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Slate

In the early 1970s, the future of abortion in America was far from settled. Roe v. Wade would change everything, though few knew it at the time. 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.

In the early 1970s, the future of abortion in America was far from settled. Roe v. Wade would change everything, though few knew it at the time. 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.

Location:

United States

Networks:

Slate

Description:

In the early 1970s, the future of abortion in America was far from settled. Roe v. Wade would change everything, though few knew it at the time. 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.

Language:

English


Episodes

Decoder Ring: McGruff Takes a Bite Out of Crime Pt. 1

10/4/2022
McGruff the Crime Dog arrived on the scene at the dawn of the 1980s, just as a firehose of anti-drug PSAs was inundating the youth of America. These messages didn’t always work as intended—but they did work their way into the long term memories of the kids who heard them. In the first of two episodes, we take a look at PSAs and their strange afterlife through the lens of a trench-coat wearing bloodhound and his bizarre, yet catchy anti-drug songs. We’ll talk to Dan Danger, Sherry Nemmers,...

Duration:00:36:33

One Year - 1986: The Man From Fifth Avenue

9/29/2022
After Joe Mauri gets evicted from his New York apartment, he becomes a star in the USSR, the subject of a documentary about the injustices of capitalism. But this Cold War icon was using the Soviets just as much as they used him. One Year is produced by Evan Chung, Sophie Summergrad, Sam Kim, Madeline Ducharme, and Josh Levin. Mixing by Merritt Jacob. Derek John is Sr. Supervising Producer of Narrative Podcasts and Merritt Jacob is Sr. Technical Director. Slate Plus members get to hear more...

Duration:00:56:08

One Year - 1986: The Miracle of Cokeville

9/22/2022
On May 16, 1986, a man with a bomb held an entire elementary school hostage in the tiny town of Cokeville, Wyoming. Yet instead of becoming victims of unimaginable tragedy, all of the hostages in this predominantly Mormon community survived. But how? This week, Evan Chung explores what—or who—saved the children of Cokeville. One Year is produced by Evan Chung, Sophie Summergrad, Sam Kim, Madeline Ducharme, and Josh Levin. Derek John is Sr. Supervising Producer of Narrative Podcasts and...

Duration:01:06:34

One Year - 1986: Herschel vs. the Blubber Busters

9/15/2022
In Seattle, a pack of voracious sea lions decimates the local fish population. When fireworks and an underwater air horn don’t scare away the whisker-y mammals, bureaucrats and scientists are faced with a thorny question: Who decides which creatures get to live, and which have to die? One Year is produced by Evan Chung, Sophie Summergrad, Sam Kim, Madeline Ducharme, and Josh Levin. Derek John is Sr. Supervising Producer of Narrative Podcasts and Merritt Jacob is Sr. Technical Director. Slate...

Duration:00:50:25

One Year - 1986: A Boycott in Mississippi

9/8/2022
Black residents of Indianola, Mississippi, were fed up with decades of separate-and-unequal classrooms. When a white outsider got hired as school superintendent, they decided to take a stand. This week, Joel Anderson tells the story of how their boycott of white businesses transformed the community and captivated the nation. One Year is produced by Evan Chung, Sophie Summergrad, Sam Kim, Madeline Ducharme, and Josh Levin. Mixing by Merritt Jacob. Derek John is Sr. Supervising Producer of...

Duration:00:55:46

One Year - 1986: The Mystery of Al Capone’s Vaults

9/1/2022
Rumors about the legendary gangster Al Capone’s buried treasure transform an abandoned Chicago hotel into the center of the entertainment universe. Will Geraldo Rivera’s excavation on live TV turn up money, skeletons, or nothing at all? One Year is produced by Evan Chung, Sophie Summergrad, Sam Kim, Madeline Ducharme, and Josh Levin. Derek John is Sr. Supervising Producer of Narrative Podcasts and Merritt Jacob is Sr. Technical Director. Slate Plus members get to hear more about the making...

Duration:01:02:16

One Year - 1986: The Ultimate Field Trip

8/25/2022
This week, Evan Chung tells the story of the American teachers who competed for an unprecedented prize: a spot on the January 1986 launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger. Three of the finalists describe the grueling selection process and the tragedy that killed one of their own. One Year is produced by Evan Chung, Sophie Summergrad, Sam Kim, Madeline Ducharme, and Josh Levin. Derek John is Sr. Supervising Producer of Narrative Podcasts and Merritt Jacob is Sr. Technical Director. Slate Plus...

Duration:00:57:44

Slow Burn presents: One Year - 1986: No Crime Day

8/18/2022
Basketball star Isiah Thomas had an audacious plan to transform Detroit: asking criminals to stay on the good side of the law for 24 hours. Would “No Crime Day” set the city on a new path, or was it a recipe for failure? One Year is produced by Evan Chung, Sophie Summergrad, Sam Kim, Madeline Ducharme, and Josh Levin. Mixing by Merritt Jacob. Slate Plus members get to hear more about the making of One Year. Get access to extra episodes, listen to the show without any ads, and support One...

Duration:00:54:59

Decoder Ring: The “Sex” Scandal That Made Mae West

8/16/2022
In the early 1930s, Mae West’s dirty talk and hip swiveling walk made her one of the biggest movie stars in America. But before West hit the big-screen, she was prosecuted for staging not one, but two scandalous plays. In this episode, we look at how West honed her persona when she was under the bright lights of Broadway and the flashbulbs of the tabloids — and briefly behind bars. More than a century later, her career arc offers a blueprint on how to survive a scandal…and maybe even come...

Duration:00:45:29

Decoder Ring: The First Alien Abductees

8/9/2022
When you think of an alien abduction, what do you picture? Humanoid creatures, medical experiments, lost memories retrieved through hypnosis? That narrative was largely unknown until Betty and Barney Hill went public about their own alien abduction in the 1960s. Betty Hill’s niece, Kathleen Marden, recounts how the story went viral and her aunt and uncle became unwitting celebrities. Then professors Susan Lepselter, Chris Bader, Joseph O. Baker and Stephanie Kelley-Romano explain how the...

Duration:00:39:15

Decoder Ring: The Most Famous Poet No One Remembers

8/2/2022
Rod McKuen sold multiple millions of poetry books in the 60s and 70s. He released dozens of albums, was a regular on late night, and was even nominated for an Oscar. So, how did the most salable poet in American history simply disappear? On today’s episode, Slate writer Dan Kois went searching for Rod McKuen, a famous poet who isn’t so famous anymore. We’ll hear from Stephanie Burt, Mike Chasar and Barry Alfonso, author of Rod’s biography A Voice of the Warm. Along the way, Dan meets Andy...

Duration:00:48:30

Slow Burn presents: Decoder Ring - The Mall is Dead (Long Live the Mall)

7/26/2022
(While we work on the next season of Slow Burn we're showcasing Slate's other narrative podcasts, starting with a new season of Decoder Ring.) What do we lose if we lose the mall? 70 years into their existence, these hulking temples to commerce are surprisingly resilient and filled with contradictions. In this episode, Alexandra Lange, the author of the new book Meet Me at the Fountain: an Inside History of the Mall walks us through the atriums, escalators, and food courts of this singular...

Duration:00:45:09

S7 Ep. 4: Roe Against Wade

6/22/2022
Harry Blackmun wasn’t Richard Nixon’s first choice to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court. But after Blackmun was confirmed, he got the assignment of a lifetime: writing the majority opinion in Roe v. Wade. His approach to that case would have consequences he never imagined. Season 7 of Slow Burn is produced by Susan Matthews, Samira Tazari, Sophie Summergrad, and Sol Werthan. Derek John is Sr. Supervising Producer of Narrative Podcasts. Editorial direction by Josh Levin, Derek John, and...

Duration:01:01:46

S7 Ep. 3: Women vs. Connecticut

6/15/2022
Soon after Ann Hill arrived at Yale Law School in 1968, she realized she was pregnant. Her options were limited: she could give birth—or get an illegal abortion. The decision she faced inspired her to take on Connecticut’s abortion ban. The legal battle that followed would set the stage for Roe v. Wade. Season 7 of Slow Burn is produced by Susan Matthews, Samira Tazari, Sophie Summergrad, and Sol Werthan. Derek John is Sr. Supervising Producer of Narrative Podcasts. Editorial direction by...

Duration:00:51:19

S7 Ep. 2: Life or Death

6/8/2022
Jack and Barbara Willke got their start on the Catholic speaking circuit talking about the pleasure of sex within marriage. Their daughter would convince them to shift their focus to another hot-button issue. The Willkes’ Handbook on Abortion, and the photographs they distributed along with it, would help kickstart the right-to-life movement. To see the cover of the Handbook on Abortion, some of the photos the Willkes used, and the brochure “Life or Death,” go to slate.com/handbook Season 7...

Duration:00:53:53

S7 Ep. 1: Get Married or Go Home

6/1/2022
In 1970, 22-year-old Shirley Wheeler got an illegal abortion in Florida. When she refused to tell the police who performed the procedure, she was arrested and charged with manslaughter. In the months that followed, she’d be prosecuted and publicly condemned. She’d also become the unlikely face of the fight for reproductive rights. Season 7 of Slow Burn is produced by Susan Matthews, Samira Tazari, Sophie Summergrad, and Sol Werthan. Derek John is Sr. Supervising Producer of Narrative...

Duration:00:54:32

Season 7 Trailer - Roe v. Wade

5/4/2022
In the early 1970s, the future of abortion in America was far from settled. Roe v. Wade would change everything, though few knew it at the time. 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,...

Duration:00:02:07

S6 Ep. 8: Damages

12/29/2021
After the largest civil disturbance in American history, Los Angeles faced a daunting task. Dozens of people had been killed and thousands injured. The city had sustained more than a billion dollars in property damage. And the riots had exposed that much of the population faced grinding poverty and hostile policing. Los Angeles would need to be rebuilt in more ways than one. The question was, what type of city did the people of Los Angeles want? And were they capable of building it? Season 6...

Duration:00:50:53

S6 Ep. 7: Into Ashes

12/22/2021
On April 29, 1992, Los Angeles had erupted into chaos. Over the following days, thousands of people took to the streets. Some were unleashing their anger at the police and the justice system. Some were driven by frustration at living in poverty in one of the world’s richest cities. And some just saw a chance to plunder while law enforcement was scrambling. This is what happened next. Season 6 of Slow Burn is produced by Joel Anderson, Jayson De Leon, Ethan Brooks, Sophie Summergrad, and...

Duration:00:41:51

S6 Ep. 6: No Peace

12/15/2021
In March 1991, Black people in Los Angeles had seen the videotape of Rodney King being beaten. In November, they’d seen Soon Ja Du sentenced to probation for killing 15-year-old Latasha Harlins. On April 29, 1992, a jury failed to convict the officers who beat King. That was the last straw. Season 6 of Slow Burn is produced by Joel Anderson, Jayson De Leon, Ethan Brooks, Sophie Summergrad, and Jasmine Ellis. Mixing by Merritt Jacob. To listen to these interviews in full, learn more about the...

Duration:00:45:09