Erosion of Access to Abortion in the United States: Lessons for Australia

Rebecca Dean


Since the legalisation of abortion in the United States (US) in 1973, access to abortion has been restricted and under attack from multiple fronts. From a pro-choice perspective, this article analyses the way women’s access to abortion has been eroded in the US. This article considers: Roe v Wade and chronicles the subsequent cases decided by the US Supreme Court which have gradually dismantled its holding; the various US state and federal legislative restrictions on abortion and their impact on access to abortion; the new composition of the US Supreme Court and the consequences for women’s access to legal abortion; and a brief overview of abortion in Australia. Awareness of anti-choice tactics used to restrict access to abortion in the US may prevent a similar erosion of abortion rights in Australia.

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