The Role Of Abortion In The United States

742 Words3 Pages
Over the past few centuries state and federal laws concerning a females reproductive rights have changed dramatically. The female population has been greatly affected by many laws regarding their reproductive rights and their ability to make educated decisions about family planning. The 1973 case Roe vs. Wade set the motion to allow women to control their bodies and their decision to end a pregnancy through abortion. Prior to this case, in almost all 50 states abortions were deemed illegal. History of Abortions Prior to 1973 and the legalization of medical professionals performing abortions, women had to fight for many reproductive rights, including birth control for all females, not just married couples. As far back as 1821, states follow…show more content…
Changes to these laws included allowing a woman to gain access to an abortion in certain circumstances, mostly if the pregnancy was a result of a rape or incest. In 1970, New York became the first state to legalize abortion for women on demand through their 24th week of pregnancy. Prior to this law being passed, Hawaii allowed only residents of the state to obtain an abortion through their 20th week of pregnancy. On January 22, 1973, The US Supreme Court decision of Roe vs. Wade terminated all existing abortion laws and found that a woman’s decision to terminate a pregnancy in the first trimester was protected under the “right of privacy … founded in the Fourteenth Amendment’s concept of personal liberty.” The court allowed states to restrict abortions strictly to the first trimester of pregnancy unless the woman’s health was at risk.

Today women’s rights groups protest and lobby the law that prohibits a female to have an abortion after she is 20 weeks pregnant. The anti-abortion parties and religious groups will continue to lobby against the legalization of abortions and fight to make them illegal for any reasons. The lobbying and fight for legal and safe abortions and access to birth control for women in America may be on pause now, but will continue to be an ongoing battle with the opposing
…show more content…
(2014, March 28). History of Abortion in the U.S. - Our Bodies Ourselves. Retrieved September 02, 2016, from

Reproductive Rights: Law and History - FindLaw. (n.d.). Retrieved September 03, 2016, from

Stickney, Z. L. (1979, August). Society for Humane Abortion. Records of the Society for Humane Abortion, 1962-1979 (inclusive), 1963-1975 (bulk): A Finding Aid. Retrieved September 01, 2016, from
Get Access