As the crop of coronavirus podcasts demonstrated two years ago, a growing number of people are turning to podcasts for conversations about current events. Ahead of the expected Supreme Court ruling on abortion rights later this month, Katie Couric has launched a limited-run series titled Abortion: The Body Politic, where she will be speaking with historians, doctors, activists, reproductive justice leaders, everyday women who have had abortions, and others to discuss the realities of a country without Roe v. Wade.
The six-episode special series, months in the making, became more relevant than ever when an unprecedented leak of a draft decision confirmed what many feared: Roe v. Wade is poised to be overturned by the conservative-led Supreme Court this summer. The producers say the narrative series weaves together interviews with historians, doctors, researchers, abortion activists, clinic staff, reproductive justice leaders and people who have had abortions.
The shows will feature guests including women’s rights activist Gloria Steinem, abortion law expert Mary Ziegler, abortion provider Dr. Warren Hern, and celebrities including actresses Jessica Chastain and Busy Philipps, among others. The series is part of the Next Question podcast produced by iHeartRadio and Katie Couric Media.
The first episode of “Abortion: The Body Politic” will be released Thursday, June 9, with new episodes released weekly on Thursdays.
Meantime, Slate’s Slow Burn has begun to roll out its seventh season with a focus on abortion as Slate’s News Director Susan Matthews explores the path to Roe v. Wade. The release of the series was moved up after the Supreme Court’s draft decision was leaked and public attention was heightened.
Slate says the goal of the season is to tell forgotten stories from the years leading up to Roe, such as the first woman ever to be convicted of manslaughter for having an abortion, and a time when Americans weren’t so bitterly divided on abortion. The series will also explore the motivations of the people who paved the way for the Roe decision—without necessarily understanding what the consequences of that decision would be.
Slate says the seventh season was supported by a grant from the International Women’s Media Foundation’s Howard G. Buffett Fund for Women Journalists.