Background Briefing: May 5, 2022


Republican Moves to Ban Medication Abortion Which is 54% of all Abortions

We begin with a flurry of bills in red states legislatures to criminalize abortion and in blue states to protect abortion providers with Louisiana Republicans advancing a bill that would charge a woman, as well as anyone who assisted her, with murder if she got an abortion while conversely in Connecticut a bill was just passed to prevent abortion providers from being extradited to other states. Joining us to discuss the next frontiers in the battle over abortion is Moira Donegan, a writer living in New York whose work has appeared in The London Review of Books, Book Forum and The Paris Review. She is a columnist at The Guardian and we discuss her latest article “As the US supreme court moves to end abortion, is America still a free country?” as well as moves by red states to ban medication abortions which now account for 54% of all abortions.


Rumors Putin Has Cancer and is Crazy Allow Him a Nuclear Advantage

Then we examine rumors that Vladimir Putin has cancer and has had to hand over power to the arch-nationalist head of Russia’s security council Nikolai Patruchev in order to undergo cancer surgery. Joining us is Oleh Kotsyuba, the Manager of Publications of the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University. His research focuses on literature that struggles to come to terms with the experience of living in authoritarian states, focusing primarily on 20th century and contemporary Russian, Ukrainian, and East European literatures and cultures.


The Economic and Political Consequence of the Fed Interest Rate Hike

Then finally we assess the economic consequences of the Fed’s decision to raise interest rates by a half of a percent and how that will impact the November elections and speak with James Galbraith, Chair in Government/Business Relations and a professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. Having served in several positions on the staff of the U.S. Congress, he directs the University of Texas Inequality Project and is an adviser to  the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025, and his books include The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too and Inequality: What Everyone Needs to Know.