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.

When West Baltimore's Renaissance Academy High School hired four African-American mentors earlier this year, student Jalone Carroll wanted nothing to do with them. He figured they would come "mess everything up, and then dip," or disappear. "We didn't know how to take that type, you feel me," says Carroll. "Somebody that cares, somebody that really wants to see us succeed." Carroll is 20, but he has only enough credits to be in 10th grade. He says no one at other schools he attended ever...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: Planned Parenthood says it will no longer accept reimbursement for providing fetal tissue to researchers. The move is an effort to debunk accusations and sting videos, and on Capitol Hill, that the organization illegally profits from the practice. NPR's Jennifer Ludden reports. JENNIFER LUDDEN, BYLINE: Planned Parenthood is quick to point out reimbursements for the cost of providing fetal tissue are...

House Republicans questioned the head of Planned Parenthood on Tuesday, on whether the women's health group needs federal funding. The testimony comes after the release of a series of videos that allege the organization violates rules on fetal tissue donation for research. Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: On Capitol Hill, no federal government shutdown for now, but Republicans aren't giving up on efforts to defund Planned Parenthood....

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVID GREENE, HOST: The head of Planned Parenthood testifies before Congress today. A House committee is investigating videos recorded secretly by an anti-abortion group. That group accuses Planned Parenthood of profiting from the sale of fetal tissue. Planned Parenthood says that is not true, and experts have shown the videos to be heavily edited and misleading. But they have become a rallying point for some Republican...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript KELLY MCEVERS, HOST: After his visit to the White House, Pope Francis took a short ride along part of the National Mall. Thousands of people lined the streets waiting for hours just to get a look at him. NPR's Jennifer Ludden has more on who came out and why. JENNIFER LUDDEN, BYLINE: Thousands jammed sidewalks well before dawn - families, infants strapped into baby carriers, pregnant women who kept having to sit down. And...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript DAVID GREENE, HOST: In the state of Kentucky, Kim Davis, the Rowan County clerk, made big news when she refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses. But this is not the only controversy since the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage earlier this year, as NPR's Jennifer Ludden reports, a handful of states are refusing to name both parents from a same-sex couple on birth certificates. JENNIFER LUDDEN, BYLINE: Miami...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: House Republicans want to defund Planned Parenthood, and that effort began today with the first in a series of hearings. This was all prompted by sting videos that sought to implicate the women's health group in various crimes related to the collection of fetal tissue for research. NPR's Jennifer Ludden reports that much of today's discussion focused on the morality of abortion itself. JENNIFER LUDDEN,...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: The city of Baltimore has reached a settlement with the family of Freddie Gray - $6.4 million over two years. Gray is the black man who was fatally injured after his arrest and ride in a police van last spring. The city's spending board is expected to approve the payout tomorrow. Under the deal, the city admits no guilt, but some think it might affect the criminal trials of the six police officers who...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: We're starting this hour with reaction to the announcement by Pope Francis that priests may forgive Catholic women who've had abortions. Traditionally, getting an abortion can get a woman excommunicated from the church. In the U.S., many priests already do offer absolution, but this broader policy coming down from the Vatican itself is temporary. It's part of a holy year of mercy that starts in...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: Planned Parenthood says a forensic analysis finds the sting videos targeting the group are deceptively edited. The group commissioned this report and sent it today to Congress. Lawmakers are investigating the videos' allegations that Planned Parenthood is unlawfully profiting from donations of fetal tissue for research. The group hopes today's report bolsters its repeated denials of that. NPR's...

Soon after their wedding, Dr. Mimi Lee and Stephen Findley decided to create five embryos. Lee had just been diagnosed with breast cancer, and she worried that treatment would leave her infertile. Now that they're divorced, Lee wants to use them; Findley, however, does not. Those embryos are at the heart of a court case that will soon decide a very modern problem: Which member of a divorced couple gets control of their frozen embryos? For this San Francisco couple, at least, it would seem to...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: A federal judge in California has temporarily banned the release of anymore videos featuring members of an abortion-provider group. The National Abortion Federation had sued, saying a series of sting videos by anti-abortion activists had placed its members in danger. The anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress has used the videos to accuse Planned Parenthood of illegally selling fetal tissue....

The young man behind two undercover videos targeting Planned Parenthood seemed to come out of nowhere. No one had heard of David Daleiden, or his non-profit, the Center for Medical Progress , when he first accused the health care provider of illegally selling aborted fetal baby parts last week . But in fact, the 26-year-old has been helping to create similar sting videos for years and has ties to larger well-known groups that oppose abortion. Update at 4:45 p.m. ET: Democrats Call For Inquiry...

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Transcript AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: A group called The Center for Medical Progress is accusing Planned Parenthood of illegally selling fetal body parts attained from abortions. They're making their case with a sting video. On Capitol Hill, the House Judiciary Committee says it will investigate Planned Parenthood for its part. Planned Parenthood says it's the victim of deceptive editing and false claims. NPR's Jennifer Ludden reports....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4UjIM9B9KQ Updated at 9:03 p.m. ET An undercover video shot by an activist group that was released Tuesday apparently shows a Planned Parenthood official discussing how her group provides researchers with parts from aborted fetuses. The activist group says the video is evidence that Planned Parenthood is selling fetal tissue, which is illegal. The video was made a year ago by the activist group Center for Medical Progress and released in coordination with...

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