The Abortion Issue

  • 1st Statutory abortion law

    1st Statutory abortion law
    Protects women from abortions performed using poison administered after the first 4 months of pregnancy. This is important because it was the first law established to protect women's rights in regards to abortion.
  • Beginning Of Pro-Life

    Beginning Of Pro-Life
    Dr. Horatio Storer creates a national effort by the American Medical Association to end legal abortion. At this point in time, 1st-trimester abortion is legal or a misdemeanor in most states. This is important because it marks the beginning of the pro-life movement in opposition to abortion.
  • Comstock Act

    Comstock Act
    This act bans access to abortion and birth control information. This is important because it is the first major instance of the pro-life movement affecting our laws surrounding abortion.
  • Stricter Abortion Laws

    Stricter Abortion Laws
    Abortion is now regulated by the AMA. It is permitted with the conferral of 1+ physicians who believe the mothers life is at risk. This is important because it continues the restrictions placed on women and their right to choose.
  • European Influence

    European Influence
    Vacuum aspiration-style abortion grows in popularity in Europe and is considered safer. This is important because later on Americans adopted it as a safer method of abortion.
  • Society for Human Abortion

    Society for Human Abortion
    The SHA is established in San Fransisco, California. It challenges the Comstock Act by providing information about abortion. This is important because it is the first instance of an organization pushing back against abortion laws and advocating for women's rights.
  • Abortion is Legal in 49 States and Washington D.C

    Abortion is Legal in 49 States and Washington D.C
    this is important because it shows huge progress being made since 100 years prior
  • Dr. Leon Belous

    Dr. Leon Belous
    Is convicted for performing an illegal abortion on a pregnant woman who was referred to him. This is important because it shows that physicians were willing to fight against abortion laws.

    President Kennedy creates the Presidential Advisory Council on the Status of Women and calls for the repeal of abortion laws. This is important because it shows the federal government becoming involved at an executive level.
  • California Supreme Court

    California Supreme Court
    Rules in favor of the right to choose abortion. This sets a precedent for other states, and even the federal government to do the same.
  • Dr. Jane Hodgson

    Dr. Jane Hodgson
    Convicted in Minnesota for performing an abortion on a 23-year-old woman. The judge does not submit the case to the state supreme court. This, yet again, shows a doctor going against the rules to do what they believe is right.
  • Hawaii

    Hawaii becomes the first state to allow abortions performed before 20 weeks of pregnancy, repealing its criminal abortion law. New York follows shortly thereafter. This is important because eventually the rest of the states follow suit
  • The Comstock Act is Repealed

    The Comstock Act is Repealed
    State Laws banning contraception remain. Abortion under "certain" conditions is permitted in 14 states. 4 states guarantee women the choice of pregnancy termination. This shows great progress since the act was passed.
  • "Jane Roe"

    "Jane Roe"
    An unmarried pregnant woman in Texas, Norma McCorvey, challenges a state law that makes it a crime for a doctor to perform an abortion unless the woman's life is at stake. McCorvey is listed as "Jane Roe" on all legal documents for privacy reasons. This is the beginning of one of the most influential cases in history.
  • Roe v. Wade

    Roe v. Wade
    The Supreme Court grants all women the right to abortions based on a woman's right to privacy. This is hugely important because it makes abortion legal in all 50 states as federal law.
  • Doe v. Bolton

    Doe v. Bolton
    The Supreme Court invalidates a Georgia law that required women to get approval from 3 physicians before having an abortion. This shows the Supreme Court acting in favor of women's rights.
  • NSFA Act

    NSFA Act
    Federally funded research using fetal tissue is banned through the National Science Foundation Authorization Act. This adds momentum to the humanitarian resistance to abortion.
  • Hyde Ammendment

    Hyde Ammendment
    Congress passes the Hyde Amendment which bans the use of Medicaid and other federal funds for abortion. It is upheld in the Supreme Court in 1980. This makes it much more difficult for women to get abortions, especially those who are lower class
  • Missouri

    Missouri's requirement that abortions after the first trimester be performed in hospitals is found unconstitutional. Another law mandating parental consent is upheld. This is important because the Supreme Court is both restricting and upholding women's rights. This shows that there is still resistance in the federal government.
  • Belloti v Baird

    Belloti v Baird
    Supreme Court rules that pregnant minors can petition courts for permission to have an abortion without parental consent. This chips away at the decision made in Missouri and shows women slowly obtaining more freedoms.
  • Akron Ordinance

    Akron Ordinance
    Court strikes down Akron ordinance that requires doctors to give abortion patients anti-abortion literature, imposes a 24-hour waiting period, requires abortions after the first trimester to be performed in a hospital, requires parental consent, and requires the aborted fetus to be disposed of in a humane manner. This, again, shows the court ruling in favor of additional rights for women and limited restrictions on abortion.
  • Webster vs Reproductive Health Services

    Webster vs Reproductive Health Services
    A law in Washington State that states "life begins at conception" and bans the use of public facilities for abortions is found unconstitutional. This marks the first time that the Supreme Court does not explicitly reaffirm Roe v. Wade.
  • Planned Parenthood v Casey

    Planned Parenthood v Casey
    The Supreme Court reaffirms Roe v Wade's core holding that states cannot ban abortion but upholds the mandatory 24 hour wait period and parental consent laws. This shows the push and pulls of the decisions made around abortion.
  • Dr. John Bayard Britton Killed

    Dr. John Bayard Britton Killed
    July: Dr. John Bayard Britton and his bodyguard are killed outside a clinic in Pensacola, Florida by former minister Paul J. Hill. Hill is convicted of murder and sentenced to death. This marks the beginning of violence in the pro-life movement.
  • Boston Killings

    Boston Killings
    December: John Salvi walks into two Boston-area abortion clinics with a rifle and opens fires, killing two receptions and injuring 5 others. Salvi is sentenced to life in prison without parole but kills himself in prison in 1996. This, again, demonstrates the extremes the pro-life movement has gone too in their fight against abortion.
  • Roe is Pro-life

    Roe is Pro-life
    Norma McCorvey (who didn't have an abortion because the ruling came too late) is befriended by the national director of Operation Rescue, who baptizes her after she converts to Christianity. McCorvey (Roe) declares she is pro-life and regrets her role in Roe v Wade. This is monumental for the pro-life movement because the woman who fought for women's right to abortion is now backing their movement.
  • HR 1883

    HR 1883
    The discussion shifts to state bans on "partial-birth abortions", which normally include late-term abortions that use the "dilation and evacuation" method. Congress passes HR 1883 which bans such procedures, but it is vetoed by President Bill Clinton. This shows the president supporting women's rights and executive action being taken.
  • Atlanta Bombing

    Atlanta Bombing
    2 bombs explode outside an Atlanta abortion clinic, injuring 6 people and destroying the building. This also demonstrates the extreme controversy that the topic has caused, and how far some people will go in their beliefs.