1955: Conference on Abortion Legalization
Planned Parenthood held a conference to publicly call for abortion law reform. Many doctors came to make statements, demanding universal access to abortion services.
1964: Association for the Study of Abortion (ASA)
Abortion law reform activists from Planned Parenthood as well as medical providers registered the first national advocacy group for abortion law reform. Their main goal was to incrementally increase abortion access in the U.S.
1969: National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL) Established
NARAL was the first national group created solely to campaign for the legalization of abortion, marking the start of direct action to repeal abortion bans.
1970: New York becomes the first state to legalize abortion
One day after New York legalized abortion, a Planned Parenthood opened in Syracuse—the first Planned Parenthood to provide abortion services in the U.S.. More than 60% of those who received abortions in NY were visitors from states where abortion was illegal or had strict abortion policies.
1973: Roe v. Wade
This landmark Supreme Court decision made abortion—or at least some abortions—legal nationwide. States could still implement restrictions on the procedure, so long as they did not constitute an undue burden on those seeking the procedure. Still, the decision made abortion services more accessible and safer in the U.S.
1976: Hyde Amendment
A legislative act that bans the use of federal funds to cover the cost of abortion. This amendment mostly impacts women of color and poor women whose health insurance is provided by Medicaid. Prior to the Hyde Amendment taking effect, federal funds covered the cost of 300,000 abortions each year. This ban was the anti-abortion movement’s first major legislative victory following Roe v. Wade.
1982: Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act
Act that required Pennsylvania minors to obtain parental consent for abortion, married women to inform their husbands that they were seeking an abortion, and those seeking abortions be subjected to a 24 hour waiting period to access the procedure.
1992: Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey
U.S. Supreme Court ruling that reaffirmed the constitutional right to abortion. However, the 5-4 decision also allowed individual states to further regulate and restrict abortions.
2009: Murder of George Tiller
Based in Wichita, Kansas, Dr. George Tiller was one of the few remaining late-term abortion providers until his untimely death. Tiller was fatally shot by an anti-abortion extremist while he was at church. Dr. Tiller believed that “abortion is a matter of survival for women.” Today, you can donate to the George Tiller Fund, managed by the National Network of Abortion Funds.
2022: Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization
This landmark Supreme Court decision overturned Roe v. Wade—a precedent held for nearly 50 years—holding that the U.S. constitution does not protect the right to an abortion. This decision, which allows individual states the ability to fully ban abortion, has made abortion in the U.S. significantly less accessible.