Author(s): Kunins H, Rosenfield A
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Abstract PIP: Abortion is an issue of great public concern and debate. The majority of US citizens support a woman's right to choose, but it has not always been that way. Abortion was made legal in 1973 but women have been abortions for hundreds of years before that. The history of abortion is therefore a history of women breaking the law and subjecting themselves to great physical and social risk. Abortion law in the US has been changed mostly by the Supreme Court. After Roe v Wade (1973) there were many other cases brought before the Court involving federal and state funding of abortion, father's rights, parental consent for minors, and many other finer points of law and policy regarding abortion. Abortion is commonly practiced in many developing countries including the ones where it is illegal. The data collected from these countries gives researchers here a great deal of information on the clinical and sociological aspects of abortion. Medical technology has broadened the scope of abortion by introducing medication to induce abortion such as RU486. Abortion is no longer an exclusively surgical procedure. Since it can performed now with a pill it will be almost impossible to regulate it as strictly as before.
This article was published in Annu Rev Public Health
and referenced in Sociology and Criminology-Open Access