NEAL CONAN, host:
This is Talk of the Nation. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Abortion remains one of the most divisive and emotional issues in American politics. But 35 years after the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade, even pro-life supporters have to conclude that an outright ban is not in the cards, at least not right now. Last November saw the election of a pro-choice president and a pro-choice majority in the U.S. Senate, which makes it very unlikely that the arithmetic on the Supreme Court will change anytime soon. Ballot measures that amounted to bans on abortion lost in South Dakota and Colorado, and a solid majority of Americans continue to support Roe v. Wade, though most also support some restrictions on abortion. Given the political realities, some pro-lifers say it's time to find common ground with pro-choice groups and work with them to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and the number of abortions. Others argue there can be no compromise with what they regard as murder.
Later in the program, "Ask Amy's" Amy Dickinson joins us to take questions about how the recession is straining relationships. You can email us on that now, if you'd like. The address is email@example.com. But first, can there be common ground on abortion? How is this playing out in your life? Our phone number is 800-989-8255; email us, firstname.lastname@example.org. And you can join the conversation on our Web site. That's at npr.org; just click on Talk of the Nation. We begin with Jay Sekulow, the chief counsel for the American Center for Law & Justice. He joins us from the studios there in Virginia Beach. And nice to have you back on the program.
Mr. JAY SEKULOW (Chief Counsel, American Center for Law & Justice) Hey, thanks for having me. It's good to be with you.
CONAN: And Happy New Year.
Mr. SEKULOW: Happy New Year to you.
CONAN: And would you agree that the outlook to overturn Roe v. Wade looks pretty dim at the moment?
Mr. SEKULOW: It does, politically, if you're looking at it from a political standpoint or certainly within the court system. There's - probably fair to say there's four justices that would vote to overturn Roe if the case was to come up before the court now, but you have to have five. But I don't take the view that this means there's nothing that can be done, because there's both a legal/political realm to this, but there's also the practical realm, and that - part of that is the advance of medical science. I think the biggest shift in the pro-life - for the pro-life cause has been the sonogram, and the availability of sonograms. And I think you're going to see more and more states put those kind of requirements into their abortion regulations, which say that, look, before the abortion takes place a sonogram should be provided to the mother. That changes the dynamic drastically. So, you're going to still - you'll still see legislation from the states. I think you're going to see legislation that will be litigated in the federal courts, but I think it's going to be an active area. But yes, an uphill battle, no doubt about it.
CONAN: And so, shifting somewhat away from the courts in terms of the frontal assault on Roe v. Wade.
Mr. SEKULOW: I don't think you will see the direct attack on Roe. I don't think that's realistic in a legal setting. I do think you will see increase restrictions on abortion, especially as the medical technology becomes more advanced. You're increasingly seeing - there's this huge dynamic with young people right now, you know, under 30, that have maintained this very core commitment to the life issue, while in some other issues, they're not as conservative as their parents. But on the life issue, they maintain that or even are more so. So, if you start looking at it as a human rights issue, all of a sudden the dynamic changes, and I think that's where you'll see progress. I do think that the call to reduce abortions is always a good thing. How that comes out in legislation, we'll see.
CONAN: You talk about young people; they voted for Barack Obama two to one.
Mr. SEKULOW: They did. But Barack Obama, remember - I'll never forget this - at one of his events, there was a pro-life student in the crowd and he asked a question and the students around him started booing him or hissing the student. And President-elect Obama said, knock that off, we want to listen to what these people have to say; we have to respect them. There's no doubt, he is a pro-life - pro-choice, rather, in his convictions. He is very much in favor of the NARAL/Planned Parenthood line. But there's others that object and object aggressively. So, we'll see. I think this is going to play out in the states, I think that's right, and that will eventually result in federal court action. But I think it's going to still be a very active area. No one's surrendering on the life issue.
CONAN: No, I don't think people are abandoning their principles.
Mr. SEKULOW: Yeah.
CONAN: I did want to ask you, though, there's been some movement to say, look, it's issues like poverty clearly affect abortion rates and how women make their decisions. And that some in the pro-life movement say, we can work with pro-choice people on those kinds of issues that would help reduce the numbers of abortions. Are you hearing that kind of argument?
Mr. SEKULOW: Yeah, you do hear that, because the fact of the matter is that abortion is never - it should never be anyone's first choice, and it shouldn't be - our view is it shouldn't be a choice at all, as far as an individual's decision goes. However, I do think you're going to see, because the president-elect seems to be reaching out on this, this attempt at consensus-building to reduce the numbers. Look, if the number of abortions went down from, you know, 1.4 million a year to 600,000 a year, I'd be very pleased; I would think that's huge progress. So, I think, look, where - areas you can work together, areas where there can be commonality, we shouldn't shy away from those. On the other hand, as I said, this is not a negotiable for a lot of us. And for that reason alone I want to maintain a firm conviction on the life issue. But look, no doubt about it, if you can work with the administration on things where it'll be positive, on issues that'll be positive - whether its hunger, whether it's others - I think - you know, you look at the tragedies that are suffering the globe right now. We're not going to write off an administration that we disagree with on one issue. But on this issue, I don't expect, as you know, that there'll be much negotiation from our side and then nor should there be. That doesn't prevent people working together, though, on common causes to reduce that number of abortions.
CONAN: Just agreeing to disagree.
Mr. SEKULOW: Yeah. And I think, look, that's the American experience. I mean, we do in this country agree to disagree. I take a very firm pro-life position because I really believe it's a human rights issue. The least defensive in our society should be entitled to the same degree of constitutional protection as anyone else. That's not the majority view right now, certainly in the Senate or in the White House. It's probably not the majority view in America, although I think America is very closely divided. So, you do work on areas when there's commonality, and where we can work together, we should do that.
CONAN: Let's bring another voice into the conservation. Randall Terry is here with us in Studio 3A. He's the founder of Operation Rescue and just gave me a copy of his new book, "A Humble Plea To Bishops, Clergy and Laymen: Ending the Abortion Holocaust." Randall Terry, nice for you to be with us today.
Mr. RANDALL TERRY (Founder, Operation Rescue): Thank you for having me.
CONAN: And the - again, would you accept that this is a political reality now, that Roe v. Wade, not likely to be overturned anytime soon?
Mr. TERRY: It is. I bring a little bit different perspective, I think, to the table. The political reality is that at many levels the pro-life movement is imploding. And this recent election shows just how far we have been set back. And what my mission is over the next four or eight or 10 or 12 years is to assess how and why we have failed, because we should've made child-killing illegal by now. Why are we in this mess that we are in? What have we done that is not working? What have we failed to do that we should be doing? And then to implement those strategies at a cultural and political level, so that we can achieve our goal, which is that you cannot kill a human being from the moment of conception until birth in any of the 50 states, period.
CONAN: You call it imploding. What do see as a signs of that implosion?
Mr. TERRY: The fact that 55 percent of Catholics voted for Obama; 42 percent of those who claim to be born again voted for Obama. That people - whereas child-killing used to be a non-negotiable with many voters - there were people that said, I am pro-life; I believe in a child's right to be alive, but yet I'm going to cast a vote for the most ardent supporter of child-killing that has ever won the White House. This shows some kind of a massive disconnect and, in my opinion, a failure in pro-life leaders and in Catholic bishops, the Evangelical superstars, both at the pastoral level and on the TV/radio ministry level.
CONAN: So, do you consider it - well, for example, Pastor Rick Warren is going to be giving the invocation at the inauguration. Do you think he should not be doing that?
Mr. TERRY: If I was asked to pray, I would pray. So, the issue is not, should he pray? The issue is, what does he say? Pastor Rick's judgments are pouring in fast and furious against him from both sides. But the reality is, if he stood up there and said, God, I ask you to bless this administration, but I also ask you to forgive us for the blood of nearly 50 million children that is crying from the ground for vengeance, and I ask you to change the heart of this country and help us, God, to work together to end the killing of the innocent, and then, he went on and prayed for other things as well. But if he prayed something of real substance, like John the Baptist talking to Herod or other great saints that spoke to political leaders, then I would applaud him.
But if he does not say something - we've been down this path before. In 1994, there were Evangelical leaders that met with President Clinton and cut a deal ahead of time that they would not talk about child-killing. And it took John Paul II and Mother Teresa to come on the scene and to forcefully and publicly hold the Clinton administration accountable while the Evangelical community was prepared to cut deals of silence in order to have access. So, I'm reserving judgment on Pastor Rick, but the issue is going to be what he prays.
CONAN: Now here's an email we have from John in Washington, DC: Catholics, Evangelicals and other people of faith are increasingly frustrated with the abortion culture wars and want common-ground solutions that unite Americans behind comprehensive socioeconomic programs that help women choose life. This includes pre- and post-natal health care, jobs that pay living wages and ensuring families are protected by robust social safety net. What hope do you see for common ground and bipartisan energy around those efforts? First, Randall Terry, then we'll hear from Jay Sekulow.
Mr. TERRY: I see very little. I think that one of the things that pro-life people need to do is they need to take the word "abortion" out of any question or any polemic. And just for an intellectual exercise, put the word "slavery" in or put the word "killing Jews" in. Put some horrific historical atrocity in the place of the word abortion. Because obviously, the pro-life position is that we believe abortion is murder. So, substitute the word abortion for slavery. We need to find common ground with the slaveholders so that the need for slavery is reduced, or we need to find common ground with the Nazis so that the need for killing Jews is reduced. There comes a point where that type of logic on its face is foolishness, but because we have become so jaded and so calloused, we lose our moral equilibrium.
CONAN: Let's hear from Jay Sekulow on that.
Mr. SEKULOW: Well, you know, I think this is an issue where that's - you don't have negotiation room on the fundamental human rights aspect of the life of the unborn child, and I think I would agree with Randall on this regard also. I'd like to take the word "abortion" out and put "human rights." Does the unborn child entitled to some basic fundamental human rights, one of which would be the right to live? And I think the answer has to be, yes. So, you don't want to get in the situation where - you know, we had this experience in our offices in Europe. Not too long ago, we had someone speaking and made the statement, you know, there's two things I'm not going to negotiate on: killing Jews and killing unborn children; Randall alluded to that.
And while I'm not - no one is taking the historical aspects of one and applying it to the other in direct context, but there is a causal link. And the causal link is in both cases, lives were exterminated, and we don't usually tend to want to say, well, if Hitler would have reduced, as Randall said, the number from six million to two million, it would have been a step in the right direction. Now, for those four million, it would have been a step in the right direction, true. But from a political standpoint and legal standpoint and moral standpoint, the answer is, no, life is life, and it's not negotiated.
CONAN: We're talking about the future of the pro-life movement today as we head into a very different political landscape. Are you hearing this discussion where you live? Give us a call, 800-989-8255. Email us, email@example.com. Stay with us. I'm Neal Conan. It's the Talk of the Nation from NPR News.
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CONAN: This is Talk of the Nation. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. We're talking today about the future of the pro-life movement within a new political environment. Given the unlikelihood that Roe v. Wade is going to be overturned anytime soon, where should the pro-life movement go? Is there room for common ground with pro-choice movements as well? Our guests are Jay Sekulow, the chief counsel for the American Center for Law & Justice; and also with us is Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue. And let's introduce another guest, Father Thomas Reese, senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University, a Jesuit priest. And Father, nice of you to come in today. We appreciate it.
Father THOMAS REESE (Senior Fellow, Woodstock Theological Center, Georgetown University; Jesuit Priest): Nice to be here.
CONAN: And is there room for common ground?
Fr. REESE: Well, I think that there is an opportunity for common ground of various groups getting together and saying, OK, what can we do to reduce the number of abortions? Many of us would like to have abortions eliminated; that's a goal. But in order to get to that goal, why not work together also to reduce the number of abortions? And that is something that the new president has said he's interested in doing. I think we should take him at his word and see, OK, let's sit down and figure out, what are the programs that will help women to choose life, to choose to have their children? For example, right now, Congress is working on expanding health care for children.
CONAN: The SCHIP program.
Fr. REESE: The SCHIP program. Certainly, that is something - I mean, if a woman is thinking about having a child and she's worried about, you know, if the child gets sick, how is she going to take care of it, this is something - you know, we can take that load off her mind by providing health care for pregnant women and for children.
CONAN: Some would say this is working with the enemy.
Fr. REESE: Well, you know, I think we don't want to demonize various sides. Politics is about trying to find common ground. Politics is about trying to see what you can actually accomplish. I mean, there is a role in the political ground for prophets who continue to point to what is wrong in society and how we should change. But there's also a role for politicians who have to work in the real world and say, OK, if we can't get what we really want, how can we get partially there? And I think this is what some people are trying to do. Granted the fact that we've got a president who is pro-choice, a Congress which is pretty pro-choice, well, what are we - are we going to just sit at the sidelines for the next four to eight years, saying we don't like what they're doing, or are we going to try and improve the situation, in other words, reduce the number of abortions during this time period?
CONAN: OK. Randall Terry, you wanted to get in here?
Mr. TERRY: Yeah, the - I think the question is flawed, and the answers therefore are flawed. The - if abortion is murder, then what we need to be doing as the pro-life movement - in addition to any incremental steps that we can make such as the ultrasound legislation, requiring women to see an ultrasound of their baby before they have it killed - what we need to do is we need to have an urgency both in our rhetoric and our actions that is equal to the crime. The very fact that we could sit and discuss in calm tones how we could work with the enemy, you know, shows such a callousness of our conscience. We have lived alongside this evil for so long that we have lost our sense of horror.
If someone was going to be killed on the other side of the glass here, we only have two appropriate reactions. One is to scream our lungs out, and the other is physical intervention. So, where the pro-life movement is failing and where the line of answer that Father gave and where we do agree is we want to end child-killing. But where the line of reason falls is that the pro-life movement has failed to meet this holocaust with actions and rhetoric that are equal to the crime. So, what we need to be doing over the next four years is ratcheting up our rhetoric, is becoming like the movement to end child labor or the movement for women's voting rights or the movement to end segregation.
CONAN: I think...
Mr. TERRY: These people were obnoxious in the public square, and they ultimately prevailed in their goals.
CONAN: Let me just ask Father Reese, do you think that that kind of thing would be productive at this point?
Fr. REESE: I think that, again, if you look at the civil rights movement, we saw that civil rights moved incrementally. We, you know, we moved - it took a long period of time, and it moved quite incrementally with, you know, a little legislation here, a little legislation here, as things...
CONAN: Supreme Court decision here, Supreme Court decision there.
Fr. REESE: Yeah, as things moved forward. I think - you know, I'm sympathetic to the issues that have been raised, but at the same time, I have to ask the question, if I can work with the enemy or anybody to reduce the number of abortions by say 10, 20 percent over the next eight years, that - we're talking about 100,000 to 200,000 children a year.
Mr. TERRY: Which would be great. But what we don't want to do is to do it in such a way that causes us to lay down the weaponry of our total victory.
Mr. TERRY: That's the issue.
CONAN: Let's get some listeners in on the conversation. Let's go to Renee. Renee is calling us from Charlotte, North Carolina.
RENEE (Caller): Hi, Neal. Love your show.
CONAN: Thank you.
RENEE: Love you. It's the most amazing show, I think, on NPR. I am a pro-lifer, because I am a believer in Jesus Christ. And I think one of the strategies the pro-life movement is going to have to do is to address the issues that lead to pregnancy, and I don't think pro-life does enough of that as far as family, as far as sex - not having sex before marriage. And the most important thing: getting men involved. I work with a lot of youth, urban and otherwise, and it's sad that this dialogue is always limited to women and what women want. And no one's ever kind of finding out for the young men who are getting these girls pregnant how they feel about it. And to me, until the pro-life movement does that and gets men involved who are, you know, fathering children or creating children, it's always going to be this kind of women's issue and we're not going to get anywhere. And the second thing, the - Brother Sekulow - loved his passion, but we've got to do this thing with love. I'll take my comments off the air.
CONAN: OK. Thank you very much.
Mr. SEKULOW: Can I address that if I can? Because I appreciate the passion comment. But you know, and Randall knows this because I represented Randall for 20 years almost and - or probably longer than that now actually. And when I'm in a courtroom, I always try to present the most coherent, reasonable and logical reason why I'm correct as a matter of law. We saw that in the partial-birth abortion cases. Yes, it's true that that was on the fringes of the life issue because most people were opposed to the practice. But what it did do, by allowing the case to go to trial, ultimately trying them and doing the Supreme Court work on, what it ultimately did was allow for - and I think it's significant - an understanding of what actually takes place in the abortion arena.
Now, the days of - when Randall was running Operation Rescue and the days of the major sit-ins and protests in front of the abortion clinics, like the civil rights movement, those comes in - they come in waves; it comes in seasons. The one differential I'd have with the father - and I mean this with due respect - while the progress in the civil rights movement was gradual, there were cataclysmic events along the way that propelled it to the next level. And if you look at the history of the pro-life movement, we've also had those events. And in the civil rights movement, it was probably over a period of 20 years, if you looked at it historically and just in a straight analysis.
That's not so true with the pro-life movement. We've had these cataclysmic, these major events. They tend to propel the issue forward, and then I think what Randall is saying is, then they tend to recede back very quickly, and that's the danger. So, the passion is important and the rhetoric is important, but we also have to realize that this is a fundamental human rights issue and we shouldn't be authorizing the killing of unborn children as a matter of human rights and human dignity.
CONAN: Let's get another caller on the line. And Marion, Marion with us from Southern Pines in North Carolina.
MARION (Caller): Hi, Neal.
MARION: Yes, I'm calling - I am a pro-choice, non-practicing Catholic, just to identify myself. And I just want to say I am very concerned about the need to reduce the number of abortions. And I do think that we really could take a deep breath and step back and that we could come together, you know, with common ground for doing that by agreeing that we need to have a coherent, comprehensive, age-appropriate sex-education program in America. And you know, that's where I think that we could all work together and see some really good results. And I'll take my - I'll take the comments off the air.
CONAN: OK, and let me ask Father Reese about that.
CONAN: Sex education, one of the areas that you think there could be common cause?
Fr. REESE: Well, yeah. I mean, the bishops have supported sex education in Catholic schools and also in public schools.
Mr. TERRY: It depends.
Fr. REESE: But you know...
Mr. SEKULOW: Based on abstinence. Based on abstinence...
Fr. REESE: Well, let me continue. It depends on how the sex education is done. You know, parents have to be involved in here. The last thing we want is some teacher coming into a classroom telling the kids, hey, don't worry about it; have as much sex as you want. It's all fun. Just don't hurt anybody, and make sure you wear a condom. That is not what parents want taught in public schools. Parents want their children not to have sex when they're teenagers, and the public school should be on board with that. Now, we have to be realistic. We have to know - while we're pushing abstinence, we also have know that a lot of kids aren't going to follow that and therefore we have to have a safety net of teaching them about how to not get pregnant. I think that's - but the school system has to be on the side and the teachers have to be on the side of abstinence. And any teacher who isn't shouldn't be involved in teaching.
CONAN: Let's get another caller in. This is Carly, Carly with us from Birmingham, Alabama.
CARLY (Caller): Hi, there Neal. Thank you for your show.
CONAN: You're welcome.
CARLY: I am a 25-year-old pro-lifer and practicing Catholic. And the lady who answered my call was, you know, asking me how I felt if - not if, but when - Roe v. Wade - she said it will never get overturned, and how do I feel about that and how can we help the pro-life movement move forward without Roe versus Wade getting overturned. And I'd like to hear the guests' comment about that, but I also like to say that there's efforts around the US, 40 Days for Life, there's the March for Life in Washington, D.C., that will be a couple days after the inauguration. There's...
CONAN: On the anniversary of the decision, yes.
CARLY: Yes. There is the Walk for Life in San Francisco. And I think Catholics, as well as all Christians, need to get involved. I don't think it's just a Catholic issue or a, you know, Christian issue; I think everybody needs to get involved. And you know, there's Catholic priests like Father Pavone and Father Ritenhauer(ph) that are ardently speaking about it, but it needs to be everybody. And I agree with the caller's comments earlier, Renee, talking about men need to get involved as well and figure out why these women are getting pregnant. They're not just having one abortion; they're having two, three, four and five, and after a while they just become desensitized about all of it. And...
CONAN: So, Carly, you want to stay focused on the overturn of Roe v. Wade even though with a pro-abortion - excuse me - a pro-choice majority in the Senate and a pro-choice president, not likely you will see a pro-life Supreme Court justice added.
CARLY: That's right.
CONAN: Yeah. Let's go to you, Father Reese.
Fr. REESE: Well, I mean, I'd like to see Roe v. Wade overturned myself, but I think it was bad law. On the other hand, I think, again, we've got to be realistic here. Not only does it have a very difficult chance getting overturned in the Supreme Court - because even the conservative judges believe in stare decisis - but even if it was...
CONAN: Keeping the decision going.
Fr. REESE: Yeah, yeah.
CONAN: Previous - holding to previous decisions, yes.
Fr. REESE: Even if it was overturned, it simply throws it back to the states. And you know, most states where people are having abortions are going to continue to keep it legal. And in those states where abortion becomes illegal, all a woman has to do is get in her car and drive to the next state and then it becomes - then she has her abortion. So, you know, reversing Roe v. Wade is not going to stop abortions. We have to educate people; we have to convince people of the validity of our position if we're going to have this turnaround.
CONAN: We're talking about the future of the pro-life movement. Carly, thanks very much for the phone call. Appreciate it.
CARLY: Thank you, Neal.
CONAN: You're listening to Talk of the Nation from NPR News. And let me reintroduce our guests. You just heard from Father Thomas Reese at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University; with us here in the studio also is Randall Terry, the founder of Operation Rescue, and Jay Sekulow is with us from Virginia Beach, where he is the chief counsel for the American Center for Law & Justice. I wanted to get to a couple of emails. This from Kaye in Ohio: I had to get an abortion for health reasons at the age of 31 - hardly a kid. I would love to help reduce abortions while retaining full choices for women. However, the pro-life groups have been very cruel, calling us murderers and so forth. I would feel physically threatened to be amongst them. And that goes to your question of ratcheting up the rhetoric.
Rev. REESE: Yes. I recently did a 14-episode TV show on the history of social revolution, and our time doesn't permit us, but I would encourage all of your listeners to do is this: look at the rhetoric, the images, the actions and the sacrifices of people who fought against the Stamp Act, the Boston Tea Party, the end of slavery, the end of child labor, women's voting rights and segregation. And what I found as I studied these various social movements was that, number one, they were all facing insurmountable odds. And what Samuel Adams said was, he said, you don't need a majority to prevail; you need an irate, tireless minority keen to set fires in the minds of men.
And what we must do - it's clear that, I would say, in the next four years, we're not going to overturn Roe, and we're not going to get a pro-life justice out of President Obama. That's not the question. Father is right that Roe is only going to throw it back to the states, and there are some states, like California, New York, that are going to be diehards in support of child-killing until we either have federal legislation that bans all child-killing from the moment of conception or a constitutional amendment. But our goal - we must never lose sight of our goal, we must not stop talking about the goal and we have to import those tactics of the other social revolutions that prevailed so that we can prevail.
CONAN: Let's see if we can get one last caller in, and this is Ian, Ian with us from Honolulu.
IAN (Caller): Yeah, hi. I'm glad for the conversation, but my concern is that, especially with what the last speaker said, and it goes what the father said about needing to try and convince people of our argument, is that, you know, we - the both sides on this argument demonize the other side, not just on the issue of abortion, but on other cultural war issues. And that's why we're not getting any progress on reducing the number of abortions and other things like this. Because - I mean, just look at what happened to Obama. The people who said they voted for him because he was hopeful and wanted to bring in a big tent and work for each other demonized him because he let Pastor Rick Warren, someone who we agree with on a ton of issues, speak at his inauguration.
So, my concern is this: You know, Martin Luther King didn't demonize white people when we were - when during the civil rights movement, but the pro-life forces, of which I'm a - you know, I'm pro-life, but you know, if we demonize the enemy into talking about them and being so hateful and so almost, like, appearing violent towards them when they just have a point of view that is wrong and needs to be changed; it's not like they're, you know, Hitler killing Jews. They don't understand the issue in the way that we need them to see it. And if we don't do that - and the left as well. The left doesn't start looking at the right in a different way on this issue as just, like, Christians...
IAN: Trying to impose the religion, then we're going to be hosed.
CONAN: You've got the last word on this. Thanks very much for the phone call. Appreciate it. Ian calling us from Honolulu. Thanks to our guests as well, Jay Sekulow, the chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice; Father Thomas Reese, with us here in the studio; also Randall Terry. Thank you all very much for your time today.
Fr. REESE: Thank you, Neal.
CONAN: When we come back, money, a perennial problem for couples to negotiate - well, money is more of a problem than ever. "Ask Amy" joins us. This is NPR News.