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Carnegie-Knight News21 project investigates aftermath of US Supreme Court abortion ruling

Large group of people at a protest with signs that read "No Bans Ever."

Carnegie-Knight News21's "America After Roe" project investigates the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court abortion ruling, which eliminated a federal right to abortion and returned regulation of the procedure to the states. Photo courtesy Carnegie-Knight News21

August 29, 2023

Carnegie-Knight News21, a national reporting initiative headquartered at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, has launched an in-depth look at the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. 

The project, “America After Roe,” examines the impact of the ruling, which eliminated a federal right to abortion and returned regulation of the procedure to the states — upending almost 50 years of federal precedent. News21 journalists traveled to more than two dozen cities in 14 states, as well as Washington, D.C., and Monterrey, Mexico, to report on the decision one year later and its effect on health care, culture, policy and people.

“This decision had widespread consequences — on health care, of course, but far beyond that,” News21 Executive Editor Pauline Arrillaga said. “Patients and providers nationwide have felt the repercussions of this, but we’re also seeing impacts in statehouses and at polling booths.

“The decision to reverse Roe didn’t end America’s debate over abortion. Rather, it inflamed more battles in the ongoing culture wars.” 

News21 fellows began conducting extensive background research in the spring before arriving in Phoenix this summer to begin a 10-week field reporting fellowship. Their stories — produced in text, video, audio, photos and graphics — are available for use by any media outlet. 

The cohort included 25 fellows from universities across the country. 

“As journalists, it is essential to thoroughly investigate issues related to human rights, women’s rights and reproductive rights to ensure we provide accurate information to society, allowing people to make informed decisions and understand the stories of others,” said Trilce Estrada Olvera, a visual journalist who just graduated with a master’s degree in mass communication from ASU.

The project and program “gave me a tremendous leap forward in the direction of the kind of storyteller I want to be, with lasting friendships with brilliant journalists from sea to shining sea,” said Jazari Kual, a fellow representing the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Previous News21 projects have examined topics such as police reform, COVID-19, extremist groups and juvenile justice. Past publication partners include The Washington Post, NBC News, The Associated Press and USA Today.

News21 projects have garnered numerous awards, including Hearst Journalism Awards, the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award and Student Edward R. Murrow Awards, as well as recognitions from leading journalism organizations such as Investigative Reporters and Editors, the Online News Association, the National Association of Black Journalists and the Society of Professional Journalists.

The Knight Foundation provides core support for the program. Individual fellows are supported by their universities as well as a variety of foundations, news organizations and philanthropic partners that include the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, Inasmuch Foundation, Hearst Foundations, The Arizona Republic/azcentral and Gray Television.

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