Jennifer Ludden

Jennifer Ludden is a correspondent on NPR's National Desk. She covers a range of stories on family life and social issues.

In recent years, Ludden has reported on the changing economics of marriage, the changing role of dads, the impact of rising student debt loads, and the ethical challenges of modern reproductive technology.

Ludden helped cover national security after the 9/11 attacks, then reported on the Bush administration's crackdown on illegal immigrants as well as Congressional efforts to pass a sweeping legalization. She traveled to the Philippines for a story on how an overburdened immigration bureaucracy keeps families separated for years, and to El Salvador to profile migrants who had been deported or turned back at the border.

Prior to moving into her current assignment in 2002, Ludden spent six years as a foreign reporter for NPR covering the Middle East, Europe, and West and Central Africa. She followed the collapse of the decade-long Oslo peace process, shared in two awards (Overseas Press Club and Society of Professional Journalists) for NPR's coverage of the Kosovo war in 1999, and won the Robert F. Kennedy award for her coverage of the overthrow of Mobutu Sese Seko in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

When not navigating war zones, Ludden reported on cultural trends, including the dying tradition of storytellers in Syria, the emergence of Persian pop music in Iran, and the rise of a new form of urban polygamy in Africa.

Before joining NPR in 1995, Ludden reported in Canada, and at public radio stations in Boston and Maine.

Ludden graduated from Syracuse University in 1988 with a bachelor's degree in English and Television, Radio and Film Production.

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The Salt
3:59 am
Thu April 2, 2015

When Wal-Mart Comes To Town, What Does It Mean For Workers?

Jessey Drewsen, 25, lives near the H Street Wal-Mart in Washington, D.C. She says she doesn't like the store, but that she goes there for cheap supplies like pens.
Emily Jan NPR

Originally published on Fri April 3, 2015 3:58 pm

This is the second in a two-part story about Wal-Mart. Read and listen to Part 1 here.

One of the biggest objections critics often raise about Wal-Mart is how it treats its workers.

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Shots - Health News
3:36 am
Wed March 11, 2015

States Aim To Restrict Medically Induced Abortions

A view of the eastern entrance to the Ohio Statehouse.
Bob Hall/Flickr

Originally published on Thu March 12, 2015 5:08 pm

Of the million or so women who have abortions every year in the U.S., nearly a quarter end their pregnancy using medications. But just as states have been passing a record number of restrictions on surgical abortion, more are trying to limit this option as well.

One of the country's strictest laws is in Ohio. To understand it, a little history helps.

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Shots - Health News
4:38 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

States Fund Pregnancy Centers That Discourage Abortion

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 8:07 pm

Google "abortion Columbus" and halfway down the first page is a headline: "Your Right to Choose, Abortion in Columbus." It's for Pregnancy Decision Health Center, or PDHC, a chain of six sites in Ohio's capital whose aim is actually to guide women out of having the procedure.

Like many of the thousands of crisis pregnancy centers across the U.S., the PDHC near Ohio State University is right next door to a Planned Parenthood. There's a cozy room for private chats and a larger open space decorated in soothing colors.

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Shots - Health News
3:37 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Abortion Restrictions Complicate Access For Ohio Women

Abortion-rights opponent Brian Normile of Beavercreek, Ohio, holds up a poster during a prayer vigil outside Planned Parenthood in Washington, D.C., in January.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 8:12 pm

Ohio may not have gotten the national attention of say, Texas, but a steady stream of abortion restrictions over the past four years has helped close nearly half the state's clinics that perform the procedure.

"We are more fully booked, and I think we have a harder time squeezing patients in if they're earlier in the pregnancy," says Chrisse France, executive director of Preterm. It's one of just two clinics still operating in Cleveland, and its caseload is up 10 percent.

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Shots - Health News
5:12 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Kids' Solo Playtime Unleashes 'Free-Range' Parenting Debate

People who practice free-range parenting say it makes kids more independent, but others see it as neglect. State and local laws don't specify what children are allowed to do on their own.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 2:57 pm

Parents have made news recently after being detained for purposefully leaving children on their own, prompting renewed debate about so-called "free-range parenting."

That includes Danielle and Alexander Meitiv, a Silver Spring, Md., couple who are being investigated after they let their children, ages 10 and 6, walk home from a park last month by themselves.

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Shots - Health News
4:33 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

States Continue Push To Ban Abortions After 20 Weeks

Anti-abortion activists participate in the annual "March for Life" in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 8:32 pm

House Republicans decided Wednesday night to shelve a bill that would have banned abortion at 20 weeks post-conception. But 10 states already ban abortions at 20 weeks and two others are defending such laws in court.

Activists are pushing for bans in at least three more states; a panel in the South Carolina Legislature passed one Thursday.

But under the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, a woman has the right to an abortion for several weeks after that, until the point when the fetus is considered viable.

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Law
3:40 am
Wed January 7, 2015

U.S. Court Weighs Texas Law's Burden On Women Seeking Abortions

The Southwestern Women's Surgery Center in Dallas is one of the clinics in Texas that has doctors with admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, a requirement of HB2.
Rex C. Curry AP

Originally published on Wed January 7, 2015 12:35 pm

A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday is scheduled to hear arguments on the constitutionality of a hotly contested abortion law in Texas. The measure mandates stricter building codes for clinics that perform the procedure, and Fifth Circuit judges in New Orleans will decide whether that poses an undue burden.

The Texas law — HB2 — requires clinics that perform abortions to operate like ambulatory surgical centers. Think wider hallways and hospital-style equipment — upgrades that could cost millions.

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Law
4:54 pm
Tue January 6, 2015

Former Virginia Gov. McDonnell Sentenced To Two Years In Prison

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 6:36 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
3:57 am
Tue December 30, 2014

Big Question For 2015: Will The Supreme Court Rule On Abortion?

Protesters rally outside the Supreme Court during the March for Life on Jan. 25, 2013, in Washington, D.C.
Brendan Hoffman Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 30, 2014 1:56 pm

The new year is expected to bring yet another round of state laws to restrict abortion — and 2015 could also be the year a challenge to at least one of these laws could reach the Supreme Court.

The ongoing spike in abortion laws started after 2010, when Republicans won big in the midterms. Since then, state lawmakers have passed more than 200 abortion regulations — more than in the entire decade before. And with more statehouse gains in the fall elections, abortion opponents expect another good year.

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Shots - Health News
3:36 pm
Mon December 29, 2014

As More Women Tell Abortion Stories, Both Sides Claim Advantage

Demonstrators on both sides of the abortion debate protest in front of the Supreme Court in 2011.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 31, 2014 9:29 am

Advocates for abortion rights are increasingly calling on women who've had the procedure to tell their stories publicly in an effort to combat the "shame and stigma" around it.

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