|Text on Button
|Abortion is my Baby
Black text on neon green background
In January of 1973, one of the most controversial decisions in U.S. history was made when the supreme court voted for a woman’s right to an abortion. American women could legally obtain an abortion when the United States was established as a country. By 1900 every state had made the procedure illegal. Because of the lack of abortion access, many woman in the 1950s and 60s were forced to give birth to babies with severe birth defects in part due to the use of a prescribed drug called thalidomide. The rubella and measles epidemics of the time also caused the babies in utero to suffer severe defects. Lack of access to abortion had negative effects on the lives of the pregnant women, as well. Women who did not have the means to fly to other countries to access safe abortions suffered complications from illegal procedures performed in the U.S. These complications affected women of color the most. Arguments such as those mentioned here helped pave the way for women to fight and win the right to abortion access in 1973.
However, the road to the legalization of abortion was a complicated journey which included those fighting for medical and civil rights. In the 1960s, physicians began arguing that the criminalization of the procedure created a public health crisis. Pro-choice republicans disagreed with the pro-life republicans, and pro-life democrats did not see eye to eye with the pro-choice democrats. Feminists of all cultures and races wanted control of their bodies and access to safe healthcare. However, Black Power activists perceived abortions as another method for the government to commit genocide. Others felt that abortion access would be a step towards racial justice. This button represents the pro-choice individuals who fought for choice. There may only be three words printed on this button, but it tells us much about our country’s complicated history.
Cole, George; Frankowski, Stanislaw (1987). Abortion and Protection of the Human Fetus: Legal Problems in a Cross-Cultural Perspective. Leiden, the Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.
Exhibition: The age of roe: The past, present, and future of abortion in America. Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. (n.d.). https://www.radcliffe.harvard.edu/event/2022-the-age-of-roe-the-past-pr…;
Nunn, J., Ahearn, J., & Efrati, M. (2022, April 21). Roe v. Wade and Supreme Court abortion cases. Brennan Center for Justice. https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/research-reports/roe-v-wade-and-…;