On the night of september 10, 1997, Toronto police officers raided more than a dozen apartments suspected of being houses of ill repute. Twenty-two women, including the alleged madam, Wai Hing "Kitty" Chu, were charged on a total of 750 prostitution and immigration-related charges. All of the women were Asian and spoke no more than a few words of English.
The 25th anniversary of Roe v. Wade in January of
1998 was a bittersweet celebration. While pro-choice organizations were publicly
paying tribute to a quarter-century of legal abortion, they were privately
worried that the alarming decline in the number of abortion providers would soon
strip reproductive rights of their meaning. After all, what good is the right to
an abortion if there are no doctors left to perform the procedure? Abortion
clinics, like other medical facilities, tend to cluster in urban areas; yet in
1996, one-third of American cities had no abortion services. Women in rural areas
who choose to terminate their pregnancy often have to travel hundreds of miles or
The New Yorker, as the only widely circulated general-interest American magazine without an active Web presence, is one of the last holdouts against the barbarians at the digital gate. Which is why we were surprised when, not long ago, a piece by Malcolm Gladwell, a New Yorker staff writer, popped up in our online Nexis search. A modern marvel, Nexis offers a full-text compendium of more than 30,000 publications. But until recently, The New Yorker has been conspicuously absent from the vast database.