In early May, a leaked draft opinion showed that the Supreme Court could soon overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. So what does abortion access have to do with climate change? This week, we explore the link between heat, pollution, and reproductive justice.

In recent years, a strong and growing body of research shows that exposure to pollution and extreme heat increases the risk of stillbirth and preterm birth, particularly among Black parents. And restricted abortion access in a post-Roe America could further increase health risks and potential for criminalization.

We spoke to one of the pioneering researchers in this field to understand the link between exposure to heat and pollution and adverse birth outcomes – and what can be done to solve it. 


  • Alexandria Herr is a producer on our show. You can find her Atmos article on climate change and high risk pregnancy here.
  • Eve Andrews is a staff writer at Grist. You can find her article with Naveena Sadasivam on pregnancy in pollution hot spots here.
  • Dr. Rupa Basu is the chief of the air and climate epidemiology section at the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.

The Carbon Copy is a co-production of Post Script Media and Canary Media.

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