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.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: As we mentioned earlier, people on both sides of the issue rallied outside of the court. That's where NPR's Jennifer Ludden was posted. UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: If you love an abortion provider, make some noise. (CHEERING) JENNIFER LUDDEN, BYLINE: Abortion rights supporters vastly outnumbered abortion opponents. They packed the steps of the Supreme Court, spreading in a dense crowd to the edge of the...

The U.S. Supreme Court next month is scheduled to hear its biggest abortion case in at least a decade, and the reach of that decision is likely to be impacted by the absence of Justice Antonin Scalia, who died over the weekend. A Texas law requires that doctors have local hospital admitting privileges and that clinics make costly building upgrades to operate like outpatient surgical centers. Numerous other states have passed similar laws, and Scalia was widely expected to provide a fifth vote...

Who is among the least likely to use online dating sites? A few years ago, you would have been correct to guess college students or those in their early 20s, a group surrounded by peers and in the prime of their bar-hopping years. But a newly released Pew Research Center study finds the use of online dating sites by 18- to 24-year-olds has nearly tripled just since 2013, making this group now the most likely to use the Web to find partners. "This is a really meaningful sociological phenomenon...

Emily Martin created a state-by-state map of the gender wage gap in the United States. She calculated: Washington, D.C., has the smallest wage gap where women average nearly 90 cents to a man's dollar; Louisiana has the largest gap — women there earn just 65 percent of what men do. Nationally, women earn an average 79 cents for every dollar men do. The gender wage gap is even wider for black and Hispanic women. Martin is the vice president and general counsel of the National Women's Law...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: Now to the surprise twist in the Planned Parenthood story. Last year, an antiabortion group released secretly recorded videos that they said showed Planned Parenthood employees trying to sell fetal tissue. The videos launched a series of congressional and state investigations of Planned Parenthood, including in Texas. Well, now a grand jury in Houston looking into the case has indicted two antiabortion...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: A jury has failed to reach a verdict in the trial of William Porter in Baltimore. He's the police officer who faced manslaughter and other charges in the death of Freddie Gray. Gray was a black man who sustained a broken neck while in police custody this April. Judge Barry Williams told the courtroom today that the jury could not reach agreement on any of the four charges against Porter. He thanked...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript MICHEL MARTIN, HOST: We want to bring you up-to-date now on one of the stories that's been part of the national conversation about police conduct in urban neighborhoods, particularly the treatment of black men. We're talking here about Freddie Gray, a black man who died from a spinal cord injury he sustained while in a police van last April. His death set off both peaceful and violent protests in Baltimore. Six officers...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript KELLY MCEVERS, HOST: A Baltimore police officer on trial in the death of a young black man took the stand in his own defense today. Prosecutors say William Porter failed to seatbelt Freddie Gray into a police van and failed to call for medical aid. Gray broke his neck while in custody and later died. Today Porter told jurors that Freddie Gray seemed just fine when he checked on him in that police van. NPR's Jennifer Ludden...

Updated for testimony from Dec. 9. Officer William Porter is the first of six Baltimore police officers who stand accused of playing a role in the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died after injuries sustained in the back of a police van while he was handcuffed and shackled. Porter, who joined the police force in 2012, faces charges of involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, and misconduct in office. Essentially, prosecutors want him held accountable for failing to...

It's been seven months since protests over the death of an unarmed black man after his arrest erupted into looting and arson, leading Baltimore's mayor to declare a curfew and call in the National Guard. Now, that unrest remains a potent backdrop as the trial begins for the first of six police officers charged in Freddie Gray's death. "I just want peace while the trial is going on," says Missa Grant, standing at a bus stop across a busy intersection from the former CVS that became a televised...

When the state of Maryland wanted to reach dads who were behind on their child support payments, it started in the boarded-up blocks of West Baltimore, in neighborhoods marked by drugs, violence and unemployment. In just four zip code areas, the state identified 4,642 people who owed more than $30 million in back child support. Most of that was "state-owed," meaning that rather than going to the child through the custodial parent, it's supposed to reimburse taxpayers for welfare paid to the...

On a recent Saturday afternoon at his West Baltimore row house, Harrelle Felipa fields a steady stream of interruptions as he breads a large plate of fish and chicken for dinner. His 4-year-old son wants to recite his letters. The 3-year-old brings him a toy that's broken. The tweens play Minecraft on the Xbox while Felipa's teen daughter checks her email. Felipa says he loves it. "This is what my life consists of," he says. "I arrange my life around these guys." It's not the typical image of...

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