Sarah McCammon | WGLT

Sarah McCammon

Sarah McCammon is a correspondent covering the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast for NPR's National Desk. Her work focuses on political, social, and cultural divides in America, including abortion and reproductive rights, and the intersections of politics and religion.

During the 2016 election cycle, she was NPR's lead political reporter assigned to the Donald Trump campaign. In that capacity, she was a regular on the NPR Politics Podcast and reported on the GOP primary, the rise of the Trump movement, divisions within the Republican Party over the future of the GOP and the role of religion in those debates; that work earned her a rare invitation inside a closed-door meeting between evangelical leaders and Trump soon after he clinched the nomination.

Prior to joining NPR in 2015, McCammon reported for NPR member stations in Georgia, Iowa, and Nebraska, where she often hosted news magazines and talk shows. She's covered debates over oil pipelines in the Southeast and Midwest, agriculture and environmental issues in Nebraska, the rollout of the Affordable Care Act in Iowa, and coastal environmental issues in Georgia.

McCammon began her journalism career as a newspaper reporter. She traces her interest in news back to childhood, when she would watch Sunday political shows – recorded on the VCR during church – with her father on Sunday afternoons. In 1998, she spent a semester serving as a U.S. Senate Page. She's received numerous regional and national journalism awards, including the Atlanta Press Club's "Excellence in Broadcast Radio Reporting" honor in 2015.

McCammon is a native of Kansas City, Mo. She spent a semester studying at Oxford University in the U.K. while completing her undergraduate degree at Trinity College near Chicago.

Quinn Christopherson was named winner of 2019's Tiny Desk Contest and although the contest only has one winner, there were many impressive and touching performances submitted for the judges' consideration by the 6,000-plus contestants. This summer, Weekend Edition is highlighting some of the stand-out entries.

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.

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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.

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To talk about how Missouri's fight over abortion fits into the larger national picture, NPR's Sarah McCammon joins us now. She has been covering the abortion debate across the country.

Hi, Sarah.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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