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Abortion in the USA

Philippa Thomas visits Texas, Kentucky and Washington DC as she asks whether abortion could be banned in the United States.

Could abortion be banned in the United States? Since the election of President Trump, and particularly since with his nomination of a second Supreme Court Justice, the question has taken on a new urgency, for both sides of America's abortion wars. Now Philippa Thomas travels to two states which encapsulate the debate - Texas and Kentucky - to explore the past, present and future of this most controversial issue.

In Texas, Philippa hears from women on why they chose to have abortions and the context of their lives; from the anti-abortion 'sidewalk counsellors' who try to persuade women seeking abortions - often just outside the doors of abortion clinics - to choose a different option; and from pastors on both sides of the issue.

In Kentucky, she visits the state's last functioning abortion clinic and is invited to a smart suburb of Louisville to see for herself one answer to the challenge often posed to anti-abortion activists about what are the alternatives.

Finally, in Washington DC, Philippa goes to the US Supreme Court to hear arguments in the latest abortion-related case. It will be the court's nine judges - with their lifetime tenure and current fine balance between abortion rights supporters and abortion opponents - who will decide the fate of abortion across the United States. And Philippa asks whether President Trump's latest appointee could tilt the balance against abortion rights.

Producer: Giles Edwards.

Available now

38 minutes

Last on

Sun 5 Aug 2018 17:00