With the recent confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the United States Supreme Court, many people have expressed concern that Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court case that ruled criminalizing abortion and undue state regulation of abortion services violated a women’s constitutional right to privacy and in effect protects the rights of women to pursue safe abortions, will be overturned. But this current election cycle and political milieu is not the first time women’s reproductive rights have been on the ballot and at the forefront of political life in the United States. This raises the question of when, and why, reproductive rights have become so politicized. The aim of our final project, therefore, is to explore the history of reproductive rights in the United States through an interactive timeline. Questions our project hopes to answer include what are reproductive rights, how has the definition of reproductive rights changed over time, and what have national policies been in response to these changing definitions? We also hope to explore the connections of reproductive rights to chattel slavery, eugenics, feminist movements, and capitalism. In these ways, we aim to broaden our exploration of reproductive rights to those outside of the United States to see how United States’s reproductive rights policies have shaped other countries, such as through Cold War rhetoric and, more recently, the (re)implementation of the Global Gag Rule. Within our interactive timeline, we will use statistics, quotes, photographs, and videos to better ground these themes.
You can view our project here (or by clicking the image above!)