Women's Rights and History

Historic events that will have a profound impact on our future are happening every day. On June 24, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court made one such historic decision when it reversed Roe v. Wade, a landmark ruling made in 1973 that established constitutional protections for abortion. With our “Know Your History’ initiative, we try to connect our audiences with historical information that is relevant to the moment and what is happening in the world. To answer a need for historical context and educational materials on the history of women’s reproductive rights in America, we have put together the following resource guide.


Resource Guide on Contraception, Abortion, and Reproductive Rights:

Timelines on Contraception and Reproductive Rights: 

Timeline of important reproductive freedom cases decided by the supreme court, ACLU: 
A Timeline of Contraception: American Experience, PBS: 
Historical Abortion Law Timeline: 1850 to Today, Plannedparenthoodaction.org: 
Timeline of Attacks on Abortion: 2009-2021, Plannedparenthoodaction.org: 

Academic Discourse on the Reproductive Rights Movement and Abortion: 

The Reproductive Rights Movement: 1914-Present, Angela A. Badore, Gettysburg College: 
Abolishing Abortion: the History of the Pro-Life Movement in America, Organization of American Historians: 


Reproductive Rights Activism in the Post-Roe Era, National Library of Medicine:  

Maps and Data: 

“What if Roe Fell?” Map: Center for Reproductive Rights:  


“The World’s Abortion Laws”, Center for Reproductive Rights: 


Laws, Rulings, and Legal Opinions: 

Roe v. Wade (1973) 


Reproductive Privacy Act of Rhode Island (2019) 


Dobbs, State Health Officer of the Mississippi Department of Health, Et Al. V. Jackson Women’s Health Organization Et Al. (2021) 

Rhode Island: Reproductive Rights and Protest: 

“What if Roe Fell?” Map, Rhode Island: Center for Reproductive Rights: 


Overturn Roe v Wage? Rhode Island Reacts to News that Supreme Court is Prepared to Overturn Roe v. Wade, The Providence Journal: 

Syllabi and Research Guides: 

Reproductive Health & Justice, Before & After Roe Syllabus, Nursing Clio: 
The History of Reproductive Rights, a Syllabus, JSTOR: 


Reproductive Health, Library of Congress: 


Reproductive Rights, Health, and Justice Resource Guide, Bolder Advocacy: Alliance for Justice: 

Social, Economic, and Demographic Issues: 

“Racism, Birth Control, and Reproductive Rights”, Angela Davis: 


“Fact Check: Was Planned Parenthood Started to ‘Control’ the Black Population?”, Amira Kelly 


Contraceptive Equity for Black Women, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda:  


“Supreme Court Could Halt Access to Safe Abortions Indigenous Activists Say”, Indian Country Today: 

The Evolution of Reproductive Rights and Justice, Background Readings: 

Birthing Reproductive Justice: 150 Years of Images and Ideas, University of Michigan Library 


“Reproductive Rights and Reproductive Justice (A History Talk Podcast)”, Ohio State University: 


Our Bodies, Ourselves Magazine: 


“How U.S. Abortion Laws Went from Nonexistent to Acrimonious”, National Geographic:


“Roe v. Wade: It’s History & Impact”, Planned Parenthood: