“Abortion is – and always has been – a key arena for contesting power relations between women and men.  While the decriminalization of abortion made the procedure legal and safe and helped women to gain access to education and careers, their access to abortion was always mediated,” says Johanna Schoen, Core Faculty, Rutgers Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research, Rutgers University History Professor and Author, Abortion after Roe

Dr. Schoen is available for comment on the history of abortion and the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent overturning of Roe v. Wade through Dobbs v. Jackson.

“The 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade was a conservative decision that left the ultimate control over women’s choice in the hands of mostly male authorities – physicians, legislators, and the judiciary.  Women's nominal right to abortion became, over the course of five decades, a privilege tightly controlled on the state and local level. With the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 2022 decision to strike down Roe v. Wade, it has now been overturned.

Abortion is not immoral.  Women have abortions for deeply moral reasons and abortion providers offer abortion care because they consider it the moral thing to do.  We need to fight for a world in which we acknowledge that women make moral decisions, including decisions to end an unwanted pregnancy and in which women’s rights are grounded in the right to self-determination and equality.”