Get Email Updates
|Home > Issues|
The right to choose abortion is essential to ensuring a woman can decide for herself if, when and with whom to start or grow a family. We’ll never stop fighting to protect and expand this fundamental human right.
The Supreme Court’s landmark 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade that affirmed abortion as a constitutional right for all was supposed to be the beginning of the fight for women’s equality and autonomy, not the end. Since then, we’ve been forced to defend it over and over again as anti-choice politicians and organizations focus on undermining and chipping away at our rights until they can do away with legal abortion access completely. They’ve passed hundreds of laws to restrict a woman’s ability to access safe, legal abortion care. These laws take many forms, including trying to outlaw abortion altogether, shutting down clinics, restricting access based on income level and dictating which medical procedures are available.
Anti-choice extremists will stop at nothing. They have opened thousands of fake health-care "clinics” that lie to and mislead women to prevent them from considering abortion as an option. And some anti-abortion zealots—emboldened by extreme rhetoric from anti-choice groups and politicians—have even murdered doctors and bombed clinics.
When the right to abortion is endangered, the fundamental equality of women is threatened. A woman can never be equal if she is denied the basic right to make decisions for herself and her family.
Seven in 10 Americans support the right to legal abortion. NARAL Pro-Choice America will continue to fight to keep abortion safe and legal for all women, regardless of ZIP code or income. We will mobilize together to defeat attacks in the states and in Congress. We’ll help elect candidates who will be champions for reproductive freedom. And we will continue to educate, inform and rally the public to protect and expand the fundamental human right of all people to make their own decisions about their lives.
Young Women & Abortion
Since minors can't vote, they represent a safe target for anti-choice lawmakers bent on restricting reproductive freedom for all American women.
Many young women turn to their parents when they are considering an abortion, yet some cannot involve their parents because they come from homes where physical or emotional abuse are prevalent or because their pregnancies are the result of incest. The government cannot mandate healthy family communication where it does not already exist and there is no law that can account for every situation that a young woman in crisis may face.
In Missouri, a minors’ restriction was enacted in 1979 and amended 1986 (RSMo188.028). An unemancipated female under the age of 18 may not obtain an abortion without the informed, written consent of one parent or guardian, or a waiver of that requirement by a court. The law contains no exception for a minor’s life or health.
Equal Access for Low-Income Women and Women of Color
While barriers to reproductive freedom affect all women, women of color and low-income women face unique obstacles that jeopardize their reproductive rights and health. As a result, the reproductive health needs of many low-income women and women of color are going unmet in the United States.
A complex array of factors, from egregious historical discrimination to socioeconomic constraints, impairs minority and low-income women’s access to the full range of reproductive health care options. We must overcome these obstacles to guarantee every woman the right to make personal decisions regarding reproductive choices.
Mifepristone offers women an early, safe and effective medical alternative to surgical abortion. Mifepristone received final approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in September 2000, after more than a decade of delays caused by anti-choice activists and lawmakers.
Under the current FDA-approved regimen, it is administered by a woman's doctor and requires several visits to a clinic or doctor's office. The drug also holds promise for the treatment of other health conditions such as breast cancer, endometriosis and Cushing's disease.
Anti-choice lawmakers are now moving to block access to this drug. At the federal and state levels, lawmakers have proposed legislation designed to curtail the availability of mifepristone and limit the number of doctors who can prescribe it.