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Reproductive Rights in the US: Timeline

  • History

Protections and regulations around contraception and abortion have been subject to laws and legislation in the U.S. since the 1800s.

Prior to 1821, abortions were generally accessible and were often performed by midwives, as well as doctors. That changed as women’s reproductive rights in the United States became more contentious. A 1873 case established federal control over contraception distribution. By 1960, women’s access to contraception broadened with FDA approval of “the Pill.”