the 100 most memorable moments in soap history
In its very first year on the air, AW made a bold move, creating a storyline about a topic that is still controversial even today. Teenager Pat Matthews (Susan Trustman), a core character on AW, became pregnant, and was convinced by her playboy boyfriend to have an illegal abortion. The abortion made her sterile, and the shock from the news caused her to find her ex-boyfriend and shoot him in cold blood. Pat was eventually brought to trial and acquitted. Not only was this moment groundbreaking for daytime, it was the first time that American television had covered the subject. Abortion storylines are still shied away from or treated with "kid gloves" to this day, but AW's co-creator/head writer was courageous enough to tackle the issue head on back in 1964.