American History: Fighting for the Freedom of Choice

Decent Essays

Abortions being made illegal in the late 1880’s created a lot of “underground” abortion procedures. The abortions performed were not safe, they were expensive, and often time’s male doctors would force women to have intimate relations with them before the procedure. In the 1950s, about a million illegal abortions a year were performed in the U.S., and over a thousand of those women died each year as a result. It wasn’t until the civil rights and antiwar movements in the 1960’s that women began to fight more actively for their rights. One of these rights was the freedom to do as they wish with their bodies. By fighting for the freedom of choice, women were also fighting for a safe medical procedure that would abort their pregnancy with a lower death rate. Then, On January 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court, stated that the ``right of privacy instituted in the Fourteenth Amendment's concept of personal liberty is broad enough to include a woman's decision whether or not to end her pregnancy.'' As you can see on the chart below, the number of legal abortions increased greatly with every passing year. After abortions became legalized, women felt more independent and safe. However, public opinions were not banned and women were meant to feel ashamed for choosing to terminate their pregnancy. Opinions were forced onto the public from religious groups and other affiliations. Abortion numbers skyrocketed in the early 1990’s after the public warmed up to the idea that the freedom of

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