On Jan. 22, 1973, the Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade that a woman’s choice to have an abortion was a fundamental right under the Constitution.
In the 42 years since then, a woman’s right to safe, legal abortion has been threatened again and again.
In the last year alone, “personhood” ballot initiatives in North Dakota and Colorado threatened legal abortion. The number of abortion clinics in Texas has been reduced by half, severely restricting abortion access for the state’s low-income women. Anti-abortion “protestors” continue to verbally abuse and intimidate women at abortion clinics as buffer zones crumble, and so-called “pregnancy crisis centers” mislead women looking for information about termination. As their options become more and more limited, women are increasingly forced to turn to back-alley abortions.
Clearly, there is a lot of work to be done to ensure that all women have access to this fundamental right. The anniversary of Roe v. Wade is a time to look back at the activists who tirelessly fought for abortion access, and consider the obstacles ahead.
Here are 21 inspirational images of women protesting for the right to control their bodies:
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