Political, social, and cultural issues of family planning

  • First Anti-Abortion law in United States

    First Anti-Abortion law in United States
    The earliest anti-abortion laws were intended to protect women from untrained abortionists. Records indicate abortions occurred unregulated during the 1800s, and the number of deaths caused by complications from illegal and unsafe abortions is impossible to determine. By the end on the 19th century, abortion was criminalized
    1821 -- America's first statutory abortion regulation is enacted in Connecticut in order to protect women from abortion inducement through poison administered after the four
  • First adoption law in United States

    First adoption law in United States
    Massachusetts passed the first modern adoption law, recognizing adoption as a social and legal operation based on child welfare rather than adult interests. Historians consider the 1851 Adoption of Children Act an important turning point because it directed judges to ensure that adoption decrees were “fit and proper.” How this determination was to be made was left entirely to judicial discretion.
  • AMA works to end abortion

    Leading pro-life advocate Dr. Horatio Storer establishes a national drive by the American Medical Association (AMA) to end legal abortion. First trimester abortion at this point (in most states) is legal or a misdemeanor
  • Comstock Act

    Comstock Act
    The Comstock Act bans access to information about abortion and birth control
  • The New Deal's impact

    The New Deal's impact
    Social Security Act included provision for aid to dependent children, crippled children's programs, and child welfare, which eventually led to a dramatic expansion of foster care; American Youth Congress issued “The Declaration of the Rights of American Youth”; Justine Wise Polier was appointed to head the Domestic Relations Court of Manhattan. She became an important early critic of matching in adoption.
  • Supreme Court rules on removing children from their homes

    In Prince v. Massachusetts, a case involving Jehovah's Witnesses, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the state's power as parens patriae to restrict parental control in order to guard “the general interest in youth's well being.”
  • Conference of Child Welfare League of America

    Child Welfare League of America national conference on adoption in Chicago announced that the era of special needs adoption had arrived; Congressional inquiry into interstate and black market adoptions, chaired by Senator Estes Kefauver (D-TN), suggested that poor adoption practices created juvenile delinquency; Proposed federal law on black market adoptions introduced by Senators Kefauver (D-TN) and Edward Thye (R-MN), but it never passed Congress; National Association of Social Workers founded
  • American Law Institute considers penal code allowing abortion in certain circumstances

    American Law Institute considers penal code allowing abortion in certain circumstances
    The American Law Institute (ALI) proposes a model penal code for state abortion laws. The code advocates legalizing abortion for reasons including the mental or physical health of the mother, pregnancy due to rape and incest, and fetal deformity.
  • Studey by Marshall Schechter questions kinship and relationships

    Studey by Marshall Schechter questions kinship and relationships
    Psychiatrist Marshall Schechter published a study claiming that adopted children were 100 times more likely than their non-adopted counterparts to show up in clinical populations. This sparked a vigorous debate about whether adoptive kinship was itself a risk factor for mental disturbance and illness and inspired a new round of studies into the psychopathology of adoption.
  • Adoptions peak

    Adoptions peak
    Adoptions reached their century-long statistical peak at approximately 175,000 per year. Almost 80 percent of the total were arranged by agencies.
  • Roe v. Wade

    Roe v. Wade
    The U.S. Supreme Court issues its ruling in Roe v. Wade, finding that a "right of privacy" it had earlier discovered was "broad enough to encompass" a right to abortion and adopting a trimester scheme of pregnancy. In the first trimester, a state could enact virtually no regulation. In the second trimester, the state could enact some regulation, but only for the purpose of protecting maternal "health." In the third trimester, after viability, a state could ostensibly "proscribe" abortion, provid
  • First Life Amendment

    First Life Amendment
    The first Human Life Amendment is introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sens. James L. Buckley (Cons.-NY) and Jesse Helms (R-NC).
  • Supreme Court upholds Hyde Amendment

    In Harris v. McRae, the U.S. Supreme Court upholds the Hyde Amendment, ruling that there is no constitutional right for women to receive abortions at public expense.
  • Bellotti vs. Baird

    In Bellotti vs. Baird, Supreme Court rules that pregnant minors can petition court for permission to have an abortion without parental notification
  • Supreme Court establishes parental notification for abortion

    In H.L. v. Matheson, the U.S. Supreme Court approves a Utah parental notification law. The law requires an abortionist to notify the parents of a minor girl who is still living at home as her parent's dependent when an abortion is scheduled.
  • Reagan witholds foreign aid based on abortion

    Reagan witholds foreign aid based on abortion
    The Reagan Administration announces the "Mexico City Policy," denying funds to foreign organizations that "perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning in other nations."
  • Clinton issues series of pro-choice executive orders

    Clinton issues series of pro-choice executive orders
    President Clinton reverses years of pro-life progress by issuing five executive orders reversing Title 10 regulations banning abortion referral by federal employees, repealing the Mexico City Policy restricting federal funding of international organizations that work to reverse countries' abortion laws, negating the ban on funding for fetal tissue transplants, ordering military hospitals to perform abortions, and asking the FDA to "review" the import ban on RU 486.
  • "Roe" comes out as now pro-life

    Norma McCorvey, the "Jane Roe" of Roe v. Wade, tells a nationwide audience on Nightline that she rejects abortion and the pro-abortion movement and now supports the right to life of unborn children. She had already revealed that this pregnancy was not the product of a rape - - as she had previously contended - - showing that Roe had been built on a lie.
  • Adoption and race

    Adoption and race
    Multiethnic Placement Act was the first federal law to concern itself with race in adoption. It prohibited agencies receiving federal funds from denying transracial adoptions on the sole basis of race, but permitted the use of race as one factor, among others, in foster and adoptive placements. A 1996 revision to this law, the Inter-Ethnic Adoption Amendment, made it impermissible to employ race at all.
  • Ballot Measure 58

    Ballot Measure 58
    Oregon voters passed Ballot Measure 58, allowing adult adoptees access to original birth certificates. This legal blow to confidentiality and sealed records was stalled by legal challenges to the measure's constitutionality, which eventually failed. The measure has been in effect in Oregon since June 2000.
  • Foreign adoptions are legally citizens

    The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allowed foreign-born adoptees to become automatic American citizens when they entered the United States, eliminating the legal burden of naturalization for international adoptions; Census 2000 included “adopted son/daughter” as a kinship category for the first time in U.S. history
  • Amendment 48

    Amendment 48
    Kristi Burton sponsors amendment 48, which would define a "person" from the moment of conception