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Abortion and the Law in the US

Resources about the history and present day of legal issues related to abortion in the United States

Introduction

On Friday, June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court ruled in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization that "the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion." Overturning Roe v. Wade, the Court returned the question of abortion rights to the states to decide.

Many states had "trigger bans" in place, intended to abolish abortion rights as soon as Roe was overturned. As of July 8, abortion is banned in ten states and under serious threat in more than half the states. According to New York Attorney General Letitia James, abortion remains "legal and protected" in New York State.

This page is intended to chronicle changes to abortion laws, as well as guide novice researchers in their exploration of the topic.

Additional resources are available on reproductive justice, the Black feminist social movement that asserts the right to have children, the right to not have children, and the right to parent one's children in safe and sustainable communities.

Where is abortion legal?

A number of news sites are tracking the status of abortion rights throughout the US since the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade:

A number of advocacy organizations are tracking similar information:

Facts about abortion

Abortion in the US

Abortion in New York State

History of abortion rights in the US

The legal history of abortion in the US is complex. Typically, the timeline has been divided as follows:

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