that the Federal government cannot forbid abortions, but yet she reserves for herself the right to make that same decision for her patients. It doesn’t make sense that a decision over something as sacred as the life or death of a (to date healthy) human should legally be left to an individual third party as opposed to being regulated by the State (aka: society).

    It’s clear that she is sincere in her beliefs. I argue that this sincerity masks some obvious contradictions which are as clear as those of her patients who are pro-life.

    It would have been nice to hear WBUR mark Roe v. Wade by also having as empathetic of an interview with an author from the Pro-life side too.

  • Richard Ling

    Wasn’t the Boss at the Pre-Inaugural Concert kinda neat?!

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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