January 22, 2004

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Roe v Wade Turns 31  (4:00)
Today is the 31st anniversary of the legalization of abortion by the United States Supreme Court in the landmark Roe v. Wade decision. Roe recognized that the right to make childbearing choices is central to a woman’s life and her ability to participate fully and equally in society. Before Roe between 5,000 and 10,000 women died per year following illegal abortions and many more suffered severe injuries. Yet last November, President Bush signed into law the first federal abortion ban in U.S. history, prohibiting doctors from using safe abortion procedures starting as early as 12 weeks of pregnancy. Loretta Ross, co-director of the March for Women’s Rights, tells Deepa Fernandes that reproductive rights for women of color means much more than just the right to an abortion.

LGBT Series: Part 3: The State of the Homefront  (3:57)
Ohio has come one step closer to passing state legislation that bans gay marriage as today the measure passed an important legislative committee. President Bush said in his State of the Union Address on Tuesday that he believes marriage should only be between a man and a woman.  There are a couple of measures in Congress that would constitutionally ban same sex marriage, and a new ABC poll shows that a majority of the people polled are against gay marriages, however over half of the people also think each state should decide the issue for itself.  The issue of same sex marriage will be a hot topic in the presidential campaigns. Though all 8 Democratic candidates oppose a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage, none of the top contenders support it either. Mitch Jeserich brings us this national report in the third part of our FSRN special series looking at the worldwide assault on the rights of LGBT communities.

Centro Ybor Development Project  (4:02)
Called everything from corporate welfare to simply a bad decision, the fallout from another loan default by a private, company that cannot pay it’s debts is beginning to resonate in the community of Tampa Bay. FSRN’s Beth Wolfe reports from WMNF.

Rebuilding Sri Lanka  (5:02)
The UN today urged Sri Lankan separatist group, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) to curb their recruitment of child soldiers which UNICEF reports has escalated despite the ceasefire. The LTTE have been fighting a bloody war against the government for decades with the ultimate goal being sovereignty in the northern and eastern rebel-controlled parts of the country. The 2002 cease-fire was signed between the two forces and efforts to rebuild the country are underway. However many say the rebuilding process is not moving fast enough and in an attempt to rectify this, about twenty international organizations met with the rebel forces yesterday. FSRN’s Miles Ashdown was there and brings us this report.

Mumia Abu-Jamal Commentary: “Ill-ection or Elections to Come”  (3:11)
Mumia’s Critique of Candidates and their lack of addressing poverty.


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