Sarah McCammon

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

There's a clinic that's right in Kelsey's town of Sioux Falls, S.D., that performs abortions, but she still drove hours away to get one.

Back in 2015, she was going through a difficult time — recently laid off, had to move suddenly, helping a close family member through some personal struggles — when she found out she was also pregnant.

"I kind of knew right away that this was just not the time or place to have a child. I mentally wasn't ready, financially wasn't ready," she says. "The whole situation really wasn't very good."

Dr. Graham Chelius has delivered hundreds of babies. But when a woman comes into his family medicine practice in Waimea, Hawaii, seeking an abortion, he can only advise her to buy a plane ticket.

"There are no abortion providers on our island," Chelius said, "so if one of my patients wants to end her pregnancy, she has to fly to a different island 150 miles away to get this care."

Abstaining from sexual activity is a surefire way to prevent pregnancy and avoid sexually transmitted diseases. But programs advocating abstinence often fail to prevent young people from having sex, researchers write in the September issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Such programs, sometimes referred to as "abstinence only until marriage" programs, typically advocate monogamous, heterosexual marriage as the only appropriate context for sexual intercourse and as the only certain way to avoid unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.

When Taylor Merendo moved to Bloomington, Ind., nearly two years ago, fleeing an abusive marriage, she needed help.

"I was six months pregnant and at that point in time, I really didn't have a stable place to live," Merendo says.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Broken teeth are all too often a punchline in conversations about poor people in rural places. But for Heather Wallace, dental problems are anything but funny.

"Basically it's just like a nerve pain. Your whole body locks up; you have to stop for a second to try to breathe," she said. "And sometimes if it hurts bad enough, you might cry."

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

After high school, Staff Sgt. Kimi wanted to go to art school, but she didn't have the money. So she joined the military.

Intelligence analysts like Kimi work with drone pilots and others in the Air Force to guide decisions about where to deploy weapons in the fight against ISIS and al-Qaida. (The U.S. Air Force won't release her last name because of the high-security work she does).

Opponents of abortion rights have long argued that public funds for services like cancer screenings and contraception should go solely to health clinics that don't provide abortions.

If you're failing less, then you're succeeding more, right? That's exactly what appears to be happening with birth control in the United States, according to a new study released by the Guttmacher Institute.

Cary Dixon's 29-year-old son has struggled with opioid abuse for years. At first, Dixon says, it was hard to know how to support him as he cycled through several rounds of treatment and incarceration. She says her life revolved around his addiction.

"It's kind of like you're on a parallel track with them," she says. "You wait for the next crisis; you wait for the next phone call. You're upset when you don't get a phone call. You're just — you're desperate, and you're in a state of fear and anxiety so much of the time."

Decorations are sparse at Recovery Point, a residential treatment center in Huntington, W.Va. That's why the bulletin board covered with photos of men stands out. The men spent time here, but didn't survive their addictions. They're all dead now.

"We keep a constant reminder in here for individuals who come into our detox facility. We have, 'But for the grace of God, there go I,'" says Executive Director Matt Boggs, pointing to the words on the board.

Marchers — many of them women — are descending on Washington, D.C., to send a message about abortion to the Trump administration and the Republican-led Congress.

If that sounds like déjà vu, it's not: What the organizers call the March for Life is a protest against legalized abortion, unlike the Women's March last week, which included support for abortion rights in its platform.

A different kind of march

The abortion rate in the United States fell to its lowest level since the historic Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalized abortion nationwide, a new report finds.

The report by the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports legalized abortion, puts the rate at 14.6 abortions per 1,000 women of childbearing age (ages 15-44) in 2014. That's the lowest recorded rate since the Roe decision in 1973. The abortion rate has been declining for decades — down from a peak of 29.3 in 1980 and 1981.

Broadlawns Medical Center has been serving low-income residents of Des Moines, Iowa, and the surrounding countryside for decades. Now there's a twist in Broadlawns' mission as a public hospital: helping people sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

On a recent Saturday morning, Jerrine Sanford traveled half an hour from the small town of Runnells to get her insurance questions answered at a hospital-run event.

Sanford, 47, is out of work because of a back injury. She's worried about the law's requirement that everyone have health insurance or pay a penalty.