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tv   Nightline  ABC  May 16, 2019 12:37am-1:07am PDT

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this is "nightline." tonight the alabama governor signing into law one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the nation. >> all human life is precious. >> what do we do? >> stand up, fight back. >> the impassioned reactions across the country. >> a doctor in the state of alabama at this point would go to jail longer than my rapist. >> could this be a supreme court showdown? >> reversing rowe isn't the scary boogeyman the other side tries to claim. plus, her story in her own words, describing her own abortion, why she says all women should have save access to the medical procedure. >> who are you to tell me what to do with my body. it's my decision, not yours.
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and vanished in paradise. the young teacher who disappeared in the caribbean after a monster hurricane. one woman's quest to find her missing daughter and the mystery diagnosis giving her hope. >> there are moments that are so close that i think she is around any kourner. but first the "nightline" five.
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good evening. thanks for joining us. tonight heated reactions throughout the country, as alabama's governor signed into law the country's most restrictive abortion ban. the contentious legislation the recent in latest weeks of similar laws passed in other states, sparking a potential showdown in the now more conservative supreme court. overwhelming emotion on the ground in alabama, sweeping across the country. >> i don't know how we got here both as a state and a nation, but it's both embarrassing and a little bit terrifying. >> who are you to tell me what to do with my body? it's my decision. it's not yours. and how dare you tell me it is. >> tonight the governor signing a bill into law effectively outlying abortion in alabama. >> all human life is precious. you certainly efforts to protect the unborn because of cost.
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>> reporter: making it a crime even if the pregnancy was caused by rape or incest. >> do you know what it's like to be raped? >> no, ma'am, i don't. >> do you know what it's like to have a relative commit incest on you? >> on me, no, ma'am. >> what do we do? >> stand up, fight back. >> reporter: the bill sparking intense, partisan fights. >> he did not make a motion! >> reporter: laws like these becoming a new reality, impacting millions of people in states across the country. >> what do we do? >> reporter: setting up a potential showdown in the highest court of the land. >> no law is constitutional until the supreme court revisits roe versus wade. >> i apologize to the women of alabama for this arcane law we passed. >> pay attention to your legislators. >> reporter: inspiring people like mallory hagan. >> i think there's a lot of
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people who just sort of go, it's not my back yard. i don't really care, until it ends up in their back yard when it's too late. >> ms. america is -- >> reporter: she first rhoads to the national spotlight as miss amn 201 >> ms. new york! >> reporter: but hagen, who's from alabama traded her crown for politics, running for congress in 2018. she lost but learned valuable lessons along the way. she's here in montgomery today protesting the law. >> now we have someone who's a victim of rape or incest who has to carry a baby. a doctor would go do jail longer than my rapist. >> reporter: she went to the governor's office trying to convince kay ivy not to sign the bill. >> i can't even make an appointment. welcome to alabama. >> reporter: the alabama bill essentially outlaws abortion from the moment a woman becomes pregnant. the only exception would be if her life was in danger.
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31-year-old dena was there yesterday when the bill passed. >> i was, of course, shocked about the amount of ignorance and the amount of cowardice being displayed. >> reporter: she pointed that 25 who voted in favor all white men. >> i still want one of them to sit down and explain to me to my face after i explained my story, what it feels like to have choice ripped out from underneath you. >> reporter: she says she was 17 when she was raped. she says she was denied an abortion because the law said she was too far along, despite her doctor saying the fetus had a congenital brain defect. >> she said i know how unfair this must seem to you. and that there's nothing else to be done that we would have to see it through to the end. and that was it. >> reporter: the baby was born
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blind, deaf, intellectually stunted and living in incredible pain. >> i watched for a year as she slowly died in front of me. every single day with seedures and unimaginable pain. she passed away when she was 1 years old. >> reporter: the alabama bill also makes it a felony for any doctor who performs an abortion, punishbli punishable by up to 99 years in prison. >> there's a general sense of confusion and alarm. women are concerned about whether they're still going to be able to access abortions at this time. our phones have been ringing off the hook with women calling just wanting to know if repter: dr.roon i one of the few abortion providers in alabama. she says she's now scared but won't stop doing her job. >> i still will provide the gamut of women's health care.
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and i still will work to get women access to the care that they need, and that may mean them going to places outside of alabama. >> reporter: the alabama bill is just the latest in an all-out effort to narrow abortion rights. last week, georgia passed a bill banning all abortions after six weeks, before most women even know they're pregnant. last month, ohio passed a similar law. so far this year, more than a dozen states have restricted or attempted to restrict access to abortions. >> i think this is a historical moment for the pro-life movement and actually for the future of our country. roe is destined to become a historical footnote. >> reporter: kristin hakkens is the president of students for life. she's been rallying around younger generations of anti-abortion rights activists. >> this is kind of a domino effect, where states like alabama are all rushing to be the first state to completely
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ban abortions. and i think that's a huge moment for the pro-life movement 40 years after roe versus wade. >> reporter: but national polls show 70% of americans don't want roe versus wade overturned. one in four american women have had an abortion before the age of 45. in recent days, some hollywood actresses started sharing stories of their abortions, using #you know me. >> it's horrifying that we're in a place in our country today that i could be even talking about this. >> reporter: milla, famous for movies like "resident evil", and "the fifth element", posted her story on instagram yesterday, describing how she had an emergency abortion two years ago. >> abortion is a horrible experience. and if we can ease that experience for women in this nation, in any way, to ease the trauma, we need to be able to do
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that. we need to have them be in safe circumstances, where they feel that they're getting the best help possible. >> reporter: statistics show that the vast majority of women getting abortions are already mothers. nearly half live under the poverty line. >> i truly believe that is her constitutional right. and we can't move backwards, and we can't allow men to tell us what to do with our bodies. who are you to make that decision. >> that decision is between me, my doctor, my family, my friends. but it's my decision. it's not yours! and how dare you tell me it is. >> reporter: the alabama bill and others like it represent a major change for anti-abortion rights activists and politicians. >> my goal with this bill, and i think all of our goals, is to have roe versus wade turned over. >> in 2019 we've seen a major change in tactics and in state
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after state we've seen laws that either come close to or in this case outright prohibit just about all abortions. i think it has everything to do with the composition of the supreme court. >> reporter: the big change came with the appointment of brett kavanaugh, tilting the supreme court with more conservative judges. >> reversing roe isn't the scary boogeyman that the other side tries to claim. we believe there is willingness on the supreme court to actually hear roe versus wade and hear out whether the decision of abortion should be returned back to the states. >> i think that they're absolutely right, that the substitution of kavanaugh for kennedy is a subsequent one. but i don't think anyone knows how chief justice roberts would vote in a case like this. >> reporter: back in alabama, dena says it's bigger than the courts. it's about the people. >> i will continue to use my voice the best way i can, continue to advocate, continue to speak out and use what i can to fight.
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>> reporter: for malory hagen, her mission is to help keep abortion available for those who need it. >> as someone who does have a pretty outspoken voice and does have an online presence and did run for office in this state, i think it's my responsibility to continue speaking up until people are heard. >> the alabama law is set to take effect in six months. up next, retracing the last steps of a missing teacher. the mystery diagnosis that might be behind her disappearance. we don't just make cars... we make technology that moves people ♪ this is the 2019 nissan rogue featuring tech like propilot assist it helps keep you centered in your lane ♪ and in control this is how nissan intelligent mobility is reinventing driving- for everyone. now the most exciting tech you own is in your driveway touch shows how we really feel.
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32 year old hannah rode out
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a horrifying hurricane in the caribbean, only to disappear days later. a mysterious diagnosis and tantalizing clues left behind giving her mom hope. a story full of twists and turns. >> reporter: it was a category five hurricane. erma. a storm unlike any the caribbean paradise of st. thomas had seen before. >> it was in some ways a perfect storm of chaos. if someone's going to vanish from the island without any trace it could have happened then. >> reporter: and that's exactly what happened. 32-year-old hannah, a beloved teacher at a local school had ridden out the storm only to disappear. >> no one had seen her, and i went to her house and she wasn't there. her car wasn't there. >> she drove down to sapphire beach, inside the car were all of her personal items.
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there was no sign of foul play. she simply vanished. >> reporter: what many people didn't know, this was not the first time hannah had disappeared. >> i did not know about her previous disappearances. >> reporter: almost ten years before, hannah went missing in new york city. she was found barely alive, floating face down in the new york harbor. no memory of where she'd been for the past three weeks. doctors diagnosed her with dissociative fuge. >> it means you have a period where suddenly you've lost your auto biographical memories. the memories that define you. >> reporter: this rare disorder is sometimes known at jason bourne syndrome. >> what's your name? >> reporter: from the wildly popular movies about a cia assassin who doesn't know who he is. but remembers his training. elizabeth vargas and a&e's the
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untold story "vanished in paradise" retraces hannah's life and the days before she disappeared. she grew up the daughter of two methodist ministers in oregon, and at 23 became a public schoolteacher in new york city. everybody describes hannah as a bright person, engaging, open. >> reporter: in 2008, she left her new york city apartment to go running and went missing. >> new york city police thought, we're dealing with a terrible crime here. they were looking for a dead body. >> hannah was last seen at her hamilton heights apartment last friday. >> reporter: she became a high-profile missing persons case. >> she seemed to have vanished in thin air. >> someone has caught a glimpse of a missing teacher. >> ten days later she pops up a security footage shows her being approached by a young man who knows her from school saying,
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hannah, you're hannah, right? aren't you missing? and she says, no. i'm not hannah. and walks away. >> so a person who has this, to people on the outside, may look completely normal. they're doing things. they know how to do things. they understand the world at large. they don't appear to be distressed. they're just in an altered state. >> reporter: later, she was spotted using her own gym pass. investigators were perplexed. authorities couldn't track her down until she was pulled from the water by crew members of the staten island ferry. hannah's mother barbara remembers vividly the moment she found out her daughter was still alive. >> early afternoon when the phone rang, this is a nurse at the emergency room. >> what did she say? >> she told me my daughter had been pulled out of the water, and she was alive. she was dehydrated. badly sunburned and hypothey rm,
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but when i first saw her, she had no idea what happened? >> what did she say? mom, i can't remember what happened? >> she said i'm fine, but i'm scared. i don't know what happened. >> reporter: the documentary has this recording of hannah after she was rescued. she's talking to a reporter in a new york city coffee shop. >> it goes from like going from a run to being in an ambulance. >> for me, it was like ten minutes fast, but it was like three weeks. the hardest part is the period right after. >> right. >> you feel shame, and you feel embarrassed. all things that i definitely felt. >> reporter: after her fuge, hannah moved to maryland and there had another episode. >> many people in her life believe she was looking to escape her past. >> reporter: so in 2014, hannah moved to the island oasis of st. thomas of the party. >> reporter: she threw herself
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into island life, embracing a new set of friends who shared her passion for zumba. but the hurricane wreaked havoc on the island and some say on her, too. >> everybody was stressed out and she was certainly stressed out. and certainly, the day before hannah disappears, people notice something was off. she seemed to be almost in a trans. >> disassociated fuge appears in people who suffer a tremendous trauma. it may be a trauma in their past or a recent trauma, like living through a natural disaster. >> reporter: but hannah's mother insists that for her daughter the episodes do not have clear triggers. >> i think what's mysterious is she loved her life. >> she was a young woman who definitely loved her life. that doesn't mean she couldn't have been struggling with something deep and dark inside of herself. >> reporter: it's been almost two years since anyone's seen hannah.
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her mother has become a fixture on st. thomas. she thinks it's possible nan hannah is still alive and suffering from another fuge. >> there are documented cases of fuge states lasting as long as four years. >> yeah, and that helps me to keep on going. it's never been an option to give up. >> reporter: and hopes thence to where her daughter is can be found here. >> do you think you'll ever know for sure, barbara, what happened? >> i can only tell you that that hope is persistent, and many people join me in that hope. >> and you can watch the untold story "vanished in paradise", tomorrow night on a&e. up next, he as back with moves like jagger. as "nightline," sponsored by mercedes benz. it's either the assurance of a 165-point certification proces.
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♪ start me up ♪tart i'll never stop ♪ start me up ♪ start me up ready to
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say start me up. we're talking mick jagger, of course. the 75-year-old rolling stones front man, busting out his trademark dance moves in a new social media video after heart valve surgery six weeks ago. it forced the stones to postpone their latest u.s. tour, but now it's clear, jagger's still got the moves. and that's "nightline." and while you can't always get what you want, you can always get our full episodes on hulu. good night, america.
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