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abortion



  • What RBG Got Wrong about the Abortion Debate and the Courts

    by Felicia Kornbluh

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg stated that the Roe v. Wade decision inflamed abortion politics by preventing the states from legislating on the issue. The history of abortion legislation doesn't suggest that it would have, or will ever, create consensus. 



  • What Will it Look Like if Abortion Becomes a Crime Again?

    Since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, America's law enforcement and mass incarceration systems have grown, and women are already today the fastest-growing imprisoned demographic. What happens if the widespread practice of abortion is criminalized? 



  • Wednesday's Arguments Signal the End of Roe

    by Mary Ziegler

    "Today’s oral argument signaled that the Court is poised to reverse Roe outright when it decides Dobbs, probably sometime in June or early July," says a leading legal historian of abortion rights.



  • Rebecca Traister: Betrayal of Roe Decades in the Making

    Liberal anger at the prospect of SCOTUS overturning the right to abortion needs to grapple with why liberalism ignored the right's long-building anti-majoritarian movement when it threatened the needs of mostly marginalized people. 



  • AHA, OAH File SCOTUS Amicus Brief in Mississippi Abortion Ban Case

    This brief, based on decades of study and research by professional historians, aims to provide an accurate historical perspective as the Court considers the state of Mississippi’s challenge to a woman’s right to abortion, a right that was affirmed by the Court in Roe v. Wade.



  • Early Pregnancy Testing Required Sacrificing Rabbits

    Women have always had an interest in detecting pregancy as soon as possible; the development of tests for pregnancy hormones involved fugitives from the Nazis and unfortunate rodents who were autopsied in early tests. 



  • The Lies of TV's Abortion Storylines

    by Tanya Melendez

    "Looking back on how abortion came into our living rooms starting in the 1960s and persisted into our audience-fragmented streaming era can teach us how these stories taught, shaped, and contributed to today’s public discourse about abortion."



  • Reframing Abortion as a Public Good

    by Judith Levine

    "States have a compelling interest—a profound obligation—to defend the right to abortion. Abortion is a public good. Why haven’t we linked abortion to the commonweal?"



  • Peering Into Windows and Wombs: Reflections on SB 8

    by Gillian Frank

    "Even as abortion opponents loudly proclaim they are acting by divine mandate, people of faith like Dr. Curtis Boyd remain on the frontlines of this battle for reproductive healthcare."



  • OAH Signs Amicus Curiae Brief in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization

    by Organization of American Historians

    “The OAH is committed to the principle that the past is a key to understanding the present, and has an interest—as a steward of history, not as an advocate of a particular legal standard—to ensure that the Court is presented with an accurate portrayal of American history and traditions,”



  • Military Historians Divided over Boycotting Texas for Conference

    The Society for Military History has planned its annual conference for Texas next spring. The state's radical new abortion law has prompted some members to call for moving the event, and sparked debate over what constitutes political neutrality for the organization. 



  • The Way it Was

    "That year in the 1960s, several thousand American women were treated in emergency rooms for botched abortions, and there were at least 200 known deaths.Comparing my story with others from the pre-Roe era, what impresses me is how close I veered to mortal danger."



  • Edsall: Abortion Has Always Been Part of Broader Politics

    Thomas Edsall draws on the work of historians Katherine Stewart, Randall Balmer, Jefferson Cowie and Darren Dochuk, plus other scholars, to argue that the "right to life" movement grew from the movement of resistance to school integration and today is sustained by politics of masculinity. 



  • Texas Allows Abortion to Save a Woman's Life. Right?

    American hospitals by the 1950s formed "therapeutic abortion committees" to rule whether individual women needed abortions to protect their lives. Those committees' decisions reflected religious morality, class and racial prejudice, and other subjective perceptions of a patient's worthiness. 


  • Memo From Irish History: Welcome to Your Future, American Women

    by Laura Weinstein

    After sustained public outcry, the Republic of Ireland looked to its history of horrific treatment and preventable death of girls and women under its draconian abortion laws and said "enough." Will this example change the course American states like Texas are poised to follow?