TOTD: The Pro-Choice Movement

November 17, 2020 - Shiksha Sneha

While Roe v. Wade (1973) is often cited in conversations about abortion, people have been having abortions since 1550 B.C. Although unsafe at that time, abortions were legal in all 50 states in the early 1800s and were not criminalized until the 1900s. With growing bans on abortions and penalizations to womxn who go through abortions, pro-choice activists took their case to the Supreme Court. With a 7-2 decision, Roe v. Wade essentially declared abortion a fundamental right, however, the recent death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court has many womxn worried about their right to choose.

One in four women will have an abortion by the age of 45. Many trans and non-binary folks will as well. 7 in 10 Americans support legal access to abortion. These numbers speak to a large consensus among the American public regarding reproductive choice. Yet, discussions on abortions are more polarized than ever and divided among party lines. Research conducted by NARAL Pro-Choice America (linked here) details how a few, powerful, anti-choice leaders have attacked reproductive freedom in the last couple years. They have established anti-choice fake health centers (crisis pregnancy centers that promise abortion services to womxn and then shame/scare them out of getting an abortion) that discourage womxn from accessing reproductive health care while also trying to stop access to birth control. From influencing judicial nominations to spreading misinformation through the media, these anti-choice advocacy groups have created immense obstacles (requirement of a psych consult, lack of insurance coverage, requiring consent from spouse/parent) for reproductive freedom in the United States. 

There are groups such as NARAL, Planned Parenthood, NOW, and ACLU who are continuously fighting for us and our right to choose. It is up to us to organize, donate if we can, and build strength and power through community for each other. There is a lot more to discuss regarding the pro-choice movement from the high maternal mortality rates , especially for Black womxn, to how the movement has been co-opted by wealthier womxn. To learn more, read some articles here: 

The Women the Pro-Choice movement left behind

Stigma around Abortion

Data around abortions in the U.S.

Health insurance and abortions

Black Women and the pro-choice movement

Photo by Caroline Brehman, Getty Images


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