The fight for reproductive rights and women’s control over their own bodies is far from over. In fact, some may say that present-day challenges seem even more formidable.
However, one improvement for women and mothers has been the difference in advertisements, literature, and society aimed towards women and surrounding parenting. It is much more common today to see images of fathers in advertisements and women doing far more than just mothering and cleaning. This gives women the ability to live a different life than the one set out for them in the ads of the 50s, 60s, and 70s.
While the fight for reproductive rights continues, today, women could only imagine how much more difficult their fight would be if they were surrounded by propaganda depicting women as little more than reproducers and mothers, were told by other women that motherhood is their womanly purpose, or never saw fathers depicted caring for their children.
This timeline shows major events in the reproductive rights movement from the 1990s to 2019. The chronology serves to illustrate the regressions and the few progressions that have taken place in more recent decades. Birth control is still, and probably more, widely accessible to the public, which is likely one of the reasons sterilization is a less common method of birth control for women today. With the reduction in sterilization as a whole, there is less sterilization abuse that takes place against women of color.
Abortions, however, are much less available and accessible than they were in the 1970s and 80s. Many pamphlets and newsletters advertised women’s health centers that provided abortions and other female procedures. Today, only Planned Parenthood clinics offer abortions. In stark contrast to the many centers that would be advertised in one city’s newsletter, some states only have one abortion clinic, forcing women to pay for travel and sometimes endure 24-hour waiting periods, external opposition, and spousal approval in order to obtain an abortion.
Timeline Works Cited:
“A Timeline of Reproductive Rights.” Woman’s Health Centers , Tampa Bay Abortion Clinics, 2013, www.tampabayabortionclinics.com/resources/abortion-and-politics/a-timeline-of-reproductive-rights/.
Berg, Miriam. “Timeline: 100 Years of Birth Control.” Planned Parenthood Action Fund, 16 July 2014, www.plannedparenthoodaction.org/blog/timeline-100-years-birth-control.
Larson, Jordan. “Timeline: The 200-Year Fight for Abortion Access.” The Cut, 17 Jan. 2017, www.thecut.com/2017/01/timeline-the-200-year-fight-for-abortion-access.html.
“Reproductive Rights Historical Highlights.” National Organization for Women, NOW, 2019, now.org/resource/reproductive-rights-historical-highlights/.
“Timeline of Important Reproductive Freedom Cases Decided by the Supreme Court.” American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU, 2019, www.aclu.org/other/timeline-important-reproductive-freedom-cases-decided-supreme-court.