The history of the legality of abortion in the United States
This episode originally aired on Oct. 19, 2021.
As the country continues to react to the disclosure by Politico of the draft of a Supreme Court opinion that would overturn the right to abortion established in Roe v. Wade, reportedly circulated by Justice Samuel Alito, we are revisiting a conversation we had last October on the history of the legality, and criminality, of abortion in the United States going all the way back to its founding.
This conversation took place shortly after Republican state representative Webster Barnaby introduced a bill that would have banned abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is around six weeks. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a modified version of that legislation into law last month that bans most abortions after 15 weeks. It contains exceptions if the abortion is necessary to save a mother's life, to prevent serious injury to the mother, or if the fetus has a fatal abnormality.
We take a step back and learn about the history of the legality, and criminality, of abortion in the United States going all the way back to its founding. We also get a snapshot of the work being done by Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida.
- Dr. Karissa Haugeberg, Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of History at Tulane University and author of “Women against Abortion: Inside the Largest Moral Reform Movement of the Twentieth Century”
- Stephanie Fraim, President and CEO at Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida