Woman's Health Centers

When Someone You Love Needs a Choice

A Timeline of Reproductive Rights


Connecticut passes the first law in the United States barring abortion after “quickening”.


Twenty states have laws limiting abortion.


Griswold v. Connecticut Supreme Court decision strikes down a state law that prohibited giving married people information, instruction, or medical advice on contraception.


Colorado is the first state to liberalize its abortion laws.


Alaska, Hawaii, New York and Washington liberalize abortion laws, making abortion available at the request of a woman or her doctor.


Eisenstadt v. Baird Supreme Court decision establishes the right of unmarried people to use contraceptives.


Roe v. Wade Supreme Court strikes down state laws that made abortion illegal.


Congress adopts the first Hyde Amendment barring the use of federal Medicaid funds to provide abortions to low-income women.


A revised Hyde Amendment is passed allowing states to deny Medicaid funding except in cases of rape, incest, or severe long-lasting damage to the woman’s physical health.


Rust v. Sullivan upholds the constitutionality of the 1988 “gag rule” which prohibits doctors and counselors at clinics which receive federal funding from providing their patients with information about and referrals for abortion.


Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey reaffirms the “core” holdings of Roe that women have a right to abortion before fetal viability, but allows states to restrict abortion access so long as these restrictions do not impose an “undue burden” on women seeking abortions.


Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act is passed by Congress with a large majority in response to the murder of Dr. David Gunn. The FACE Act forbids the use of “force, threat of force or physical obstruction” to prevent someone from providing or receiving reproductive health services. The law also provides for both criminal and civil penalties for those who break the law.