The 200-Year Fight for Abortion Access


We tend to take reproductive rights for granted, but from a historical ­perspective, they were won almost yesterday. In the 18th and early-19th centuries, abortion was legal before “quickening,” the point at which a woman could feel her fetus move, usually in the fourth month of pregnancy; abortion after that was considered a common-law misdemeanor. From that point on in this country, there have been battles and negotiations over women’s reproductive lives. (For more on how abortion’s past could become its future, click here.)

Timeline: The 200-Year Fight for Abortion Access