Winner 2022

This American Life: The Pink House at the Center of the World

This American Life (This American Life)

On the day the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, This American Life had exclusive access inside the clinic at the center of the legal case, Mississippi’s last abortion clinic, witnessing what happened as patients and staff received the news. In the central segment of “The Pink House at the Center of the World,” documentarian Maisie Crow, who had been following the Jackson Women’s Health Clinic’s fight to stay open for ten years, brings listeners inside as the staff hears the news: their case changed history, but not in the way they had hoped. And now they must hurry to see all the patients scheduled for the next month in just ten days, before the ban goes into effect. Other segments of the episode help us to understand the context and massive implications of the decision, profiling a clinic on the Illinois border preparing to take on a flood of patients from neighboring states where abortion is illegal; interviewing a lawmaker who’s spent her whole career fighting abortion; tagging along with an abortion pill smuggler; and detailing how Mississippi is preparing for an influx of babies now that abortion is illegal there. In short, “The Pink House at the Center of the World” offers a comprehensive and compelling snapshot of this turning point in America, always maintaining its focus on the human lives and stories at its core. For its historic import and humanization of a major issue, “The Pink House at the Center of the World” receives a Peabody Award.