American Morning

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January 7th, 2011
09:36 AM ET

Changing the 14th amendment

Section 1 of the 14th amendment of the United States Constitution reads:

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside."

The amendment guarantees that if a person was born in the United States they are automatically granted  "birthright citizenship." Although the amendment was adopted in 1868 it has become a hot button issue in recent years.  In 2010 alone  "anchor babies" has set off a political firestorm and it is carrying over into 2011.

House representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa, wasted no time in Congress yesterday making this a political topic of the year introducing, "The Birthright Citizenship Act of 2011" to the House floor that would repeal birthright citizenship. Representative Steve King explains his position on American Morning.

Filed under: Immigration • Politics
January 7th, 2011
09:12 AM ET

One man's heart-wrenching search for a transplant

Editor's Note: If you would like to help Randall Shepherd you can go to

Randall Shepherd is resorting to his own pocket and Facebook to raise money for his heart transplant. Shepherd, a married father of three kids, has lived with a heart problem since his teenage years and was on the list for a transplant…until the Arizona government decided to cut back its funding.

Shepherd is one of about one hundred such victims of October’s AZ budget cuts, which affected only certain types of organ transplants. Two patients who were taken off the list have already died. Having a pre-existing condition has left Shepherd without health insurance, forcing him to pay health care bills out-of-pocket for himself, his wife, and his kids. But, this time, paying the bill is a bit harder: the transplant costs $600,000, 80% of which is covered by Medicaid. Randall Shepherd sat down with Kiran Chetry this morning.

Filed under: Health care
January 7th, 2011
09:12 AM ET

The mystery of autism

(CNN) - A now-retracted British study that linked autism to childhood vaccines is an "elaborate fraud," according to a medical journal - a charge the physician behind the study vigorously denies.

The British medical journal BMJ, which published the results of its investigation, concluded Dr. Andrew Wakefield misrepresented or altered the medical histories of all 12 of the patients whose cases formed the basis of the 1998 study - and that there was "no doubt" Wakefield was responsible. The journalist who wrote the BMJ articles said Thursday he believes Wakefield should face criminal charges.

However, Wakefield said his work has been "grossly distorted." Speaking on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," he said Wednesday he is the target of "a ruthless, pragmatic attempt to crush any attempt to investigate valid vaccine safety concerns."

But what are the implications of this fraudulent study? Why are the number of autism cases still rising? Kiran Chetry talks with Alison Singer, Founder and President of the Autism Science Foundation, and Dr. Bradley Peterson, chief of child and adolescent psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center.

Filed under: Health
January 7th, 2011
08:45 AM ET

Sisters freed from prison for kidney donation

(CNN) - After 16 years in prison, two Mississippi sisters were released Friday on the condition that one donate a kidney to the other.

Gov. Haley Barbour suspended the sentences of Gladys Scott, 36, and Jaime Scott, 39, who were serving life sentences for armed robbery. Gladys Scott agreed to donate a kidney to her sister, who according to their lawyer, is gravely ill.

The attorney for Gladys and Jamie, Chokwe Lumumba, explains to American Morning's T.J. Holmes the terms of their release.

Filed under: Crime