On the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the legal battles over abortion in the United States still rage. We’ve compiled some of the more interesting takes on the topic and the broader issue of women’s rights. What have we missed? Leave a link in the comments.
Thirteen Charts That Explain How Roe v. Wade Changed Abortion Rights, The Washington Post/WonkBlog, January 2014 If you’re pressed for time, this WonkBlog piece traces the last 41-plus years in the US abortion wars in an easily digestible format. Especially eye-opening are the charts that show the extent to which abortion has become a class issue, concentrated among low-income and minority women.
Interactive: The Geography of Abortion Access, The Daily Beast, January 2013 Where is the closest abortion clinic? Find out with this interactive map that plots the location of the 724 clinics in the United States. (724, as of January 2013).
The Rise of DIY Abortions, The New Republic, December 2012 As states attempt to restrict access to abortions, some women have turned to the Internet to find the abortion pill. But without a doctor’s guidance, women can face medical complications or accidentally violate state abortion laws. This is the story of one woman who faced criminal prosecution for a DIY-abortion gone wrong.
The Evolution of a Justice, New York Times, April 2005 An excellent look at the history of the legal battle over abortion, and the evolution in the thinking of the Judge who wrote the majority opinion in Roe v. Wade 2013 Justice Harry A. Blackmun.
The Accidental Activist, Vanity Fair, February 2013 As Jane Roe, Norma McCorvey became one of the lasting names in the abortion debate. But a trove of documents discovered by journalist Joshua Prager suggests that McCorvey wasn’t driven so much by a passion for women’s rights as by her own self-interest. This piece explores the life of Jane Roe.
Abortion Clinics Close at Record Pace After States Tighten Rules, Bloomberg News, September 2013 Since 2011, nearly 1 in 10 U.S. abortion clinics have stopped performing the procedure. Bloomberg provides an explainer showing how budget cuts and legislation aimed specifically at clinics, not doctors or hospitals, has driven many to shut their doors.
Gambling with Abortion, Harper’s Magazine, November 2004 (paywall or pdf) Journalist Cynthia Gorney breaks down one of the biggest battles in abortion legislation in recent years: the fight over the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act. The federal law, signed by George W. Bush, criminalizes any doctor who performs a late-term abortion by extracting an entire living fetus from a mother. But how did this one specific method of abortion become the target of federal legislation? The answer is a fascinating story of politics and public perception.