New Episode of Ms.’s On The Issues With Michele Goodwin Podcast — History Matters: Understanding Abortion Rights in the U.S. and What Comes Next


On the Issues with Michele Goodwin is a popular, issues and policy-focused podcast featuring feminist analysis, insightful conversations and exciting guests. This is the first podcast from Ms. magazine, a legacy feminist publication. In each bi-weekly episode, host Dr. Michele Goodwin and special guests will tackle the most compelling issues of our times, centering feminist concerns about rebuilding our nation and advancing the promise of equality. 

A new episode—History Matters: Understanding Abortion Rights in the U.S. and What Comes Next—is available now on Apple PodcastsSpotify and

In this episode, created in partnership with the National Women’s History Museum, Dr. Goodwin addresses reproductive health rights and justice from a historical point of view. In the wake of the overturn of Roe, the U.S. has seen horrific cases: a 10-year-old girl fleeing the state of Ohio to get to Indiana in order to terminate a pregnancy after rape; a Wisconsin woman bleeding for more than 10 days with an incomplete miscarriage before doctors could provide her the standard medical treatment; and so much more. The political situation that’s led to these cases becoming commonplace has deep roots in America’s history of slavery, reproductive restrictions, and controlling women’s bodies. So, how did America get here?

Dr. Goodwin is joined by several special guests to unpack the historical events that led us to the Dobbs v. Jackson decision, and examine how the Supreme Court failed in its analysis and recounting of America’s history around reproductive health, rights, and justice.

A full transcript of the episode may be found here, as well as a few excerpts below:

“But if we also remember that the history of gynecology is really tied up, again, with the right or the absence of Black women’s bodily autonomy, because so many of the experimentations that were carried on and that led to so many cesarean sections, for example, as well as all kinds of other kinds of surgical repairs of women’s wombs were done on African American women.” — Deborah White

“It’s really impossible to separate the story of the history of reproductive politics, reproductive justice, abortion politics from the history of slavery, of race, of controlling women’s bodies.” — Sarah Dubow

“They also began passing laws that were designed, in their words, to chip away at Roe. The idea would be that not only would abortion be inaccessible but the very idea of an abortion right would become kind of incoherent, so you’d say, oh yay, there’s an abortion right, but no one could actually have an abortion, and that would erode support in the judiciary as well…” — Mary Ziegler

Meet the Host of On the Issues: Dr. Michele Goodwin is a frequent contributor to Ms. Magazine and on She is a Chancellor’s Professor at the University of California, Irvine and also serves on the executive committee and national board of the ACLU. Dr. Goodwin is a prolific author and an elected member of the American Law Institute, as well as an elected Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and the Hastings Center. Her most recent book, Policing The Womb: Invisible Women and The Criminalization of Motherhood is described as a “must read.”

About Ms. Magazine: Co-founded by Gloria Steinem in 1972 and published by the Feminist Majority Foundation since 2001, Ms. magazine has been a trusted, popular source for feminist news and information in print and online for nearly 50 years. Ms.’s time-honored traditions of an emphasis on in-depth investigative reporting and feminist political analysis have never been more relevant, bringing a new generation of writers and readers together to share news, analysis, research and strategies for fighting back and moving forward, for shaping the future.


If you would like more information on the On the Issues with Michele Goodwin podcast, or to schedule an interview with Host and Executive Producer Michele Goodwin or Executive Producer & Ms. Executive Editor Katherine Spillar, please email