Could a Different Roe v. Wade Decision Have Saved Abortion Rights Today?
All the theories about alternate decisions add up to the same fundamental problem.
In this member-exclusive episode, Slow Burn’s Susan Matthews and Derek John discuss making this season of Slow Burn and talk about how breaking news surrounding Dobbs affected the process. Then, Matthews interviews Slate senior editor Dahlia Lithwick about the way Roe v. Wade was decided. They discuss the various theories about how it could have been decided differently, and talk through whether that would have affected where we are today.
In the early 1970s, the future of abortion in America was far from settled. Some states were pushing to liberalize their laws. In others, women could be prosecuted for terminating a pregnancy. Unexpected and dramatic battles raged across the country, shaping the landscape of abortion—even before Roe v. Wade was decided.
For the seventh season of Slate’s Slow Burn, host Susan Matthews explores the path to Roe—a time when more Republicans than Democrats supported abortion rights. You’ll hear the forgotten story of the first woman ever to be convicted of manslaughter for having an abortion, the unlikely Catholic power couple who helped ignite the pro-life movement, and a rookie Supreme Court justice who got assigned the opinion of a lifetime.