Prior to 1880, abortion was widely practiced in the United States. Anti-abortion legislation grew out of the backlash against the growing movements for suffrage and access to birth control, both of which would give women autonomy over their reproductive health and break their traditional role of childbearing.

The laws prohibiting abortion took a heavy toll on women’s lives, disproportionately impacting poor women and women of color because access to a safe abortion often depended upon a woman’s economic situation, her race, and where in the country she lived. Thousands of women were treated annually for health complications due to botched abortions.

In the 1960s the women’s liberation movement made reproductive rights a priority. Between 1967 and 1973 a number of states reformed or repealed their abortion laws. In 1973 the Supreme Court struck down all existing criminal abortion laws in the landmark Roe v. Wade case, saying that the right to privacy protected a woman’s decision to terminate a pregnancy in the first trimester, and that if her life or health were endangered she could not be forced to continue the pregnancy at any stage.

Since then women’s rights to abortion have been under sustained attack, with states enacting over 1074 abortions restrictions, and judgements requiring parental consent, limiting access to women on Medicaid, banning federal funding for abortion care, mandatory waiting periods. 

In 2015 alone nearly 400 bills were introduced and 57 passed, including a whole new tactic of targeted regulation of abortion providers, so called TRAP regulations. These TRAP regulations mandate burdensome and medically unnecessary requirements far more stringent than requirements for similar medical procedures.

This page will track Trump’s statements and actions regarding abortion.

Source: Our Bodies, Ourselves.