Sarah McCammon

Sarah McCammon is a National Correspondent covering the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast for NPR. Her work focuses on political, social and cultural divides in America, including abortion and reproductive rights, and the intersections of politics and religion. She's also a frequent guest host for NPR news magazines, podcasts and special coverage.

During the 2016 election cycle, she was NPR's lead political reporter assigned to the Donald Trump campaign. In that capacity, she was a regular on the NPR Politics Podcast and reported on the GOP primary, the rise of the Trump movement, divisions within the Republican Party over the future of the GOP and the role of religion in those debates.

Prior to joining NPR in 2015, McCammon reported for NPR Member stations in Georgia, Iowa and Nebraska, where she often hosted news magazines and talk shows. She's covered debates over oil pipelines in the Southeast and Midwest, agriculture in Nebraska, the rollout of the Affordable Care Act in Iowa and coastal environmental issues in Georgia.

McCammon began her journalism career as a newspaper reporter. She traces her interest in news back to childhood, when she would watch Sunday-morning political shows – recorded on the VCR during church – with her father on Sunday afternoons. In 1998, she spent a semester serving as a U.S. Senate Page.

She's been honored with numerous regional and national journalism awards, including the Atlanta Press Club's "Excellence in Broadcast Radio Reporting" award in 2015. She was part of a team of NPR journalists that received a first-place National Press Club award in 2019 for their coverage of the Pittsburgh synagogue attack.

McCammon is a native of Kansas City, Mo. She spent a semester studying at Oxford University in the U.K. while completing her undergraduate degree at Trinity College near Chicago.

Updated at 12:32 p.m. ET

In the aftermath of a mass shooting that killed 12 people in Virginia Beach, Va., Gov. Ralph Northam is calling a special legislative session to address gun violence.

"We must do more than give our thoughts and prayers; we must give Virginians the action they deserve," Northam said during a news conference Tuesday morning in Richmond, Va.

With hours to go before the expiration of a state license that allows a Planned Parenthood health center in Missouri to perform abortions, clinics in neighboring states say they're preparing for an influx of additional patients.

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Missouri is within days of losing its last remaining health center that provides abortions. Unless a court intervenes, it will become the first state in the nation without such a clinic.

Planned Parenthood officials say they are filing a lawsuit in state court Tuesday, asking for a restraining order to prevent its St. Louis clinic from being forced to stop offering the procedure after a state license expires Friday.

A growing number of states are passing laws banning abortion in the early stages of pregnancy. Anti-abortion-rights activists see this as an unprecedented opportunity to roll back Roe v. Wade.

Watch the video above to learn more.

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Updated at 2:50 p.m. ET

Opponents of abortion rights have a long history of supporting abortion bans with three major exceptions: when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, or when a woman's life is at risk.

But fueled by momentum from the passage of a restrictive abortion law in Alabama, a coalition of anti-abortion-rights groups released a letter Wednesday asking Republican officials to "reconsider decades-old talking points" on exceptions to such laws.

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Another story now - across the country today, supporters of abortion rights are demonstrating.

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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Now that they're married, Laura and Adam Hardin clearly have figured it out: their two toddlers were pattering around upstairs in their modest home in a Washington, D.C., suburb when NPR visited recently. And Laura's belly was bulging with their third baby — a daughter born last week.

But Adam remembers some anxious moments on their honeymoon almost five years ago — the first time either of them had sex.

"Mostly I think I was concerned with, like, not wanting to hurt her," he says.

Dana Weinstein was 31 weeks into her second pregnancy, preparing to welcome a daughter, when she and her husband were given horrible news: A critical piece of the brain had not developed properly.

"[We were told] that our baby would have seizures 70% of the time — that was a best-case scenario; that when we delivered her, that we'd need to have a resuscitation order in place because she would most likely seize to death," Weinstein said.

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

On the 2020 campaign trail, Democrats are getting personal about their faith.

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KAMALA HARRIS: With faith in God, with fidelity to country...

As Democratic presidential hopefuls work to position themselves as the candidate to unify the country and win over supporters of President Trump, an influential Iowa evangelical leader is inviting them to a forum on religion and politics traditionally reserved for Republicans ahead of Iowa's first-in-the-nation caucuses.

Bob Vander Plaats, president of The Family Leader, said he's sending invitations Friday to the top seven Democratic primary candidates in current polls.

A federal judge in Washington state has temporarily blocked the Trump administration's overhaul of the federal reproductive health care program known as Title X.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Civility is a nice sentiment — but it's harder to put into practice.

Take a contentious debate last year in the Maine House of Representatives over a proposal to ban conversion therapy — a discredited treatment designed to make gay people straight.

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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Days after its official publication, a new Trump administration rule dramatically overhauling the federal Title X family planning program is facing multiple legal challenges.

With greens on the menu and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar on the speakers' list, there was no way salad wasn't going to be the punchline of at least one joke at the annual Gridiron dinner in Washington, D.C. on Saturday.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The Trump administration has issued its final draft of a rule that makes sweeping changes to Title X, the federal program that provides birth control and other reproductive health services to millions of low-income Americans.

When you talk to Virginia Democrats these days, you hear a lot of words like "disappointing" and "frustrating."

That's because the men at the top of state government — and at the center of these scandals — have been well-liked by a lot of people who worked hard to help elect them.

"It really is kind of a hard thing to reckon with — some of your heroes either causing embarrassment or shame or disappointment or anger," said Alexsis Rodgers, president of Virginia Young Democrats.

Updated at 10:35 p.m. ET

Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax is refusing to step down from political office as fallout continues in the state capital after two women recently accused him of sexual assault.

Following those allegations, which Fairfax denies, the lieutenant governor has been placed on a leave of absence from his full-time job at a Northern Virginia law firm. That firm has hired external investigators to look into the allegations.

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Updated at 10:28 a.m. ET

A California woman who has accused Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax of sexually assaulting her 15 years ago has hired the same law firm that represented Christine Blasey Ford in her allegations against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Fairfax has denied the allegation, which first surfaced on a conservative blog and was later described in a report by The Washington Post.

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