The Sunday Magazine

The Sunday Magazine for May 8, 2022

We explore what abortion access could look like in a post-Roe v. Wade U.S., retired Lt.-Col. Alexander Vindman discusses NATO's obligations to Ukraine, we delight in the activist origin story behind Mother's Day, and we dig into the history of book indexes.
Piya Chattopadhyay is host of The Sunday Magazine. (CBC)

This week on The Sunday Magazine with Piya Chattopadhyay:

What abortion access could look like in a post-Roe v. Wade United States

Activist and writer Robin Marty saw it coming. Like many others, she suspected reproductive rights in the United States would be increasingly under threat as the Supreme Court's makeup leaned right. Her 2019 book, Handbook for a Post-Roe America, is a manual aimed at helping readers understand that shift and find the healthcare they need. Marty has covered the pro-choice and anti-abortion movements and spent more than a decade tracking related laws in various states. She joins Chattopadhyay to talk about how we arrived at this moment, the impact of the leaked Supreme Court draft decision on access to abortion, and what the future could hold for the pro-choice movement.

Alexander Vindman won't stand down on our obligations to Ukraine 

Retired United States lieutenant-colonel Alexander Vindman stood up to Donald Trump. Now he wants the world to do more to stand up to Vladimir Putin. The world met Vindman when he testified at Trump's first impeachment trial. He was in on the phone call when the former U.S. president leaned on the new Ukrainian president Volodomyr Zelensky to dig up dirt on a political rival, in exchange for promised military aid. For Vindman, who was born in Ukraine and went on to become the director for Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Russia at the National Security Council, this war is personal. He tells Chattopadhyay why he's thankful for Canada's contributions so far, and what he'd like to see all NATO countries do to bring the conflict to an end soon.

The battle to keep Mother's Day free of politics and profits

Despite what you may suspect, Mother's Day was not invented by greeting card companies. One woman — Anna Jarvis — first established the day in the United States, all in the name of honouring her own mom... and she went toe to toe with flower companies, U.S. presidents and even charities to uphold her singular, sentimental vision for the occasion. History professor Katharine Lane Antolini of West Virginia Wesleyan College tells us the story of Jarvis' childlike devotion to the cause, and the activist roots of Mother's Day that can't be tamped down.

Why a good book's story doesn't end at the index

For the latest instalment of our ongoing language series Word Processing, we're turning to the back of the book, and thumbing through the index. Just because the index starts where the book's chapters end, that doesn't mean there aren't some great stories to be told in those final pages. University College London English lecturer Dennis Duncan captures many of them in his book Index: A History of the, which is the first-ever history of book indexes. He joins Chattopadhyay to trace the index's evolution, from its invention by medieval monks centuries ago... to its present day life as the backbone of search engines, holding our information age together.

Plus: Last Sunday, The Puzzler author A.J. Jacobs put a movie-mashup puzzle challenge of his own to our listeners. Chattopadhyay shares some of the creative [albeit incorrect] responses we received... and reveals the solution and winning solver.


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