There is a long history of abortion and reproductive health care in America. At the time the Constitution was written birth control and abortion was completely legal, openly advertised and widely practiced. Reproductive healthcare was simply not a legal or government issue. As the years progressed, the government began to take an interest in the reproductive choices of women and states began passing laws that outlawed the use of birth control and the practice of abortion. The first of these laws were passed in 1820 and became increasingly restrictive until, by 1900 abortion and birth control were outlawed in all states.
The complete lack of access to birth control and abortion led to the political activism of women and men who wanted to be able to make decisions about their families without the interference of the government. Slowly, starting in the 1930’s, some of the restrictions on birth control began to be lifted, but even as late as 1940 in some states, married couples could be arrested for using birth control –even if it was prescribed by their doctor. In fact, it didn’t become legal for non-married women and men to use birth control until 1972!
A lot has changed since those early days. Abortion and birth control are legal in all states now. But some things haven’t changed. There are still lawmakers who want to make abortion illegal and make contraception harder to access for women and men. And there are some states now, where it is so hard to get an abortion that many women cannot access the care that they need.
That’s why it is so important to us at Atlanta Women’s Center to stay informed about what is happening in our state and in the nation. When “we the people” are informed and engaged with our government, we can make sure that laws that hurt women and families do not happen in our state and do not get passed at the federal level. Please see An Open Letter to 21 Million Women-Isaacson-Jones.
Join our efforts to stop attacks on women’s health care in the state Georgia by getting involved with Spark! Like the Spark Reproductive Justice Now Facebook page and follow the Spark RJ Twitter account. Share this information with your friends and others who care about protecting our rights.
Here are some other websites to check out to help you stay informed and take action:
American Civil Liberties Union (National office)
On Twitter, you can follow any of these accounts to be in the know: