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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8:44am

Sat January 24, 2015
Politics

U.S. Once Had Universal Child Care, But Rebuilding It Won't Be Easy

Originally published on Sun January 25, 2015 12:41 am

Julie Byard, head of a Detroit nursery, tells children stories and sings them songs prior to their afternoon nap in 1942.
AP

Stumping in Kansas after his State of the Union, the president said that for most parents working today, child care is more than a "side issue," and that improving access "is a national economic priority for all of us."

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5:13pm

Thu January 22, 2015
Shots - Health News

States Continue Push To Ban Abortions After 20 Weeks

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

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

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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3:40am

Wed January 7, 2015
Law

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

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

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

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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4:54pm

Tue January 6, 2015
Law

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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3:57am

Tue December 30, 2014
Shots - Health News

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

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

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

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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3:36pm

Mon December 29, 2014
Shots - Health News

As More Women Tell Abortion Stories, Both Sides Claim Advantage

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

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

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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4:30pm

Thu December 11, 2014
Shots - Health News

U.Va. Looks At Ways To Curb Drinking At Its Frat Houses

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 1:58 pm

The University of Virginia is trying to crack down on excessive and underage drinking at fraternities.
Jay Paul Getty Images

The University of Virginia is renegotiating its contract with fraternities, which were suspended after a Rolling Stone article described a frat house gang rape. Even though that article has been called into question, U.Va.

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5:00am

Tue December 9, 2014
Around the Nation

At University Of Virginia, Efforts Born Of Discredited Story Go On

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 6:01 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

When a Rolling Stone article on campus rape began to fall apart, activists immediately knew the real losers - everyone who's ever been a victim of sexual assault on campus.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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4:43pm

Fri November 21, 2014
Business

San Francisco Proposes Predictable Scheduling To Help Hourly Workers

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 6:36 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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6:13am

Thu November 6, 2014
Around the Nation

D.C.'s Marijuana Vote Faces Congressional Review

Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 11:15 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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