Untitled timeline

Abortion

Lobbying and protesting begins

1960

During this time, the Clergy Consultation Service on Abortion (made up of pastors, rabbis, and feminists) dedicate themselves to helping women have safe abortions.
The Abortion Counseling Service of Chicago Women's Liberation Union (code name Jane) sets up underground network of abortion providers and helps women procure safe abortions. The safety record of this organizations is comparable to that of modern medical facilities.

Abortion reform begins

1967 - 1973

14 states reform and repeal abortion laws allowing for abortions in cases of rape and incest.

NY legalizes abortion

1970

Alaska and Washington soon follow. Hawaii does as well, but only allows residents of the state to have abortions.

Roe V. Wade

1973

This decision strikes down all existing criminal abortion laws and determines that a woman's right to abortion is protected under the 14th amendment's "right to privacy."

Hyde Amendment

1976

The Hyde Amendment prohibits using U.S. federal funds to pay for abortions in programs administered through the Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services, including Medicaid. Exceptions are granted in cases of rape or incest, or a threat to the woman’s life. As an amendment to a federal appropriations bill, it must be reintroduced every two year session of congress.

Operation Rescue

1980

Large pro-life movement that blockades entrances to abortion clinics

Ronald Reagan becomes president

1981

The beginning of a conservative effort to limit the reproductive and sexual rights of women.
Institutes the "Global Gag Rule" which says no federal family planning money can be given to non governmental organizations that use funding to perform abortions other than in cases of rape, incest, and danger to the mother's life. Any non governmental organization that provides abortion counseling, referral, or that lobby for abortion are also subject to the rule.

George H. W. Bush becomes president

1989

Vice President, Dan Quayle criticizes Murphy Brown and begins a very public argument about abortion laws and family values.

Bill Clinton becomes president

1993

Overturns the "Global Gag Rule."

FACE Act

1994

The Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act bans people from blocking entrances to abortion clinics.

George W. Bush becomes president

2001

Enacts various anti-abortion laws and reinstitutes the "Global Gag Rule"

George Tiller is murdered

2009

The Wichita abortion provider was murdered at church by anti-abortionist. His clinic at the time was one of three clinics nationwide to provide late term abortions. Known for saying "trust women."

Barack Obama becomes president

2009

Increases funding for evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs.
Revived State Children's Health Insurance Program in which the federal government matches funds provided by states to help insure families with children.
Gave $127 million dollars to Native American and Alaskan Native communities in part to enhance law enforcement and better serve women who have been sexually assaulted.
"Global Gag Rule" overturned again.

Hyde amendment codified

2010

President Obama signed an executive order very similar to the Hyde Amendment. It decrees that no federal dollars would be used to pay for abortion through the newly created health insurance exchanges or through community health centers, except in the case of rape, incest, or a threat to the life of the mother. It also limits the coverage a woman may receive for abortion services through a PCIP. However, unlike the Hyde Amendment, this executive order doesn't need to be reintroduced every two years.

More restrictions enacted

2011

Large increase of state restrictions on abortion as well as further health care restrictions.

TV

The Defenders

1962

CBS
One regretted abortion, one "good" abortion, and one birth.

Another World

1964

NBC
Abortion
Procedure leaves woman sterile and she then kills her partner.

Maude

1972

CBS
Abortion
Maude decides that she and her husband are too old to have another baby. To this day, one of the most acclaimed show to deal with the issue of abortion.
"Abortion isn't a dirty word anymore"

All My Children

1973

ABC.
Abortion
The woman is the villain of the soap opera. She is left infertile after an infection from her abortion. Later rewritten.. Turns out the "doctor" stole the embryo and implanted it in his own wife. The resulting baby shows up in 1993.

Star Trek: The Next Generation

1988

Produced for syndication
Birth
Woman has baby despite doctor's advice. The baby is born and turns out to be a wise alien who wanted to see what birth was like. He then "dies" and returns to his home.

Degrassi High

1989

PBS (originally)
Abortion
U.S. version edits protesters and changes the ending to be more ambiguos. The N refused to air three episodes that slightly referenced the abortion.

Murphy Brown

1991

CBS
Birth
Decides to keep baby because it might be her last chance at motherhood. Ignites debate with Dan Quayle.
"Women in this country legally have a choice. At least I think they still do... I haven't checked the paper today."

Melrose Place

1992

Fox
Birth
Woman almost gets a secretive abortion, but changes her mind at the last minute.

The Real World: LA

1993

MTV
Abortion
Viewer discretion warning at the beginning of the episode.
Diverse viewpoints from all of the house members ignites discussion of the issue.
Woman's mom tells her she also would've gotten an abortion had they been legal in 1970, but she's glad she didn't.

Roseanne

1994

ABC
Birth
Jackie gets pregnant and tries to decide what to do. Her grandmother tells her about her own two illegal abortions.

Beverly Hills 90210

1994

Fox
Birth
After getting pregnant and broken up with, the woman decides to get an abortion. However, she and her partner both reconsider and decide to have a baby and get married.
Miscarriage
On a later episode, another character gets pregnant and considers abortion, but has a miscarriage before she has to make a choice.

Party of Five

1996

Fox
Miscarriage
A young girl gets pregnant and considers abortion. She decides that abortion is murder and that she should keep the baby, but shortly after suffers a miscarriage.
The episode was originally intended to feature an abortion, but the network forced the writers to change it.

Felicity

2000

WB
Birth
After an unplanned pregnancy, this woman decides to have an abortion. However, she runs out of the clinic crying and decides to keep the baby.

Dawson's Creek

2000

WB
Birth
Dawson's mother gets pregnant. Dawson is completely against the idea of abortion and reminds her how great she is at motherhood. She decides to keep the baby.

Everwood

2003

WB
Abortion
Dr. Brown refuses to perform an abortion on a young girl. He refers her to another doctor and then goes to confession.
A viewer discretion warning ran before the episode and it was not re-run.

Six Feet Under

2003

HBO
Abortion
Claire decides to have an abortion. At this point in the series, there is lots of other drama and the abortion is not a huge deal. In a later episode, Claire sees her dead sister in law with the baby she aborted.
"Do you think you can give me a ride? I have to get an abortion."

Day's of Our Lives

2004

NBC
Abortion
Mimi decides to get an abortion and is left sterile as a result.

The O.C.

2004

Fox
Miscarriage
After an unplanned pregnancy, Ryan and his girlfriend decide to have a baby. He moves to be with her and she has a miscarriage. In a later episode, it's revealed that she lied about the miscarriage so that Ryan could go back to the O.C. and did actually have a baby.
Does not use the word "abortion" in the episode.

Grey's Anatomy

2005

ABC
Miscarriage
Cristina decides to have an abortion but conveniently miscarries.

Jack and Bobby

2005

WB
Abortion
Young girl eventually decides to get an abortion and goes through with it.
After a letter writing campaign begging for some sort of punishment for the abortions, the writers decide to kill her in a fiery car crash on the next episode.

Battlestar Galactica

2006

Sci-Fi
Abortion
A young girl begs for asylum and wants to have an abortion. The president bans abortion as a political ploy, but allows her to have one.
"One of the most interesting things about being President is that you don't have to explain yourself. To anyone."

House

2007

Fox
Abortion
After a woman is raped, House helps her have an abortion.
Birth
House recommends a very ill woman have an abortion, but she refuses. House agrees to do a risky exploratory surgery during which the baby holds House's hand. After this, House stops calling it "the fetus" and says "the baby" instead.

Army Wives

2008

Lifetime
Birth
Joan decides to end an unplanned pregnancy because of a rocky relationship and to focus on her career. However, she changes her mind at the clinic.

Glee

2009

Fox
Birth
A young, conservative girl gives no thought to abortion and goes through with her pregnancy.

One Tree Hill

2009

CW
Birth
Peyton finds out that she will die if she goes through with her pregnancy. Because she believes that abortion is murder, she goes through with the pregnancy and survives anyway.

Big Love

2009

HBO
Miscarriage
Sarah gets pregnant and weighs her options. She soon suffers from a miscarriage and then feels guilty for being glad about it.

Desperate Housewives

2009

ABC
Birth
Initially, the pregnant woman decides to have an abortion. She soon changes her mind after a friend convinces her that children are a gift.

Friday Night Lights

2010

NBC
Abortion
Becky decides to have an abortion after getting pregnant in high school. Her decision is shown to be difficult and very thoughtful.
"It's state mandate. I have to say it"

Mad Men

2010

AMC
Birth
Joan gets pregnant and decides to keep the baby. She does reveal that she has had two "procedures" done in the past.

The Secret Life of the American Teenager

2010

ABC Family
Birth
Andrea decides to have an abortion, but is very upset about her decision. She goes to the clinic, receives counseling, and changes her mind. Her baby is later stillborn.

Sex and The City

2010

HBO
Birth
Miranda gets pregnant and decides to have an abortion because of her relationship status and her career. She makes it to the clinic, but changes her mind. Other characters admit to having had abortions.

Grey's Anatomy

2011

ABC
Abortion
After Cristina Yang becomes pregnant again, she decides to have an abortion and focus on her career.

The Walking Dead

2011

AMC
Birth
Lori takes a lot of EC to abort her pregnancy. She changes her mind and throws up all of the pills.

Girls

2012

HBO
Miscarriage
Jessa finds out she is pregnant and decides to have an abortion. She skips her appointment to drink and suffers a convenient miscarriage. The humor of the episode lies in the situation and in the 28 minute episode, the word "abortion" is said 11 times.

Parenthood

2013

NBC
Abortion
After planning to get an abortion, a young girl actually goes through with it. The decision is shown to be a hard one.