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FROM THIS EPISODE

LA County Supervisors unanimously voted to place a half-cent sales tax on the November ballot. The tax would fund transportation projects indefinitely. Will voters be willing to approve a tax hike without an expiration date? Will the proposed transit projects actually alleviate traffic in Los Angeles? Then, at least two women who have had their gender questioned will be competing in the upcoming Summer Olympic Games. We’ll look at the long history of female athletes being the target of gender policing. Next, abortion is a partisan political issue, but it wasn’t always that way. A new book titled Defenders of the Unborn: The Pro-Life Movement Before Roe v Wade explores the evolution of the abortion debate in America. And finally, what’s the point of flossing? An Associated Press investigation found that the medical benefits of flossing are unproven.

Image: https://flic.kr/p/bDZRtC

Producers:
Matt Holzman
Anna Scott
Jolie Myers
Christian Bordal
Sarah Sweeney

A possible sales tax hike and the future of LA transit 10 MIN, 50 SEC

Los Angeles County Supervisors unanimously voted to place a half-cent sales tax on the November ballot. The tax is aimed at making it easier to get around southern California, by generating at least $860 million per year for the county’s light rail network and other transit projects. The tax would continue to fund Metro projects indefinitely. And it needs a two-thirds vote to pass – a hurdle that concerns mass transit proponents, particularly because the ballot will be crowded with other tax initiatives for voters to decide on. Will voters be willing to approve a tax hike without an expiration date? And if so, how much will the proposed transit projects actually alleviate traffic in Los Angeles?

Guests:
Laura Nelson, Los Angeles Times (@laura_nelson)
Michael Manville, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs

Olympic sex-testing and the history of policing athlete gender 13 MIN, 39 SEC

At least two women who have had their gender questioned will be competing in the upcoming Summer Olympic Games. Dutee Chand, a sprinter from India, and Caster Semenya of South Africa have both been accused of being intersex, but will be competing in Rio. Female athletes have long been the target of gender policing. Ever since 1928, when women were first included in international track and field, there has been controversy over some of the athletes’ masculinity.

Guests:
Lindsay Pieper, Lynchburg College (@LindsayPieper)

When did the abortion debate in America begin? 13 MIN, 40 SEC

Abortion has come up again and again on the presidential campaign trail and, no surprise, the rhetoric is split along partisan lines. Most Republicans are “pro-life” and want to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. Most Democrats, on the other hand, are “pro-choice.” But it wasn’t always that way. Before Roe v Wade, the anti-abortion movement was driven mostly by Catholics, who were overwhelmingly Democrats. And in the 1960s, most of the state laws that opened up access to abortions were introduced and supported by Republicans. That’s according to Daniel Williams, a history professor at the University of West Georgia, and author of Defenders of the Unborn: The Pro-Life Movement Before Roe v Wade. So when did the abortion debate in America begin?

Guests:
Daniel Williams, University of West Georgia

What's the point of flossing? 8 MIN, 6 SEC

It turns out, flossing might not be the vital habit that you thought it was. After an Associated Press investigation found that the medical benefits of flossing are unproven, the federal government says there’s little scientific evidence that it prevents gum disease.

Guests:
Jeff Donn, Associated Press (@jadonn7)

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