Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux

Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux is a writing fellow at the Prospect. Her email is

Recent Articles

The Last Rural Abortion Clinics in Texas Just Shut Down

AP Images/Pat Sullivan
S ince November, the last abortion clinics in East Texas and the Rio Grande Valley, some of the poorest and most remote parts of the state, have been hanging on by their fingernails. The two clinics, both outposts of a network of abortion providers called Whole Woman’s Health, stayed open with slimmed-down staffs while their owner, Amy Hagstrom Miller, struggled to comply with the first chunk of HB2—the voluminous anti-choice law passed by the Texas legislature last summer—which requires abortion doctors to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital. Today, after weeks of failed negotiations with nearby hospitals, Hagstrom Miller announced that both clinics are closing their doors. The clinics in Beaumont, about an hour east of Houston, and McAllen, just north of the Mexico border in the Rio Grande Valley, were the last rural abortion providers left in Texas. Between July, when HB2 passed, and November, when the admitting privileges requirement went into effect, nearly half of...

Daily Meme: Vladimir Putin is Delusional Like a Fox

In the wee hours of yesterday morning, while you were still blissfully asleep, Russia's president and tiger-fighter-in-chief , Vladimir Putin, gave a strange, rambling press conference. In it, he insisted to reporters that there were no Russian troops on the ground in Crimea , and likened U.S. foreign policy to a dark science experiment. "They sit there across the pond as if in a lab running all kinds of experiments on the rats," he said. “Why would they do it? No one can explain it.” The strange remarks prompted immediate speculation about the state of Putin's mental health. A few days ago, the New York Times reported that Angela Merkel had tried—and failed—to talk sense into Putin, concluding that the world leader is "in another world. " Julia Ioffe says that Merkel is right—Putin has lost his marbles . But is dealing with Putin really, as Mark Halperin claims, like "playing Russian roulette" ? Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates is "amused" by the headlines. Putin, he says, isn't...

The Doctor Is Out

Conservative governors are pushing abortion politics onto health boards—and threatening doctors’ independence on other medical issues.

On a Friday evening in June 2012, Jim Edmondson walked out of a meeting room in a sprawling government conference center north of Richmond, Virginia, and into a jostling scrum of reporters. “They were asking me questions with all these microphones in my face,” he says. “It was a shock to see so many media people.”

Daily Meme: The Collapse of Bitcoin, the Online Currency You Never Fully Understood

Yesterday, Mt. Gox, the world's largest trading platform for bitcoins—the virtual currency that started circulating online in 2009— suddenly went blank . Bitcoin prices crashed. Bitcoin enthusiasts insisted that this was merely a minor hiccup on the currency's path to world domination . For those of us who are not immersed in this confusing online culture, the collapse of the Tokyo-based Mt. Gox raised a lot of questions. Such as, what is a Bitcoin , and how can a virtual currency go bankrupt ? Why were people investing in a currency that is "like Tinkerbell: if people stop clapping, it's going to die" ? Although you might not be directly affected by this blow to the Bitcoin economy, many others are watching the trembling of Mt. Gox with alarm. Criminals , for example. Last fall, when the federal government shut down a huge online drug emporium that took Bitcoin as a form of currency , it suddenly became apparent that Bitcoin was a great way for people to sell illegal goods with...

Should We Call the Midwife?

AP Images/Katie Collins
E arlier this month, a bill advanced in the Arizona state legislature that would ban the use of midwives in the state during births where the mother has had previous caesarean sections, is delivering multiples or might face breech birth. How best to give birth is, needless to say, a topic of perennial interest. What follows is a conversation between two Prospect staffers who stand on different sides of the midwife debate. Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux: So basically, last year, Arizona overhauled its licensing protocols for certified professional midwives, allowing them to perform high-risk births at home. Vaginal births after cesarean sections, breech births, twins, etc. And now Kelli Ward, an Arizona state senator, wants to ban midwives from attending high-risk births. She says it's a pro-life issue. Choice quote: “I see the mom and the baby as two separate entities,” Ward said. “I would love to preserve the choice of the mother for their home birth, but that child also needs to have a...