In 1960, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) approves the first oral contraceptives for
marketing in the United States, and "The Pill"
is commercially produced in the US for the first
In 1964, Patricia "Pat" Matthews (Susan Trustman)
from the fictional Midwestern town of Bay City
on the soap opera ANOTHER WORLD has an abortion
(at the time an "illegal operation") at the
insistence of Tom Baxter, her playboy boyfriend.
After the abortion, Pat learns that she may be
sterile because of the operation and she kills
him in a fit of rage upon discovering he never
intended to marry her. Charged with murder, she
is acquitted. Pat then marries her attorney and
This soap opera was also one of the first to depict themes of homosexuality,
and teenage prostitution (TV Guide
TVs first (then illegal) abortion operation aired in 1964 on the NBC serial
ANOTHER WORLD when Pat Matthew's boyfriend, Tom Baxter talked Pat into having an
abortion-and was later killed by her.
In 1973, Erica Kane (Susan Lucci) featured on
the soap opera ALL MY CHILDREN had daytime TV's first legal abortion. Erica Kane
sought to terminate her baby because she feared gaining weight and compromising
her modeling career.
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