1918 – In the United States, Margaret Sanger was charged under the New York law against disseminating contraceptive information. On appeal, her conviction was reversed on the grounds that contraceptive devices could legally be promoted for the cure and prevention of disease.
1920 – In France a law was enacted that forbade all forms of contraception, and also information about contraception.
1931 – Mexico was the first country in the world to legalize abortion in cases of rape.
1932 – Poland was the first country in Europe outside the Soviet Union to legalize abortion in cases of rape and threat to maternal health.
1935 – Iceland became the first Western country to legalize therapeutic abortion under limited circumstances.
1935 – Nazi Germany amended its eugenics law, to promote abortion for women who have hereditary disorders. The law allowed abortion if a woman gave her permission, and if the fetus was not yet viable, and for purposes of so-called racial hygiene.
1935 - Contraception in Ireland was made illegal in 1935 under the 1935 Criminal Law (Amendment) Act.
1967 – Colorado became the first state to decriminalize abortion in cases of rape, incest, or in which pregnancy would lead to permanent physical disability of the woman, and similar laws were passed in California, Oregon, and North Carolina.
1968 – Georgia and Maryland reformed their abortion laws based on the ALI MPC.
1968 – President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Committee on The Status of Women releases a report calling for a repeal of all abortion laws.
1970 – Hawaii, New York, Alaska and Washington repealed their abortion laws. Specifically, Hawaii became the first state to legalize abortions on the request of the woman, New York repealed its 1830 law and allowed abortions up to the 24th week of pregnancy, and Washington held a referendum on legalizing early pregnancy abortions, becoming the first state to legalize abortion through a vote of the people.
1970 – The U.S. Congress removed references to contraception from federal anti-obscenity laws.
1971 – The Indian Parliament under the Prime Ministership of Indira Gandhi, passes Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 1971 (MTP Act 1971). India thus becomes one of the earliest nations to pass this Act. The Act gains importance, considering India had traditionally been a very conservative country in these matters. Most notably there was no similar Act in several US states around the same time.
1972 – Florida reformed its abortion law based on the ALI MPC.
1973 – The U.S. Supreme Court, in Roe v. Wade, declared all the individual state bans on abortion during the first trimester to be unconstitutional, allowed states to regulate but not proscribe abortion during the second trimester, and allowed states to proscribe abortion during the third trimester unless abortion is in the best interest of the woman's physical or mental health. The Court legalized abortion in all trimesters when a woman's doctor believes the abortion is necessary for her physical or mental health and held that only a "compelling state interest" justified regulations limiting the individual right to privacy.
1973 – Doe v. Bolton, 410 U.S. 179 (1973), was a decision of the United States Supreme Court overturning the abortion law of Georgia. The Supreme Court's decision was released on January 22, 1973, the same day as the decision in the better-known case of Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973). Doe v. Bolton challenged Georgia's much more liberal abortion statute.
1973 – The South Korean abortion law was amended by the Maternal and Child Health Law of 1973, which permitted a physician to perform an abortion if the pregnant woman or her spouse suffered from certain hereditary or communicable diseases, if the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest, or if continuing the pregnancy would jeopardize the woman's health. Any physician who violated the law was punished by two years' imprisonment. Self-induced abortions were illegal, and punishable by a fine or imprisonment.
1974 - McGee v. The Attorney General  IR 284 was a case in the Irish Supreme Court in 1974 that referenced Article 41 of the Irish Constitution. It concerned Mary McGee, whose condition was such that she was advised by her physician that if she would become pregnant again her life would be endangered. She was then instructed to use a diaphragm and spermicidal jelly that was prescribed to her. However, Section 17 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1935 prohibited her from acquiring the prescription. The Supreme Court ruled by a 4 to 1 majority in favor of her, after determining that married couples have the constitutional right to make private decisions on family planning.
1975–1980 – France (1975), West Germany (1976), New Zealand (1977), Italy (1978), and the Netherlands (1980) legalized abortion in limited circumstances. (France : no elective -for non-medical reasons- abortion allowed after 10–12 weeks gestation)
1975 – On February 19, 1975 the Texas Supreme Court's ruling in the case Jacobs v. Theimer made Texas the first state in America to declare a woman could sue her doctor for a wrongful birth. That case involved Dortha Jean Jacobs (later Dortha Biggs), who caught rubella while pregnant and gave birth to Lesli, who was severely disabled. Dortha and her husband sued her doctor, saying he did not diagnose the rubella or warn them how it would affect the pregnancy.
1978 – US Federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act was passed, prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.
1978 – In spring 1978, the law on free access to abortion in Norway was passed.
1979 – The People's Republic of China enacted a one-child policy, to alleviate social, economic, and environmental problems in China, encouraging many couples to have at most one child, and in some cases imposing penalties for violating the policy.
1980 – In William v. Zbaraz, the United States Supreme Court upheld that states could constitutionally make their own versions of the anti-abortion Hyde Amendment, and that states/the federal government have no statutory or constitutional obligation to fund medically necessary abortions.
1988 – France legalized the "abortion pill" mifepristone (RU-486).
1988 – In R. v. Morgentaler, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the abortion regulation which allowed abortions in some circumstances but required approval of a committee of doctors for violating a woman's constitutional "security of person"; Canadian law has not regulated abortion ever since.
1992 – Attorney General v. X (the "X case"),  IESC 1;  1 IR 1, was a landmark Irish Supreme Court case which established the right of Irish women to an abortion if a pregnant woman's life was at risk because of pregnancy, including the risk of suicide. However, Supreme Court Justice Hugh O'Flaherty, now retired, said in an interview with the Irish Times that the X Case was "peculiar to its own particular facts", since X miscarried and did not have an abortion, and this renders the case moot in Irish law. (See below events in 2012/2013).
1994 - Madsen v. Women's Health Center, Inc., 512 U.S. 753 (1994), is a United States Supreme Court case where Petitioners challenged the constitutionality of an injunction entered by a Florida state court which prohibits antiabortion protesters from demonstrating in certain places and in various ways outside of a health clinic that performs abortions. The Madsen majority sustained the constitutionality of the Clinic's thirty-six foot buffer zone and the noise-level provision, finding that they burdened no more speech than necessary to serve the injunction's goals. However, the Court struck down the thirty-six foot buffer zone as applied to the private property north and west of the Clinic, .the 'images observable' provision, the three hundred foot no-approach zone around the Clinic, and the three hundred foot buffer zone around residences. The Court found that these provisions " [swept] more broadly than necessary" to protect the state's interests. Thus, the judgment of the Florida Supreme Court was affirmed in part and reversed in part.
1998 – In Portugal, legalization of abortion until 10 weeks of pregnancy is rejected by voters in a referendum. A second referendum was eventually held nine years later, in which voters approved legalization of abortion with the same time restrictions.
2001 – The ten-week limit on abortion in France was extended to the twelfth week in 2001.
2001 – Minor girls no longer need mandatory parental consent for abortion in France. A pregnant girl in France under the age of 18 may ask for an abortion without consulting her parents first if she is accompanied to the clinic by an adult of her choice, who must not tell her parents or any third party about the abortion.
2003 – The U.S. enacted the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act and PresidentGeorge W. Bush signed it into law. After the law was challenged in three appeals courts, the U.S. Supreme Court held that it was constitutional because, unlike the earlier Nebraska state law, it was not vague or overly broad. The court also held that banning the procedure did not constitute an "undue burden," even without a health exception. (see also: Gonzales v. Carhart)
2003 – The Indiana Supreme Court recognized the medical malpractice tort of "wrongful pregnancy" when a woman became pregnant after a failed sterilization procedure. The court decided that the damages may include the cost of the pregnancy but may not include the ordinary cost of raising the child, as the benefits of rearing the child could not be calculated.
2005 – The U.S. Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (implemented in January 2007) prevented college health centers and many health care providers from participating in the drug pricing discount program, which formerly allowed contraceptives to be sold to students and women of low income in the United States at low cost.
2006 – Governor Kathleen Blanco of Louisiana signed into law a ban on most forms of abortion (unless the life of the mother was in danger or her health would be permanently damaged) once it passed the Louisiana State Legislature. The bill would only go into effect if the United States Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade. Louisiana's measure would allow the prosecution of any person who performed or aided in an abortion. The penalties include up to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $100,000.
2007 – The Parliament of Portugal voted to legalize abortion during the first ten weeks of pregnancy. This followed a referendum that, while revealing that a majority of Portuguese voters favored legalization of early-stage abortions, failed due to low voter turnout. The second referendum passed, however, and President Cavaco Silva signed the measure into effect in April, 2007.
2007 – The government of Mexico City legalizes abortion during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, and offers free abortions. On August 28, 2008, the Mexican Supreme Court upholds the law.
2007 – The U.S. Supreme Court upholds the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003.
2008 – The Australian state of Victoria passes a bill which decriminalizes abortion, making it legally accessible to women in the first 24 weeks of the pregnancy.
2009 – In Spain a bill decriminalizes abortion, making it legally accessible to women in the first 14 weeks of the pregnancy.
2010 – In Chile, came into force the Morning After Pill Law, which set the rules on information, advice and services relating to fertility regulation, allowing the free distribution of the pill in all country public clinics.
2012 – Uruguay legalizes abortion in the first trimester, making it legally accessible to women.
2013 – United States, Kansas lawmakers approved sweeping anti-abortion legislation (HB 2253) on April 6, 2013 that says life begins at fertilization, forbids abortion based on gender and bans Planned Parenthood from providing sex education in schools.
2014 – Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, 573U.S. ___ (2014), is a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court allowing closely held for-profit corporations to be exempt from a law its owners religiously object to if there is a less restrictive means of furthering the law's interest. It is the first time that the court has recognized a for-profit corporation's claim of religious belief, but it is limited to closely held corporations.[a] The decision is an interpretation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and does not address whether such corporations are protected by the free-exercise of religion clause of the First Amendment of the Constitution. For such companies, the Court's majority directly struck down the contraceptive mandate, a regulation adopted by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requiring employers to cover certain contraceptives for their female employees, by a 5–4 vote. The court said that the mandate was not the least restrictive way to ensure access to contraceptive care, noting that a less restrictive alternative was being provided for religious non-profits, until the Court issued an injunction 3 days later, effectively ending said alternative, replacing it with a government-sponsored alternative for any female employees of closely held corporations that do not wish to provide birth control.
2014 – The Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013 (Irish: An tAcht um Chosaint na Beatha le linn Toirchis 2013 was signed into law on 30 July by Michael D. Higgins, the President of Ireland; it commenced on 1 January 2014. The Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013Act No.35 of 2013; previously Bill No.66 of 2013) is an Act of the Oireachtas which defined the circumstances and processes within which abortion in Ireland could be legally performed. The Act gave effect in statutory law to the terms of the Constitution of Ireland as interpreted by the Supreme Court in the 1992 judgment Attorney General v. X (the "X case"). That judgment (see above events in 1992) allowed for abortion where pregnancy endangers a woman's life, including through a risk of suicide.
2015 – Until 2015, the law in France imposed a seven-day "cool-off" period between the patient's first request for an abortion and a written statement confirming her decision (the delay could be reduced to two days if the patient was getting close to 12 weeks). That mandatory waiting period was abolished on 9 April 2015.
2016 – The Obama administration issued guidance that informed states that ending Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood or other health-care providers that performed abortions might be against federal law. The Obama administration contended that Medicaid law permitted states to ban providers from the program only if the providers could not perform covered services or bill for those services. However, the Trump administration repealed this guidance in 2018.
2016 – Zubik v. Burwell was a case before the United States Supreme Court on whether religious institutions other than churches should be exempt from the contraceptive mandate, a regulation adopted by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that requires non-church employers to cover certain contraceptives for their female employees. Churches are already exempt under those regulations. On May 16, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a per curiam ruling in Zubik v. Burwell that vacated the decisions of the Circuit Courts of Appeals and remanded the case "to the respective United States Courts of Appeals for the Third, Fifth, Tenth, and D.C. Circuits" for reconsideration in light of the "positions asserted by the parties in their supplemental briefs". Because the Petitioners agreed that "their religious exercise is not infringed where they 'need to do nothing more than contract for a plan that does not include coverage for some or all forms of contraception'", the Court held that the parties should be given an opportunity to clarify and refine how this approach would work in practice and to "resolve any outstanding issues". The Supreme Court expressed "no view on the merits of the cases." In a concurring opinion, Justice Sotomayor, joined by Justice Ginsburg noted that in earlier cases "some lower courts have ignored those instructions" and cautioned lower courts not to read any signals in the Supreme Court's actions in this case.
2016 – In June the Women's Rights Foundation in Malta filed a judicial protest requesting access to emergency contraception. In early October a joint parliamentary committee recommended that the pill should be sold with a prescription, but that the decision was up to the Malta Medicines Authority. On 17 October the Malta Medicines Authority approved the sale of emergency contraception without a prescription in all pharmacies in Malta and Gozo, basing its decision to make it available without a prescription on ensuring efficacy of treatment. In December 2016 emergency contraception was available for sale in pharmacies across the Maltese islands.
2017 – The "Mexico City Policy" was reinstated in the United States President Donald Trump. Trump not only reinstated the policy but expanded it, making it cover all global health organizations that receive U.S. government funding, rather than only family planning organizations that do, as was previously the case.
2017 – In Poland, a new law restricted emergency contraception by changing its availability, from being an over-the-counter drug to a prescription drug, requiring a visit to a doctor.
2017 – The Trump administration of the United States issued a ruling letting insurers and employers refuse to provide birth control if doing so went against their "religious beliefs" or "moral convictions".
2017 – Federal judge Wendy Beetlestone issued an injunction temporarily stopping the enforcement of the Trump administration ruling letting insurers and employers refuse to provide birth control if doing so went against their "religious beliefs" or "moral convictions".
2018 – The Trump administration repealed guidance issued in 2016 by the Obama administration, which had informed states that ending Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood or other health-care providers that performed abortions might be against federal law. The Obama administration had contended that Medicaid law permitted states to ban providers from the program only if the providers could not perform covered services or bill for those services.
2018 – National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra was a case before the Supreme Court of the United States addressing the constitutionality of California's FACT Act, which mandated that crisis pregnancy centers provide certain disclosures about state services. The law required that licensed centers post visible notices that other options for pregnancy, including abortion, are available from state-sponsored clinics. It also mandated that unlicensed centers post notice of their unlicensed status. The centers, typically run by Christian non-profit groups, challenged the act on the basis that it violated their free speech. After prior reviews in lower courts, the case was brought to the Supreme Court, asking "Whether the disclosures required by the California Reproductive FACT Act violate the protections set forth in the free speech clause of the First Amendment, applicable to the states through the 14th Amendment." The Court ruled on June 26, 2018 in a 5–4 decision that the notices required by the FACT Act violate the First Amendment by targeting speakers rather than speech.
2019 – The Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018 (Act No. 31 of 2018; previously Bill No. 105 of 2018) came into effect; it is an Act of the Oireachtas which defines the circumstances and processes within which abortion may be legally performed in Ireland. It permits terminations to be carried out up to 12 weeks of pregnancy; or where there is a risk to the life, or of serious harm to the health, of the pregnant woman; or where there is a risk to the life, or of serious harm to the health, of the pregnant woman in an emergency; or where there is a condition present which is likely to lead to the death of the foetus either before or within 28 days of birth.
2019 – The government of South Korea criminalized abortion in the 1953 Criminal Code in all circumstances. This law was later amended but not repealed. However, the Constitutional Court on 11 April 2019 ruled the abortion law unconstitutional and ordered the law's revision by the end of 2020.
2019 – Box v. Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, Inc. (Docket 18-483) was a United States Supreme Court case dealing with the constitutionality of a 2016 anti-abortion law passed in the state of Indiana. Indiana's law sought to ban abortions performed solely on the basis of the fetus' gender, race, ethnicity, or disabilities. Lower courts had blocked enforcement of the law for violating a woman's right to abortion under privacy concerns within the Fourteenth Amendment, as previously found in the landmark cases Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The lower courts also blocked enforcement of another portion of the law that required the disposal of aborted fetuses through burial or cremation. The per curiam decision by the Supreme Court overturned the injunction on the fetal disposal portion of the law, but otherwise did not challenge or confirm the lower courts' ruling on the non-discrimination clauses, leaving these in place.
2019 – In the United States in June 2019, the Trump administration was allowed by a federal court of appeals to implement, while legal appeals continue, a policy restricting taxpayer dollars given to family planning facilities through Title X. This policy requires that companies receiving Title X funding must not mention abortion to patients, provide abortion referrals, or share space with abortion providers.
2019 – A federal judge in the United States declared unconstitutional the Trump administration's "conscience rule" that would have allowed providers of health care to refuse to participate in sterilizations, abortions, or other types of care they disagreed with on moral or religious grounds.
2019 - In December 2019 the newly elected Argentine government issued a protocol expanding access to abortion in case of rape.
2020 - June Medical Services, LLC v. Russo (formerly June Medical Services, LLC v. Gee) (591 U.S. ___ (2020)) was a U.S. Supreme Court case which ruled that a Louisiana state law placing hospital-admission requirements on abortion clinics doctors, which had mirrored a Texas state law previously found unconstitutional under Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt (579 U.S. ___ (2016)) (WWH), was also unconstitutional.
2020 - A law was enacted in Mississippi banning abortions based on the sex, race, or genetic abnormality of the fetus.
2020 - The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of the United States tried to require employers to offer health-insurance plans that paid for contraceptives. The law specifically exempted churches, but not faith-based ministries. Due to that, religious non-profits like Little Sisters of the Poor were fined if they did not comply. On October 6, 2017, Health & Human Services issued a new rule with an updated religious exemption that protected religious non-profits. But federal judge Wendy Beetlestone issued an injunction temporarily stopping the enforcement of that exemption. As well, following the new rule announcement, the state of Pennsylvania sued the federal government to take away the exemption. Pennsylvania asked a judge to order that the Little Sisters of the Poor must comply with the federal mandate or pay tens of millions of dollars in fines. The state alleged that the religious organization violated the Constitution, federal anti-discrimination law, and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). On July 8, 2020, in Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against that and in favor of Little Sisters of the Poor.
2020 - Poland's constitutional court ruled that abortion due to fetal defects was unconstitutional.
2020 - Louisiana voters passed a measure to amend the state constitution to omit any language implying that a woman has a right to get an abortion or that any abortion that does occur should be funded.
2020 - Tennessee banned abortions because of a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome or because of the gender or race of the fetus.
2020 - In Argentina, abortion was legalized up to fourteen weeks of pregnancy on 30 December 2020.
2020 - A bill was signed into law in Ohio requiring all aborted fetal tissue to be cremated or buried.
2021 - A law went into effect in Indiana mandating an ultrasound 18 hours or more before an abortion is performed.
2021 - The Supreme Court of the United States reinstated federal rules mandating anyone having a medication abortion to acquire the pills for it from a medical provider in person.
^"Closely held" corporations are defined by the Internal Revenue Service as those which a) have more than 50% of the value of their outstanding stock owned (directly or indirectly) by 5 or fewer individuals at any time during the last half of the tax year; and b) are not personal service corporations. By this definition, approximately 90% of U.S. corporations are "closely held", and approximately 52% of the U.S. workforce is employed by "closely held" corporations. See Blake, Aaron (June 30, 2014). "A LOT of people could be affected by the Supreme Court's birth control decision – theoretically". The Washington Post.
^ abFreedman, Lynn P.; Stephen L. Isaacs (Jan–Feb 1993). "Human Rights and Reproductive Choice". Studies in Family Planning. Studies in Family Planning, Vol. 24, No. 1. 24 (1): 18–30. doi:10.2307/2939211. JSTOR2939211. PMID8475521.
^ abCook, Rebecca J.; Mahmoud F. Fathalla (September 1996). "Advancing Reproductive Rights Beyond Cairo and Beijing". International Family Planning Perspectives. International Family Planning Perspectives, Vol. 22, No. 3. 22 (3): 115–121. doi:10.2307/2950752. JSTOR2950752.
^ abUnited Nations (2002). Abortion Policies: A Global Review: Oman to Zimbabwe. New York City: United Nations Publications. p. 50. ISBN92-1-151365-0. OCLC84347959. In its decree of 23 November 1955, the government of the former USSR repealed the general prohibition on the performance of abortions contained in the 1936 Decree.
^"Fiche pratique: Interruption volontaire de grossesse (IVG)". Service-Public.fr (in French). 7 June 2016. Retrieved 29 January 2017. Cependant, si vous souhaitez garder le secret, l'IVG est pratiquée à votre seule demande. Dans cette hypothèse, vous devrez vous faire accompagner dans votre démarche par une personne majeure de votre choix.
^Scheidler v. National Organization for Women, 537U.S.393 (2003).
^Chaffee v. Seslar, 786 N.E.2d 705 (Ind. 2003) ("By contrast, more than a decade ago this jurisdiction determined that the cause of action labeled “wrongful pregnancy” existed in Indiana.").