It’s June! Let’s read and discuss “The Roe Baby,” by Joshua Prager
“When someone’s pregnant with a baby, and they don’t want that baby, that person develops knowing they’re not wanted.”
Hi Article Clubbers! Welcome to June.
Before revealing this month’s article, I would like to express my gratitude to Sara, Telannia, Bonnie, Toronzo, Peter, Summer, Jennifer, Marcus, Hoang, Nicole, Debra, Shereen, and Mike for participating in April’s discussion of “Children in the Garden: On Life at a 3,100-Mile Race.” Special thanks go to Hoang, Nicole, Debra, Shereen, and Mike — for joining Article Club for the very first time. I’m also grateful to author Devin Kelly for generously answering our questions and giving away an autographed copy of his book.
I’m pleased to announce that this month, we’ll be reading “The Roe Baby,” by Joshua Prager. Originally published in The Atlantic last September, and featured in The Highlighter Issue #311, the article is the first-ever profile of Shelley Lynn Thornton, the baby of Norma McCorvey, also known as Jane Roe. Ms. Thornton explains her complicated relationship with her mother and her nuanced perspective on abortion.
Here’s my original blurb:
Landmark Supreme Cases like Brown v. Board and Roe v. Wade are so monumental that sometimes we forget that the litigants were real people living regular lives. Before reading this outstanding article, I knew very little about Norma McCorvey, the plaintiff in Roe. And nobody knew anything about Shelley Lynn Thornton, who revealed last week that she is Jane Roe’s child.
In the piece, Ms. Thornton shares her complicated feelings about her mother, her place in history, and the constitutional right to an abortion. She said, “When someone’s pregnant with a baby, and they don’t want that baby, that person develops knowing they’re not wanted.” (28 min)
A former senior writer for The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Prager focuses his work on historical secrets, shedding new light on our cultural touchstones. His book, The Family Roe, illuminates unknown stories and people behind Roe v. Wade, and enables the public, for the first time, to see the abortion debate in America in its full social and personal context. The book was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
I hope you’ll join me and fellow Article Clubbers in discussing the piece on Sunday, June 26, 2:00 - 3:30 pm PT. This event, which will likely occur the weekend after the Supreme Court rules on Dobbs v. Jackson, will be on Zoom and will be limited to 18 participants. After a quick intro, we’ll spend most of our time in small, facilitated discussion groups (5-7 people each).
Are you IN?
I hope so! If so, here’s what to do:
Hit reply (or click here) and let me know you’re in.
Then I’ll send you more details, plus a calendar invite.
Coming up this month at Article Club
This week: We’ll sign up for the discussion and start reading the article.
Next week: We’ll annotate the article and share our first impressions.
The week of June 20: We’ll listen to Mr. Prager’s thoughts on the article.
Sunday, June 26: We’ll discuss the article with fellow Article Clubbers.
Are you new to Article Club? If so, welcome! We look forward to meeting you and having your voice in the conversation. Feel free to reach out with questions: email@example.com.