Sarah McCammon | KCUR

Sarah McCammon

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

Updated at 5:37 p.m. ET

Planned Parenthood is leaving the federal Title X family planning program rather than comply with new Trump administration rules regarding abortion counseling.

The new rules, issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services earlier this year, prohibit Title X grantees from providing or referring patients for abortion, except in cases of rape, incest or medical emergency.

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Updated at 5:41 p.m. ET

Planned Parenthood says it will formally withdraw from the nation's family planning program for low-income people within days, unless a federal court intervenes.

This is a story about two small-town Virginia churches with the same name, but two very different congregations. They've each found themselves caught up in controversy tied to President Trump's racist rhetoric. NPR's Sarah McCammon recently visited both congregations.

Planned Parenthood clinics nationwide have stopped using federal Title X family planning funds, according to the organization. The decision comes after the Trump administration announced this week that it has started enforcing regulations that prohibit Title X grant recipients from counseling patients about abortion.

Updated at 5:10 p.m. ET

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders is leaving the White House, President Trump tweeted on Thursday.

Updated at 12:32 p.m. ET

In the aftermath of a mass shooting that killed 12 people in Virginia Beach, Va., Gov. Ralph Northam is calling a special legislative session to address gun violence.

"We must do more than give our thoughts and prayers; we must give Virginians the action they deserve," Northam said during a news conference Tuesday morning in Richmond, Va.

With hours to go before the expiration of a state license that allows a Planned Parenthood health center in Missouri to perform abortions, clinics in neighboring states say they're preparing for an influx of additional patients.

Missouri is within days of losing its last remaining health center that provides abortions. Unless a court intervenes, it will become the first state in the nation without such a clinic.

Planned Parenthood officials say they are filing a lawsuit in state court Tuesday, asking for a restraining order to prevent its St. Louis clinic from being forced to stop offering the procedure after a state license expires Friday.

A growing number of states are passing laws banning abortion in the early stages of pregnancy. Anti-abortion-rights activists see this as an unprecedented opportunity to roll back Roe v. Wade.

Watch the video above to learn more.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Updated at 2:50 p.m. ET

Opponents of abortion rights have a long history of supporting abortion bans with three major exceptions: when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, or when a woman's life is at risk.

But fueled by momentum from the passage of a restrictive abortion law in Alabama, a coalition of anti-abortion-rights groups released a letter Wednesday asking Republican officials to "reconsider decades-old talking points" on exceptions to such laws.

Now that they're married, Laura and Adam Hardin clearly have figured it out: their two toddlers were pattering around upstairs in their modest home in a Washington, D.C., suburb when NPR visited recently. And Laura's belly was bulging with their third baby — a daughter born last week.

But Adam remembers some anxious moments on their honeymoon almost five years ago — the first time either of them had sex.

"Mostly I think I was concerned with, like, not wanting to hurt her," he says.

Dana Weinstein was 31 weeks into her second pregnancy, preparing to welcome a daughter, when she and her husband were given horrible news: A critical piece of the brain had not developed properly.

"[We were told] that our baby would have seizures 70% of the time — that was a best-case scenario; that when we delivered her, that we'd need to have a resuscitation order in place because she would most likely seize to death," Weinstein said.

With greens on the menu and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar on the speakers' list, there was no way salad wasn't going to be the punchline of at least one joke at the annual Gridiron dinner in Washington, D.C. on Saturday.

The Trump administration has issued its final draft of a rule that makes sweeping changes to Title X, the federal program that provides birth control and other reproductive health services to millions of low-income Americans.

When you talk to Virginia Democrats these days, you hear a lot of words like "disappointing" and "frustrating."

That's because the men at the top of state government — and at the center of these scandals — have been well-liked by a lot of people who worked hard to help elect them.

"It really is kind of a hard thing to reckon with — some of your heroes either causing embarrassment or shame or disappointment or anger," said Alexsis Rodgers, president of Virginia Young Democrats.

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Updated at 10:28 a.m. ET

A California woman who has accused Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexually assaulting her 15 years ago has hired the same law firm that represented Christine Blasey Ford in her allegations against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Fairfax has denied the allegation, which first surfaced on a conservative blog and was later described in a report by The Washington Post.

As calls continue for Gov. Ralph Northam to resign over a racist photo on his page in a 1984 yearbook, Virginians who have supported him are wrestling with what to make of the controversy and his insistence on remaining in office.

A few dozen people protested outside the governor's mansion Monday morning. Many in the crowd were the same people who have been protesting the placement of a pipeline compressor station in a historically black community in Virginia. Northam has supported the pipeline.

Updated 7:53 p.m. ET

Resisting calls to resign, Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia says he has no recollection of appearing in a racist yearbook photo, despite acknowledging on Friday he was one of two people pictured in the more than 30-year-old image.

The photo shows two individuals, one dressed in blackface and another as a member of the Ku Klux Klan, and appears on his 1984 yearbook page from Eastern Virginia Medical School.

Updated at 1:20 p.m. ET

On Friday, as they have for decades, anti-abortion rights activists marched through Washington, D.C., to the U.S. Supreme Court – a location that symbolizes the long-held goal of reversing the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized the procedure nationwide in 1973.

But this year's rally comes at a moment when many anti-abortion activists are feeling more hopeful about that goal, on the heels of the confirmation and swearing-in of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

When Kirstin Herbst found out she was pregnant last winter, she and her fiancé were overjoyed. But when she went to the doctor for her first ultrasound, she found out she was having a miscarriage.

Her doctor prescribed a medication called misoprostol, which helps the miscarriage to pass. But the misoprostol didn't work right away, and Herbst needed to take another dose.

Herbst was optimistic when she became pregnant again this past summer. When she went in for an ultrasound, she learned she was miscarrying again.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

With a newly configured U.S. Supreme Court, the stakes are high for abortion-rights battles at the state level. Abortion-rights advocates and opponents are preparing for a busy year — from a tug-of-war over Roe v. Wade to smaller efforts that could expand or restrict access to abortion.

Lauren and Zack Blair are kind of the textbook evangelical Christian couple. They met at a Christian college, fell in love, and dated for more than four years — without having sex — before they got married.

Lauren Blair said she grew up with clearly defined expectations about love and dating.

"My mom would talk to me about waiting until marriage to have sex, and she would always tell me, pretty much everyday, 'Lauren, you're worth more than a million bucks. Like, you're so valuable,' " she said.

Updated at 10:35 a.m. ET

Mississippi was set for a fairly mundane midterm election runoff next week — deciding who would win the final undecided U.S. Senate seat in a state that easily elects Republicans, until a senator greeted a cattle rancher.

Updated 2:00 p.m. ET

A large crowd of Jewish and non-Jewish mourners gathered Tuesday under a vaulted white ceiling, tall chandeliers and stained glass windows inside Pittsburgh's Rodef Shalom to honor Cecil and David Rosenthal. At 59 and 54, the brothers were two of the youngest victims and are among the first of the 11 victims of the shooting at Tree of Life synagogue to be laid to rest.

Larrecsa Cox is a paramedic, but instead of an ambulance with flashing lights and sirens, she drives around in an old, white sedan.

Her first call on a recent day in Huntington, W.Va, was to a quiet, middle-class neighborhood.

"He overdosed yesterday," Cox says. "And I think we've been here before. I'm almost 100 percent sure we've been to this house before."

Cox is the only full-time member of Huntington's new quick-response team — a collaborative project involving law enforcement, the county's medical first responders and several drug treatment providers.

The end of the fight over Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination sets up a new battleground over abortion rights, and activists on both sides of the issue are gearing up for what's likely to be a series of contentious battles from the high court to state legislatures.

During hurricanes like Florence, many people find themselves trapped and needing rescue. Sometimes volunteers step in to help — but emergency managers say some may be creating problems of their own.

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