Sunday marked the 39th anniversary Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. While Roe provides many protections of a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy, a wave of abortion restrictions last year reshaped access and availability. These graphs and maps look back at how abortion rights, as well as abortion rates, have changed since the Roe decision in 1973.
Prior to 1973, states determined the legality of abortion. Through the mid-1960s, 44 states outlawed abortion in nearly all situations that did not threaten the life or health of the mother. States began liberalizing their abortion laws in the 1960s and 1970s. This map shows the situation in the early-1970s, when Roe was decided. The four maroon states legalized abortion in nearly all cases before the fetus was viable. The fourteen pink states allowed abortions in some circumstances. Nearly all others continued to ban abortion in nearly all cases. Source: Guttmacher Institute Buy Photo