It Was a Secret Roadmap for Breaking the Law to Get An Abortion. Now, ‘The List’ and Its Tactics Are Resurfacing

Before Roe vs. Wade, a clandestine network guided thousands of Americans to safe abortions in the 1960s and ’70s. In their piece for The San Francisco Chronicle, Jason Fagone and Alexandria Bordas tell the story of Patricia Maginnis, the creator of “the List,” and the well-organized, underground health care system she and San Francisco women created.

“ARE YOU PREGNANT?” one of the leaflets read. “IS YOURS A WANTED PREGNANCY? IF NOT, WHY NOT SEE AN ABORTIONIST.” It went on to give the names and contact information of 10 abortion providers in Mexico, one in Japan and a clinic in Sweden.

It was the first draft of the List.

Maginnis actually hoped the act of circulating it would get her arrested. California law at the time forbade “soliciting” an abortion or “providing and supplying” the means for procuring one — felonies punishable by up to five years in prison. She wanted to challenge the law in court, which could only happen if she were first handcuffed and charged. But no police intervened that day, likely fearing the very publicity she was trying to spur: Maginnis was fast becoming one of the most influential abortion-rights activists in America.

Published: Jul 10, 2022
Length: 24 minutes (6,195 words)

The Man Who Paid for America’s Fear

Jason Fagone unfurls the saga of Hamid Hayat, an American citizen who turned 19 the day before the September 11 attacks, was sentenced to prison on his 25th birthday after being wrongfully convicted of terrorism, and walked free a month before he turned 36.

Hamid barely reacted [to his guilty verdict], remaining calm, as he had throughout the two months of arguments. Sitting at the defense table, he had observed it all with detachment. He told me he had often felt an urge to laugh out loud in court: The government’s narrative about him seemed melodramatic, cheesy, like something “from a movie,” he said. He had become a spectator to his own life, a character in a story America was telling itself.


Published: Mar 2, 2022
Length: 70 minutes (17,500 words)

The Jessica Simulation: Love and Loss in the Age of A.I.

“The death of the woman he loved was too much to bear. Could a mysterious website allow him to speak with her once more?”

Published: Jul 23, 2021
Length: 43 minutes (10,801 words)

The ‘Race Realist’ on Campus

“Why was Professor Gregory Christainsen allowed to teach Black and Latino students at Cal State East Bay that they were inherently less smart?”

Published: Jun 24, 2021
Length: 33 minutes (8,471 words)

Working in a Wasteland

Even though the land was a Superfund site, officials said the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard near San Francisco was safe. So why did members of San Francisco’s specialized police units get sick while stationed there?

Published: Jul 27, 2018
Length: 28 minutes (7,206 words)

The Quest to Save Stephen Hawking’s Voice

The story of how engineers spent years trying to build software for Stephen Hawking that would preserve his distinctive robotic voice — based off of technology from 1986.

Published: Mar 18, 2018
Length: 11 minutes (2,900 words)

Jerry and Marge Go Large

How a dyslexic cereal box designer with a penchant for puzzles and patterns figured out a loophole in the Cash WinFall state lottery game, earning $27 million in gross profits playing the lottery over nine years in two states.

Published: Mar 1, 2018
Length: 43 minutes (10,910 words)

What Bullets Do to Bodies

What exactly does a bullet do to flesh as it careens through the body? Jason Fagone profiles Philadelphia trauma surgeon Dr. Amy Goldberg, a woman on the front lines of gun violence as she attempts to repair the broken bodies that arrive daily at Temple University Hospital.

Source: HuffPost
Published: Apr 26, 2017
Length: 31 minutes (7,799 words)

The Gruesome November Night in One of Washington’s Wealthiest Suburbs

A husband and wife are tortured and nearly stabbed to death by a former employee’s husband. Was it revenge, or an addict’s “medication-induced delirium”?

Source: Washingtonian
Published: Oct 2, 2016
Length: 25 minutes (6,332 words)

Urban Outfitters Bares All

Inside the secretive and mysterious world of Urban Outfitters, youth-culture behemoth and $3.4 billion empire.

Published: Aug 20, 2016
Length: 20 minutes (5,062 words)