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Abortion and Reproductive Rights: Welcome


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Reproductive rights encompass the freedom of couples and individuals to decide if and when they want to have children and their entitlement to obtain information and services related to reproductive health. Although these rights are commonly associated with access to safe and legal abortions, they also pertain to:

  • the availability of birth control
  • comprehensive sex education
  • fertility resources
  • prenatal and maternal healthcare
  • And protection against coerced pregnancy, abortion, and sterilization.

The US Constitution does not explicitly safeguard reproductive rights. In 1973, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled in Roe v. Wade that a woman's right to terminate a pregnancy was protected under the Fourteenth Amendment. However, subsequent political and legal efforts from opponents led to SCOTUS overturning this decision on June 24, 2022. Consequently, abortions are once again illegal in many states, and accessibility is severely limited in numerous parts of the country.

Reproductive rights policies are primarily determined by state and local governments. Advocates continue to fight for these rights through new laws, legal battles, and public awareness campaigns. Their efforts face resistance from organizations opposing family planning, especially abortion and contraceptive use, mainly due to religious objections. Similar to reproductive rights supporters, these organizations employ legal means and public opinion to advance their viewpoints.

Reproductive rights involve access to essential information about reproductive health and the ability to make personal decisions concerning reproductive health. Historically, laws prohibited the mailing of information related to sex, contraception, or abortion services. The discourse on reproductive rights often centers on a woman's right to choose abortion and how abortion laws might infringe on privacy or hinder healthcare workers from performing their duties.

Insufficient knowledge about sex and reproductive health is linked to higher rates of sexually transmitted infections, unintended pregnancies, and abortions. While many types of birth control are covered by insurance and various contraceptives can be obtained without a prescription, a significant number of Americans still lack access to a comprehensive range of birth control methods.

The Abortion Divide


Inside the fight over abortion through the stories of women struggling with unplanned pregnancies. Drawing on a landmark FRONTLINE film from the 1980s, a look at both sides of the divide in a community still embroiled in the conflict. Distributed by PBS Distribution.

MLA Citation

"The Abortion Divide." Films Media Group, 2019. Films On Demand, Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

APA Citation

Films Media Group. (2019). The abortion divideFilms On Demand. Retrieved October 4, 2023, from

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