What Next

Republicans’ Stealth Plan to Ban Abortions

How a 150-year-old law could give anti-abortion activists the win they’re still chasing.


Episode Notes

A national ban on abortion remains so unpopular that even Republican presidential candidates won’t commit to one. However, a law from the 1870s, depending on how it’s interpreted and enforced, could ban both abortion pills and the procedure across America.

Guest: Mary Ziegler, law professor at UC Davis and author of Roe: The History of a National Obsession.

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Podcast production by Elena Schwartz, Madeline Ducharme, Anna Phillips, Paige Osburn, and Rob Gunther.


About the Show

The problem with the news right now? It’s everywhere. And each day, it can feel like we’re all just mindlessly scrolling. It’s why we created What Next. This short daily show is here to help you make sense of things. When the news feels overwhelming, we’re here to help you answer: What next? Look for new episodes every weekday morning.

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  • Mary Harris is the host and managing editor of What Next, Slate's new daily news podcast. She has reported throughout the public radio system, for NPR, Marketplace, and WNYC.