In this April 5, 1992 file photo, pro-choice demonstrators gather on the Ellipse near the White House in Washington. For many abortion-rights activists, the debate over health care reform has been frustrating, even disheartening, as they see their political allies on the defensive over the issue and their anti-abortion rivals on the attack.
It's been 40 years since the Supreme Court's landmark decision over a woman's right to choose in Roe v. Wade. How has the landscape over the issue of abortion and the politics of reproductive health changed since? Here's a round-up of our best coverage over the past decade on the changing climate, both in public opinion and in legislatures inside the Beltway and out, over abortion.
2012's War on Women, E.J. Graff
"For the ladies, the year’s sound track could have been a strangled gasp, followed by snorting and laughing out loud. The attacks on women’s health, on contraception, on abortion, on the definition of rape—it was all so over the top that very early on it seemed that the Republicans were determined to get out the ladies’ vote for the Democrats in 2012."
Moment of Conception, Pema Levy
How a radical anti-abortion movement matured
Akin Unmasks the Pro-Life Movement, Amanda Marcotte
If you’re going to slander the estimated 32,000 women a year who become pregnant after being raped, it’s probably not wise to do it on a Sunday, when it will lead the next week’s news coverage.
Dying for a Pro-Life Cause, E.J. Graff
Babies are adorable. Pictures of tiny fetuses are almost as adorable, tugging on our hearts. No one wants to be a killer. But for those first months, before “quickening,” that little blastocyst or embryo or even nascent fetus has no absolute claim on existence. Here’s who does: The living, breathing, walking, thinking, feeling woman.
A "Uniquely American" Abortion Debate, Dana Goldstein
The notion that tax dollars shouldn't pay for abortions is an international aberration, an example of American exceptionalism run amok.
The Pro-Life Paradox, Judith Lewis Mernit
Why are anti-abortion legislators cutting essential funds for special-needs children?
The Source of Our Abortion Woes, Scott Lemieux
Most think that Planned Parenthood v. Casey upheld abortion rights, but it actually cleared the way for curbing them.
So What if I Hadn't Been Born?, E.J. Graff
A common volley in the abortion debate: How would you like it if you were aborted?
What We Talk About When We Talk About Abortion, Amanda Marcotte
Government must build abortion law around the needs of the one in three women who will get an abortion in her lifetime, not around criminally minded outliers like Sarah Catt.
A Conversation with an Anti-Abortion Protester, Jamelle Bouie
Alaska's Peculiar Battle Over Abortion, Alexandra Gutierrez
The anti-abortion movement consistently declares that it is on the side of children and mothers. But when abortion restriction comes in the context of hurting kids and hurting mothers, backlash is likely, even in conservative states.
The Real Estate of Abortion Politics, Ann Friedman
The fight over building permits for the Aurora, Ill. Planned Parenthood clinic is just one more example of how the fight over reproductive health is coming down to questions of infrastructure.
The New Politics of Abortion, John Judis
Just as the swing voters of 1978 and 1980 saw Democratic support for abortion as indicative of a broader Democratic identification with the 1960s counterculture, pro-choice moderates saw Republican opposition to abortion as evidence of the party's capture by the religious right.