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Interview With "Persepolis" Author And Film Director Marjane Satrapi; Interview With Chilean President Gabriel Boric; Interview With "The Family Roe: An American Story" Author Joshua Prager. Aired 1-2p ET

Aired September 26, 2022 - 13:00:00   ET




CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Hello everyone, and welcome to AMANPOUR. Here's what's coming up.

Iranian protestors stay on the streets defying a government crackdown and they spread to Tehran's embassies abroad. I'm joined by Marjane Satrapi,

the groundbreaking author of "Persepolis". Then.


GABRIEL BORIC, CHILEAN PRESIDENT: We have to work stronger on the principles that sustained democracy.


AMANPOUR: My exclusive interview with Chilean President Gabriel Boric. At 36, he's gone from left-wing grassroots activist to reimagining a safety

net for Chile's democracy.

Also ahead, first came the floods. Now the disease-ridden waters. A special report on the horrors facing Pakistan's children. And.


JOSHUA PRAGER, AUTHOR, "THE FAMILY ROE: AN AMERICAN STORY": Her life really is a testament to how important class is when it comes to abortion.


AMANPOUR: Author, Joshua Prager talks to Michel Martin about the real-life Jane Roe. Her famous case at the Supreme Court, legalized abortion in the

United States. And what her story says about America today.

Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.

For 10 straight days, protests have engulfed ever increasing parts of Iran. The most severe since the so-called Green Revolution of 2009. The fury this

time is over women's rights, especially the current hard-line government's crackdown on the dress code. It erupted after the death of 22-year-old

Mahsa Amini, who had been hauled in over her headscarf by the Morality Police and died while in their custody 10 days ago.

State media and human rights group say that dozens have been killed in the violence so far. Despite internet restrictions and the harsh reaction of

security forces. The protests show no sign of abating. In fact, they're spreading. Demonstrations took place outside the Iranian embassies in

London and Paris over the weekend.

Joining me now is Marjane Satrapi. A French-Iranian author and filmmaker who rose to global super stardom with her graphic novel "Persepolis" which

tells a story of her coming of age in Iran during the birth of the Islamic Republic and her personal struggles with that oppressive environment

Marjane Satrapi, welcome to the program.

MARJANE SATRAPI, FILM DIRECTOR AND AUTHOR, "PERSEPOLIS": Hello, Christiane. Thank you for having me.

AMANPOUR: So, I wanted to get your feeling as you watch what's unfolding there. How does it make you react, given that you saw quite a lot of that

when you were much younger and still growing up in Iran?

SATRAPI: Well, obviously it gives me lots of sadness because I -- the situation doesn't change. When I wrote "Persepolis", it was this hope that,

you know, we're -- we will be leaving in a better word and in a better Iran. The situation has not changed. It gives me lots of anger, but at the

same time, it also gives me lots of joy because this revolt, these demonstrations, they're extremely different from all whatever else we have

seen here in Iran.

Actually, to sought, for example. The first demonstration against the veil, that was in 1980. The women went to the street to contest that they didn't

wanted to put veil. But not only they were alone, they were not so much supported by the men. But even the leftist opposition left them alone

saying that the veil that was not their problem and that was a fight of social classes.

When that was a demonstration in 2009, the Green Movement, again that was a seek for a reform. They want, you know, the country to be transformed. And

that was this reformist, the so-called reformist that were actually part of this system. Mousavi was the big leader but at the same time, he was the

prime minister of Iran with -- at the darkest time actually of the Islamic republic. And that was the reform.


SATRAPI: Now, what I see actually is a fight for the women, but the women, they are not alone. There are with boys.

AMANPOUR: So, let me ask you --

SATRAPI: The boys and girls, they're all this new generation.

AMANPOUR: Marjane, let me ask you because you said it's very different this time. And you have been speaking to young people in Iran --


AMANPOUR: -- from where you are in Paris. What are they saying to you?

SATRAPI: Absolutely.

AMANPOUR: Boys and girls, what are they saying to you?


SATRAPI: What they say to me is that they don't want the system anymore. They want democracy. I mean, they don't believe in the reform and their

rights. Iran's government is a dictatorship. If a dictatorship opens for reform, for being transformed, it stops being a dictatorship. Reform and

dictatorship doesn't go together.

So, this is something not possible. You cannot make this government to become a democratic government because it's -- it is not -- it is made --

in its spaces, is a dictatorship. And they want a new -- they want a new government. They want a new regime. They want a new system.

And I talked to them and this generation, they're very, very different from us. I mean, we have to know that, you know, the time that the Islamic

revolution happened, only 40 percent of Iranian people, they could read and write. Now, it's above 80 percent of them.

This people they have -- they're born with internet. They have access, actually, to the information around the world. This new generation -- first

of all, they claim not to be sexist at all. You see -- I mean, the big slogan is, zan, zindagi, azadi. Woman, life, freedom. And the Human rights

-- I mean, the women rights is the human rights.

In any society, Iran or anywhere else in the world, if the women are repressed, if half of the population there were -- they're actually worth

half of the other half just because of their gender, we cannot talk about democracy and human rights. Women right and human right is the same thing.

And this is something that they have understood.

So, that gives lots of hope because I always thought and I always believe that the biggest enemy of democracy is the patriarchal culture. Yet these

young boys, this young -- I spoke actually with one today, and he was like, of course, we are equal to the girls. Of course, there is no difference.

And the -- this generation, you cannot fool them like they fooled our generation. And Iranian people, in general, they're much more secular than

40 years ago.

And this is exactly the basis of the problem. You have a government which is not absolutely in touch with its population. It doesn't know what the

population wants. They think they are the majority. They have a basis, for sure. But this is not the majority of the country. If the majority of the

country was with the government, it would not be called a dictatorship again. And, yes --


SATRAPI: -- so, knowing all of that, if a government is not in touch with its population that it cannot govern them because you have to know your


AMANPOUR: Well, we'll talk about that in a minute because this has been going on for 40 years and more, as you've just said. But I want to play

just so people understand this battle with the Morality Police has been going on since the very early days of the revolution. And you, yourself,

wrote about it, drew it in your boo, "Persepolis", and then it's a scene obviously in, you know, in the film. This is you at 13 being confronted by

the Morality Police.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): What's that outfit?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): And those punk shoes?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): What punk shoes?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Those.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): They're sneakers.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): That style is punk.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I'm on my school's basketball team.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Is that a basketball jacket?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): What's that? Michael Jackson?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): That symbol of western decadence.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): No, ma'am, it's Malcolm X.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Michael Jackson.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Your scarf, slut.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): You're coming with us.


AMANPOUR: So, there they are. Hauling you off to, you know, their jail, et cetera. You -- how did you get out of that? How did you -- yes. Get out of


SATRAPI: Well, you know, the veil is -- actually, this veil is the symbol of this Islamic. You know, it's the big tree that hides a big forest. A

veil is an excuse. I mean, when we were kids, I mean, they literally told us, men, when they will see your hair, they will become horny. And this is

why you have to cover your hair.

So, I don't know. I mean, if somebody by seeing my hair or by seeing my body, the reaction that it creates in this person is out of my business.

That is their business. If they become horny, you know, they can take a cold shower, or I don't know, go and see a shrink or try to look somewhere

else, you know, to the sky or something. So, that is the way we grow up.

So, the way, itself -- you know, like each year we fought a little bit to have one millimeter more of hair coming out. And it was another question of

fashion, each millimeter of hair, for us, that we could show more, it was a step forward towards our freedom.


Because this veil, actually in Iran, means you, woman, you're a sexual object that is just here for the desire of the man, you tempted the man.

So, this is why for you not to create this temptation, you have to cover your hair. Now, what they forget actually, in this society, the woman of

this society, 60 percent of the students in Iran, they are girls, and our best they are girls.

They only Nobel Prize that they have had in the history of Iran was won by the woman. The biggest medal in mathematics, science was won by Maryam

Mirzakhani in Iranian woman. The Iranian novelist, the women, they are the one that are the most translated, the most read, et cetera, et cetera.

I just saw, you know, in America, they published the name of the 10 most successful bankers in the U. S., and three of them, they are Iranian women.

They have this highly educated, extremely powerful, extremely intelligent women, and they tell them you have to cover your hair because we might get

tempted by you. Well, just don't get emptied. You know, I mean they reduced the woman to this -- to the -- to just a piece of me.


SATRAPI: And if you want to talk about a piece of me for the Iranian people, you know, raw, medium, or well-cooked, a mawla (ph) is a mawla

(ph). That's not going to change. And that is why they want to change --

AMANPOUR: OK. That's --

SATRAPI: This is what they're asking for.

AMANPOUR: -- that's interesting, you say it won't change.

SATRAPI: They don't want reform anymore.

AMANPOUR: But in fact, the Morality Police are more aggressive and less aggressive over the last period of 20 plus years, depending on which

president is in power. So, the question I have for you is certainly a lot of expat --

SATRAPI: Yes, but still we --

AMANPOUR: -- let me finish.


AMANPOUR: A lot of expats hope and a lot of people there hope that this is the end of this dictatorship as you put it. But is it? We've seen protests

come and go and we've seen them be brutally put down.

SATRAPI: Yes, I know. But every movement that has been a suppressed and has been put down has put us a little bit forward. You know, democracy is a

culture. Is -- actually, is an education. You have to have a democratic culture, actually, to inspire to the democracy. Otherwise, it does not

work. We have the example of Afghanistan, for example.

So, when you have this youth that want a change, maybe it will not happen today and maybe it will, you know, let's not lose our hope. Maybe it will

happen. But this is the basis, you know, of the future. The future of this kids that are 20 years old now. The future of the country is not some old

bearded guy sitting, you know, somewhere hiding from the population. These are the future. And this is the people of Iran.

And when people they want equality, when people they want freedom, after a while it breaks down. Never forget -- we should never forget that Soviet

Union with all their KGB, everything, for 70 years, you know, they were big dictators. We are right. We are right. At then they explode because the

human being is made for freedom. It's not being -- for being or phrased.

And this whole idea that human rights is a westerner conception. No, it's not a westerner conception. It's a standard for living and it concern all

the human being. And again, this question of veil and the police of that, you know, if I -- me, as a person, I don't have the right to wear what I

want or to show my hair or not to show my hair. How do you expect me to have the right to think or to express myself or to express myself or to

choose for myself?


SATRAPI: I mean, this is completely a ridiculous situation when you have a very advanced society, an extremely modern society and people that want to

bring it back to 40 years ago --


SATRAPI: -- like, if this 40 years -- 43 years never happened.


SATRAPI: Time advance, you know.

AMANPOUR: Marjane Satrapi, thank you so much. It's really great to give your -- to get your insights. Thanks for being with us tonight.

Now, my next guest invoked Mahsa Amini in his first speech to the U.N. General Assembly. Chile's new president, Gabriel Boric, made an impassioned

call to fight for the kind of democracy that Marjane Satrapi has just been talking about. It comes at a time when anti-democratic forces are making

inroads across the world.

Only yesterday, Italian voters appear to have handed power to a far-right wing coalition. But Latin America seems to be bucking that trend. Boric, a

progressive was elected president of Chile seven months ago after a meteoric rise by student activism and a stint in Congress. He has a laundry

list of challenges, including trying to push through the first new constitution since military rule. An effort that was rejected by voters

earlier this month.

I spoke about all of this with President Boric when we met for an exclusive interview on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York.



AMANPOUR: President Boric, welcome to the program. It's great to have you on. You are noticeably, I think either the or one of the youngest leaders

in the world right now.

GABRIEL BORIC, CHILEAN PRESIDENT: I think with Sanna Marin from Finland.

AMANPOUR: OK. Great. Two pretty dynamic leaders in the world right now. You started politics, you know, as a young person at the grassroots. How does

it feel to actually be president now?

BORIC: Well, first of all, thank you very much for this interview. It's a great honor for me to be with you. And I know that you have interviewed

such great leaders throughout your career. And for me, it's a huge responsibility. And I take accountant for that.

And I'm really proud about what we're doing in Chile because a new generation with new ideas. But that also learns from the past. We know and

totally understand that the world doesn't start with us. So, we have to learn about history -- Chilean history and world history. And I'm really

excited about also feeling the responsibility that we have nowadays. Not only in our country in Chile, but also in Latin America and the world.

And yesterday, I had some great meetings with some leaders like Emmanuel Macron and Jacinda Ardern, Pedro Sanchez, et cetera. And I think we can

push some leaderships to the world to make it better.

AMANPOUR: You just mentioned it's a dynamic new era in Latin America.


AMANPOUR: Some five nations, obviously, including yours, including Colombia just recently, have moved to left of center politics, out of a very sort of

right of center tradition. How do you explain that?

BORIC: Well, I think that there are two crises in parallel. The COVID and economic crisis that happens since then. But also, the willing of the

people of more justice and equality that has not been able to being provided by just market. And just the ideas that right wing parties have

in, at least in Latin America. That they think that -- or they tend to think that only if big companies do well, we all going to do well. And I

think people is really tire of that. Of seeing the inequality that we have in our country.

AMANPOUR: You know, you say people are tired of the status quo and the inequality. And actually, you put so much personal political capital into

the new constitution. And this was a constitution that many say was a vision of the triumph of hope over fear, as they described your election.

It had, you know, it had articles and clauses for just about every stakeholder in your country. And yet, it failed epically. 62 percent of the

nation, that you say are tired of the current status quo voted against it.


AMANPOUR: In the days since, have you had a -- I -- have you had a moment to think about why that happened. Why they rejected it?

BORIC: Yes, actually we have been thinking about it even before the election. So, one of the first lessons that we've got and that's -- and

historical lesson also, is that you cannot go faster than your people. And I have said this before in some interviews, but like, pretending to be

ahead of your time, it's an elegant way of being mistaken. In my opinion at least.

And so, the verdict it of the people of Chile, it was -- we want changes. We want profound changes, that's my interpretation. But we want to keep

what we have earned through the last decade and we know that changes does not fulfill from night to day.

So, we have to go a little bit slower. And that's OK. And we're going to fulfill a new agreement to have a new constitution during our period. And

I'm pretty sure we are going to make it there. It's going to be a little bit longer than we would have liked. But that's democracy.

And one of the main things that I am proud of is that in the most difficult times that Chile has experienced in the last two decades, at least, we

decided to resolve our difference with more democracy. None with less. And we respect that.

AMANPOUR: There are critics who say that it was an entirely leftist constitution. That the idea of the center right or further right was not

represented. Do you accept that?

BORIC: No, I don't think that's true. It was a constitution that was built with two-thirds of agreement in the convention. And before that we had a

big election and that's what people expressed then. You have to remember also that we had another plebiscite before that --


-- where 80 percent of the Chileans said we want a new constitution written by a special organ totally elected for that matter.

AMANPOUR: So, obviously democracy is a key theme of your presidency. And you -- it was the key theme of your speech here at the U.N. In your region,

in Brazil, very soon, there's going to be election. And we've already heard the current president, Jair Bolsonaro, suggest that if it doesn't go his

way, he may pull a Trump. He may decide to not recognize it and say it's all fake news and it's rigged, et cetera.

Do you anticipate that? Have you had a chance to talk to him? And what do you think yourself and your continent can do to protect democracy even in

another country like Brazil?

BORIC (through translator): What I'm saying is that we cannot take democracy for granted. We're in times the countries that are democratic, we

get use to them and you think they can last forever. But we don't have to see how they are eroding underneath. And there are certain leaderships

which, actually, they didn't seem to believe in democracy, obviously with Jair Bolsonaro -- but only with Jair Bolsonaro. We've also seen it in the

case of Nicaragua.

So, then I think that the countries with which we share our values, I'm thinking about -- in particular about Latin America or about the European

Union -- well, America in general. We have to associate with each other a lot more. It's been a long time since there has been a relationship -- I

would say, a deep relationship beyond the commercial relationship between Europe and Latin America and the States and Latin American. I think we have

to improve it on it a lot more so that we can fortify those values.

Aside from that, we have to teach why is democracy so important Why, nowadays, why do we believe and we have the conviction that we have to

solve our problems by way of other collective deliberation, which is much better than taking an authoritarian way? That's not obvious for a lot of

people. And I think that we are leaders in that. If we are going to be leaders in that, we have to have those convictions very strongly.

AMANPOUR: Can I quickly asked you about relationships with North America? There is a movement around the World to ask for justice and apologies and

accountability in post-colonial, post-empire, and post-interventionist periods. Of course, the world knows what happened in Chile and America's

role in the support of the military dictator Augusto Pinochet. Do you, as today's president, do you expect an apology from the United States?

BORIC (through translator): The United States has had a very important role in terms of the overthrow of the President Allende in September 11, 1973 by

way of the CIA. And that has been -- well, also a President Nixon at that time. He was very clear, in terms, of strangling the Chilean in the economy

so that the situation could be generated. And this is something that, of course, in Chile we cannot forget. But we are also capable of turning a new

page and understand that nowadays we're in a very different place.

Of course -- and aside from that, even in the United States as to which changing its position. From supporting a coup d'etat, of supporting a

dictatorship from the beginning to one or more critical to position. I think that it would be very good that the United States should reflect in

terms of its conduct this within the world. It has contributed to improving democracy, I don't think so.

But that doesn't mean that we can avoid or tarnish our relationship with the United States on health. And I was a witness to see how there was a

certain sector. A sector of American politics which directly does not believe in democracy as we saw in the takeover of the Capital of the

declaration of the ex-president. I think to the relationship with President Biden -- I had a very good conversation with ex-President Obama yesterday.

And I think that very positive things could come forth for Chile and for United States.

AMANPOUR: You've made climate and the environment a key plank of your government. And it was meant to be represented in the constitution as well.

And yet, Chile also makes a huge amount of its economy on certain metals in the extraction of lithium and other things that are needed in the tech

world, but also very environmentally, you know, destructive as well, the extraction of them. How do you plan to push forward, you know, climate

change goals and need to, you know, your government and the economy, et cetera?

BORIC (through translator): Chile is deeply committed with the challenges, with the genetic confront climactic crisis. We only produce .44 percent of

the emissions that produced the greenhouse effect regarding contaminating gases. We have committed, by law, to be carbon neutral by 2050. And we'll

reach that goal, as much as possible, before then.


But we have -- some of this very particular is that effectively we have the raw materials. And those -- that is a necessary pathway to for a green

economy in terms of the carbon, lithium, the production of green hydrogen. It is extremely important for the changes that we have to make in the


So, I feel that nowadays, Chile needs the world. The world actually, as it is today, and the world needs Chile as well. So, what we are doing is to

raise the standards regarding the extraction of these minerals. And to link in the knowledge of production in terms of the production chain for a

technological transfer, but also consciously knowing that we're trying to help the climate change.

But aside from that it, we are on a very important campaign in terms of the protection of the oceans. Chile, 42 percent of its coastline is protected.

Along with a New Zealand, along with Norway, along with Fiji, along with the United States, along with Ecuador, and other countries. We -- as well

as Canada, we are in alliance to protect the entire Pacific coastline. And of course, the other coast little countries that I mentioned. It's very

important because the ocean is one of our main assets to be able to fight against climate change. And Chile, in this, has been a pioneer and we want

to continue contributing in that direction.

AMANPOUR: Can I just move to a more personal issue which also has bigger resonance around the world right now? And it is actually up about mental

health. And you have spoken quite openly and freely about your own issues, OCD and the like. My question is, why have you decided to speak openly

about it? What do you say to your people and people around the world? And how has it affected you? I mean, your president of your nation?

BORIC (through translator): Yes. Well, thank you for the question. When you have a wound, when you have a broken bone, it's noticeable. It bleeds and

you can see it and you have to undergo a treatment to be able to heal it. But when you have an affectation regarding mental health, many times you

hide it. And there's a very large discrimination regarding on how you are treated regarding that.

Look at how people say, don't be crazy, don't act schizophrenic, don't be bipolar as it was an insult. And they are diseases. And more than anything,

I think the first barrier we have to overcome to be able to confront seriously these issues of mental health is to be able to having them stop

being a stigma.

I have an obsessive-compulsive disorder that's completely under control. And, thank God, I've been able to undergo treatment and it doesn't make me

unable to be able to carry out my responsibilities as representative as the president of republic. And I think this is something that's very difficult

to accept for a lot of people. But we have to be able to speak about mental health because mental health is very important.

In my country, only two percent of the budget regarding public health is destined for mental health because we haven't outspoken enough about it.

And more than anything, it's a burden. It's something that we keep it deep inside. And I think that when persons like me who have a public committee,

I can speak freely about this, we will help a lot of people who can -- to be able to feel better and also to facilitate the access for treatment.

mental health does not have to be taboo and I have no problem in I'm speaking about it openly.

AMANPOUR: Well, I really do appreciate -- a lot of people appreciate your frankness and your openness on this. So, you know, as part of a part of all

this, you said during your speech here at the U.N., as a young person who was on the street protesting not very long ago, I can tell you that

representing unrest is a lot easier than producing solutions.


AMANPOUR: So, a little bit about that. And then some of the things you do to unwind, it's very well known that you really love music, you play music,

you listen to it a lot. Give me -- talk to me a little bit about that.

BORIC (through translator): Regarding the first thing, it's a lot easier to be able to be in the middle of the moment of the party regarding the

protest, the revolutionary party. But in any event, the following day, we still have to pick up the garbage. And we have to make sure that the

institutions run well. And for that, this is a point I always wanted to make is that one does not possess the ultimate truth to be democrat. It

means that you have to understand that whoever might think differently from you might have an interesting point of view that could improve yours.


I have a person from the left. And I highlight the historical principles of the left and particularly the Latin American internationalism. But in any

event, I know that people who might think differently, for example, people from the sector to the right in Chile, they might have ideas that are very


Saying this, in terms of the other question, to be president doesn't turn you into a machine. It cannot turn you into a machine. I don't believe that

a good president is the one who's a 24/7 with -- in the midst of papers or in meetings all the time.

To be able to read literature, to be able to read poetry and Chilean poetry is exquisite. Not only Gabriela Mistral or Pablo Neruda who are the better-

known ones. But also, Remfry Kalim (ph), Marta Brunet. But also, music. I listen to a lot of music, from classical, even to contemporary music. It

gives you a better perspective to be able to think. Books and music is a void to unknown dimensions at times that help you make better decisions,

from my point of view.

AMANPOUR: And what's with the Swifties -- and Taylor Swift?

BORIC: Amazing you asked.

BORIC (through translator): I do not know much about her, Taylor Swift. But when the campaign began, she has a large number of fans here in Chile and

they started to show me her music, her records "Cardigan" red. And it's not the type of music that I would say that I would be -- have -- listen to the

most in my life.

But it seems like incredibly interesting, her career. How she's been able to rerecord her records as a product of being in her fights and being

swindled. And I think it's pretty beautiful how she has been an inspiration for an entire generation. And to be able to raise her voice and -- as I

say, "Only The Young" -- the song, "Only The Young", I think it has been incredibly expiring -- inspiring for a whole generation. So, a big hug to

Taylor and I hope we can meet one day.

AMANPOUR: President Gabriel Boric, thank you so much indeed.

BORIC (through translator): Thank you very much. Are very strong hug. It's been wonderful to speak with you. And I'm completely available to answer

more questions about Chile of -- for which we feel very proud.


AMANPOUR: So, it is indeed wonderful to talk to a president who has his finger on so many pulses. But also, as president, he's tackling the climate

crisis in Chile, which is really difficult. While in Pakistan where they have almost no carbon footprint, people continue to bear the brunt of

unprecedented floods that have left nearly a third of the country underwater. Aid agencies now warn the disaster is only beginning. As

children suffer the growing risks of water borne diseases.

Correspondent Anna Coren has this report on the devastating effects. And a warning because it also includes images of children in distress and some

who just don't survive.


ANNA COREN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voiceover): In the scorching heat, a couple carry their listless child towards a packed wooden boat,

ferrying sick villagers through the flood waters. The mother grabs her daughter and finds a place to sit. The eight-year-old is burning up.

She's got a high-grade fever and has become unconscious, explains her mother.

Let's go. Let's go, yells a villager.

The mother then wets her daughter's brow with the very same water that has made her so sick

Pakistan's months long catastrophic floods that inundated one-third of the country, affecting 33 million people are still causing unspeakable

suffering. The monsoonal rains may be over, but the volume of stagnant water is now causing a health crisis, especially in Sindh. One of the worst

hit provinces in the country southeast where cases of cholera, dengue, and dehydration have surged.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have seen families and children consume the very flood water that they are surrounded by. And that is what -- because they don't

have access to any other water source.

COREN (voiceover): As they reached the shore, it's a race against tiles. The nearest hospital is hours away by rickshaw, and her daughter's

condition is worsening.

These young mothers have found medical care, although their newborn's barely have the energy to cry. They've come to the Nawabshah Mother and

Child Hospital where the critically ill are taken to the resuscitation ward. A baby's chest slowly rises and falls as oxygen pump through a tube

helps this infant to breathe. Lying beside it, the body of another baby that didn't make it.


For the doctors here, this is agonizing. Up to a dozen children are dying each day from flood related illness, which is unheard of in the small


This girl has cholera, says Dr. Nazia (ph). Their body is going to shock. We try to rehydrate them with fluid they've lost.

One of the four children sharing this bed appears to be going downhill rapidly. Heart monitors are placed on the chest of five-year-old Ekra (ph),

who is severely stunted. Her heart is slowly beating but her eyes glaze over. Minutes later, she dies. A nurse prepares her tiny body for an

Islamic burial, as her sister and grandmother weep outside.

Of the more than 1,500 people have died since June from Pakistan's climate change induced catastrophe, more than one-third have been children.

Millions upon millions remain homeless. Having lost homes, crops, and livestock.

Ronnie is one of them. She wonders if the waters will also take her youngest, three-year-old, Abbas (ph), who is suffering from malaria. Death

is a better option for us, she says. We accept it. One should not have to live like this.


AMANPOUR: Truly tragic what Anna Coren has just brought us there. People in that part of the world paying for the climate irresponsible --

irresponsibility of the developed world.

Turning now to the United States, where a judge in Arizona has ruled the State can enforce a ban on nearly all abortions. It follows the Supreme

Court overturning Roe versus Wade this summer. Now, our next guest has spent a decade researching the life of the woman of the heart of that

landmark ruling known as Jane Roe. Author Josh Prager, details it all in his new book. And he speaks to Michel Martin about Roe's life and her



MICHEL MARTIN, CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks, Christiane. Joshua Prager, thanks so much for talking with us.


MARTIN: I think it's (INAUDIBLE) to a number of people to find out that Norma McCorvey, the women who came to be known as Roe. Never had the

abortion she's thought. She in fact gave birth three times. That she was in a long term, same-sex relationship, you know, with the women that she -- in

fact, through most of her life, she was attracted to women. And that her life was tough.

I guess the way I would put it is from reading your book, she experienced a lot of pain and she inflicted a lot of pain, you know, in her life. So, as

briefly as you can just tell us how Norma McCorvey came to be Jane Roe.

PRAGER: So, you're right, Norma was a very difficult person. Her life was messy and filled with contradictions, not easy to put her into any little

box. In a sense, in my opinion, she, sort of, embodied Roe perfectly. Her story was, sort of, perfect for the telling of the largest story of

abortion in America also because the very same things that came to define, in my opinion, abortion in this country or came to make it so fraught also

did that for her personal life. Mainly, the sort of seeming irreconcilability of sex and religion.

She was in her young years, part of a very, sort of, count and cultural Bohemian community. She was out and proudly in the 1960s in Texas when that

was a difficult thing to do. She was, for a time, also having a very difficult life selling drugs and she was a prostitute. All of that is, sort

of, set upon the fact also that she was raised in a very religious home, the Jehovah Witnesses.

So, as I say, she was exposed to both of these sides. And to answer your question, how she becomes Roe -- Jane Roe. Well, she's given up -- she's

already relinquished two children to adoption and had suffered for doing so. It was very difficult for her to do that emotionally.

She's now pregnant and the third time in 1969. She does not want to go through that again. However, abortion is illegal in Texas. She cannot

afford to fly to where it is legal, namely, California or to go to Mexico. And she doesn't know what to do.

She goes to her adoption attorney, a man named Henry McCluskey, and he says, you know what? I happen to know a woman I grew up with. We both went

to this -- we went to a Baptist Church together in Texas. Her name is Linda Coffee. I know she's trying to fight the abortion laws here in Texas. I can

connect you with her. That's how Norma then gets to know Linda Coffee and Sarah Weddington and becomes Jane Roe.

MARTIN: One of the points that you make in your book is that -- and this is going to be hard for some people in the pro-choice movement to hear,

frankly, as that they -- you got the distinct impression -- at least, certainly, Norma got the distinct impression that a lot of the leaders of

the movement who were closest to her kind of looks down on her.


PRAGER: Her own lawyers, Sarah Weddington, in particular, really marginalize more. Did not want to give her a seat at the table. I can tell

you, she doesn't even tell her that she herself had had an abortion, Sarah Weddington. And that she had worked -- she was working at that time for an

abortion referral network in Austin.

So, even though Norma's pregnancy was, sort of, nearing the end of a possible window that she could have an abortion, towards the end of that

second trimester, there was a flight every Friday that flew from Texas to California. American Airlines to help bring women up to the 20th week of

pregnancy to have an abortion. They could have pointed this out to Norma, they did not because she was more valuable to them as a plaintiff. They

needed a plaintiff.

And even after Norma sees her plaintiffship through, relinquishes her child to adoption, you know, it's important to say, even after that point she had

not wanted actually to fight for a woman's right that she was at that moment. She just simply wanted an abortion.

But even after the case was behind her and years go by, and she then, sort of, wants a seat at the table in the mid to late 1980s, she re-approaches

the leaders of the movement, including Sarah Weddington. Even after all of that, they don't want her there. She doesn't speak about abortion in terms

it's -- that's are comfortable for them.

And it's a very depressing thing. What ends up happening is the leaders of the pro-life movement want her to hold her as close as the leaders of the

pro-choice movement, sort of, pushed her way. And so, she's very vulnerable to, sort of, being won over.

I'll mention that the other plaintiff of the case that was the companion case to Roe, Doe v. Bolton, Sandra Cano, also is sort of vulnerable in the

very same way, also was not given a seat at the table. And both of them ended up becoming sort of pro-life advocates.

MARTIN: It has been reported subsequently that -- and this isn't to, sort of, diminish the sincerity of Norma McCorvey's views on this or anything

about how she felt. But it has been reported subsequently that members of the pro-life movement paid her in part for her advocacy. Is that true?

PRAGER: It's totally false. I had all of her taxes and everything, and I spoke to her. So, there was a documentary film, a.k.a Jane Roe that made

this allegation. What is 100 percent is that Norma knew that in switching to the other side, she would be now paid to give speeches to the half of

the country that she had previously alienated, just as she was paid to give speeches to the pro-choice side. But she was not paid a cent to actually


To use an important word that you said, sincerity. You know, Norma needed to ring a living out of her plaintiffship, and she did. She did her best.

She was paid -- she got by, paid to give speeches on both sides. And she would, sort of, say whatever someone wanted to if they paid her. However,

she actually did have an opinion on Roe and on abortion.

And I know that she was sincere but then she said it several times to very different audiences. In the first interview she ever gave, days after Roe

V. Wade, she told a Baptist newsletter that she believed in abortion -- in a legal right to abortion only through the first trimester. She said that

again to Ted Koppel on "Nightline".

The day after her conversion, which infuriated her new friends on the pro- life movement, and she said it to me at the end of her life from the hospital. So, this is actually which he did believe.

MARTIN: There is a center of gravity around abortion rights in America, and that center of gravity seems to focus on, you know, first trimester,

certainly rape, incest, life of the mother. But a number of States don't even acknowledge those exceptions. One of the things I learned from your

book is that those kinds of extremist views have always been part of the movement, but they weren't policy in the United States.

PRAGER: Yes, in fact, the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest body of the evangelical parishioners of America, they were pro-choice steadfastly

so until the 1980. So, you know, to step back, yes, Norma, unbelievably, represented that, sort of, majoritarian middle ground.

In terms of ambivalence, what's amazing is, even the people at the forefront of the various movements, it's acknowledged that abortion was

complicated. Mildred Jefferson, a remarkable person, one of the central characters of my book. First black woman to graduate Harvard Medical School

and one of the leaders of the pro-life movement.

When she becomes the head of the National Right to Life Committee, she is saying in 1978, that she feels that there needs to be a total ban on

abortion, no exceptions. Well, just three of her fellow 50 plus board members agreed with her. So over, again and again and again, you see that

it was sort of nuance. And then what happens? Well, it becomes a politicized issue.

In the mid-1970s, the National Right to Life Committee in 1976 challenges presidential candidates to take an abortion on a personal matter.


The idea that you would introduce an amendment to the constitution saying that a fetus as a person. And little by little, that sort of starts to gain

currency. They see that there's political goals here. The GOP and the Democrats, they introduced positions on abortion into their platforms in


And by the time Reagan is elected in 1980, one year after the moral majority, sort of, helps to bring him to power, where evangelicals and

Catholics have bonded together on this issue, then it really is sort of, like, wow. OK. Now, we're off and running.

And it becomes more and more and more extreme to the point that by the late 1980s, you basically can't -- you can no longer be an elected Republican

official who's pro-choice, and an elected Democratic official who's pro- life. Jesse Jackson, Ted Kennedy, Dick Gephardt, Al Gore, they all flipped. George Bush, Ronald Reagan, they flipped. And, sort of, here we are now


MARTIN: This seems to have an enduring quality that makes it very difficult for people to come to any sort of political compromise, which is really the

only choice. It has to be, kind of, worked out in the political process. And I'm just wondering what is your thought about why it is that this issue

has so endured as a wedge issue.

PRAGER: I do think it goes back to that same thing I was speaking about before. Sex and religion, you know, it's sort of the puritanical

foundations of our country. And both sides, unfortunately, sort of, I think, cynically manipulated people, and people fell in line so quickly.

You know, religion actually isn't -- if you go back in history, so black and white on this. Even the catholic church, until just about a century

ago, recognized a difference between abortions pre and post quickening (ph).

But there obviously is something also very unique about abortion itself. It involves not only sex and religion, but life and death, gender autonomy,

all of these different things. And again, you have a very cynical, I think, politicians who really preyed on folks for their own political benefit. You

know, Arlen Specter said in the mid-1990s that we need to take abortion out of politics, but it was impossible by that point.

But now, we see what happens -- what's going to happen. You know, Roe galvanized the pro-life, and Dobbs is galvanizing the pro-choice. And we

see, leading up to our midterm elections that there are many politicians now, on the Republican side, who are softening their stances. Saying, you

know what? I need to get elected. And I need to not say that I'm now 100 percent pro-life but maybe I recognize exceptions.

And we're seeing that there is a divide in the pro-life (INAUDIBLE). And it is going to be very interesting to see what happens in the midterms. On the

one hand, you have the absolutists. On the other side, you have the implementalist. And the pro-life community is nimble.

Initially, post-Roe, they say, OK. They threw their weight behind a human life amendment, and when that then fell out of favor with their leading

politicians, including Reagan by the way, who shifted, and said, you know what? The way we can really tackle those issues to import, then the pro-

life community internship and they say, OK. We're going to lead that, sort of, go for all at one smooth approach. And we're going to go little by

little by little. And they do it. They have great successes over the years.

The Hyde Amendment, Webster, Gonzalez, SB8 in Texas, little by little by little, chipping, chipping, chipping away. And now, here we are. We're

going to have to see what happens. There's a major divide between these two factions in the pro-life community.

MARTIN: As we are speaking now, the South Carolina Senator, Lindsey Graham, who has also proven very nimble, as you put it, --


MARTIN: -- in his -- and around this. I mean, initially he said that the Supreme Court -- that the State should decide this and then he -- within

literally a matter of weeks --


MARTIN: -- introduced a nationwide proposal that would tolerate abortion up to 15 weeks, and then would offer exceptions for rape, incest, and the life

of the mother. I think he seemed to have introduced it as a, sort of, safe harbor for Republicans, but others are furious about this. Some people in

the Republican leadership are furious about this. And they've made it clear that they don't support this. How do you understand that? Like what is this

-- how does this fit into the politics around Roe and history of the politics around Roe?

PRAGER: Well, it's very easy to be, like, 100 percent opposed to something when it's just, sort of, hypothetical and theoretical. You are now going to

have to deal with people in your State, girls and women, who are going to suffer the consequences of that. And these people are voters.


Just step back. One thing, one of the amazing things about writing about Norma for me was that you see what happens when a woman is made to carry to

term a pregnancy she doesn't want. It's not only the woman who suffers, it's her children who suffer. And you see the children who are born, who

she did not want, and you see in very real human terms in my book what happens.

And that is now what these politicians are facing. So, OK. You know, you're now seeing a fascinating thing as South Carolina, Lindsey Graham State.

They just had a major, sort of, divide amongst their pro-life elected officials. And they did not pass legislation that would have made abortion

a complete ban. They ended up at six weeks. Basically, these legislatures got nervous.

But you're also seeing now in Indiana that they did just pass a total ban from conception. Guess, with a few exceptions but still a complete ban.

Now, you know, we're going to start seeing more and more stories about women and girls who suffer as a result of this. And that is what Lindsey

Graham is trying to, sort of, barred against. You mentioned a safe harbor. But will it offer political safe harbor? I do not know. My guess is that

we're going to know a lot more after the midterms.

MARTIN: Before I let you go, you mentioned that Norma McCorvey had a difficult life. How do you understand, kind of, the end of her life? It

didn't end in a way that, I think, people would've wanted. If -- it just seems like a -- the sadness of her life seemed to continue to the very end.

PRAGER: Yes, I was actually with her when she passed away, along with her eldest daughter, Melissa, and their family. You know, Norma was a great use

to members on the pro-choice side when they needed a plaintiff, they were desperate to find a plaintiff and she was the only one they could, sort of,

only find. She also was seen outstanding in the eyes of the party. She was the only one. They wouldn't have chosen her if they don't have to. She was

of great east them.

Then on the other side, she's a great use to them. Here she is telling, you know, fabulous stories about what these crazy conditions in abortion

clinics where she worked. And again, how she's overcome by grief, et cetera. Very little of what she said was true. She's great use to them. She

was an enormous use to them as a fundraiser. She helped both sides enormously.

But at the end of the day, to use her words, she felt like an orphan. She felt betrayed by both sides. And she had been betrayed. It's unbelievable.

At the end of -- one side really used her body and one side used her, sort of, spirit. And then when they didn't need her anymore, they let her go.

So, it's very sad.

And at the end of her life, Norma is lamenting this. Above all, you know, what she was s lamenting? That she couldn't be who she wanted to be. She

wanted to be pro-choice up to a minute, and she wanted to be gay. And there was no room for her there in either side. When she became pro-life, they

made her renounce her homosexuality.

I just want to say the most profound thing for me about Norma when I think about her life nowadays is that her life really is a testament to how

important class is when it comes to abortion. Norma's own lawyer had money to get an abortion. Norma didn't have money to get an abortion and so she


When she was pregnant that third time, she found an abortion provider, an illegal provider, but a safe provider in Texas. But that man cost $500, she

didn't have that money. And so, she wasn't able to get an abortion.

And that's one of the key things now. You know, half of the women who have abortions in our country, they live below the federal poverty level. And

that act -- you know, well, there was a very good report from by the Center for American Progress that basically says where abortion is more readily

available than contraception is needed. Woman not only at better health but higher earnings, better professional prospects, et cetera. And where they

don't, they don't.

Well, Norma didn't. And you see the profound effects of class of her life. And I think we're going to see that continually, you know, as we now move

ahead into this post-Roe world. That basically we are a more divided country than we've ever been. I stepped on the side of the State line, I

can have an abortion and all that comes along with that. I step on the side of that State line, and I can't. And that really is a tragedy.

MARTIN: Joshua Prager, thanks so much for talking with us.

PRAGER: Thank you for having me.


AMANPOUR: And finally tonight, as we mentioned earlier, the Italian voters have just elected a new prime minister in its most far-right government

since the fascist era of Mussolini. Postwar Italy has seen a roller coaster of rising and falling governments there. But Giorgia Meloni's success

represents the first turn to the hard right.

And her agenda has LGBTQ and immigration activists worried amongst many. Here she is speaking at a rally with Spain's far-right Vox party in June.



GIORGIA MELONI, LEADER, BROTHERS OF ITALY (through translator): Yes, to natural families, no to the LGBT lobby. Yes to sexual identity, no to

gender ideology. Yes to the culture of life, no to the abyss of death.


AMANPOUR: So, join us tomorrow night when we'll get into all of these issues with Italy's ambassador to the UK. That is it for now. Thank you for

watching and goodbye from London.