Abortion: a quick summary since Roe v. Wade

Reference: Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism


On January 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in its landmark decision in Roe v. Wade that the decision to terminate a pregnancy is a woman’s constitutionally protected right. This victory was the culmination of decades of advocacy and hard work at a time when millions of women were forced to choose between carrying an unwanted pregnancy to term (including those that were the result of rape or incest) and having an unsafe, potentially life-threatening “back-alley” abortion.

In the decades since Roe, anti-choice organizations, certain religious groups, and some elected officials have worked to undermine and dismantle the decision. They have passed laws and set the stage for court decisions which make it nearly impossible for millions of women to access safe, legal, and affordable abortion services – frequently, for those women who need it the most.

Attacks on Abortion

Attacks on abortion rights frequently take the form of limitations to reproductive health care services. The Hyde Amendment (1976) set a dangerous precedent, prohibiting federal dollars from going to abortion services.

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