Timeline of reproductive rights legislation

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Timeline of reproductive rights legislation, a chronological list of laws and legal decisions affecting human reproductive rights. Reproductive rights are a sub-set of human rights[1] pertaining to issues of reproduction and reproductive health.[2] These rights may include some or all of the following: the right to legal or safe abortion, the right to birth control, the right to access quality reproductive healthcare, and the right to education and access in order to make reproductive choices free from coercion, discrimination, and violence.[3] Reproductive rights may also include the right to receive education about contraception and sexually transmitted infections, and freedom from coerced sterilization, abortion, and contraception, and protection from gender-based practices such as female genital cutting (FGC) and male genital mutilation (MGM).[1][2][3][4]

17th century to 19th century[edit]

1910s to 1960s[edit]

1970s to present[edit]

  • 1970 – Hawaii, New York, Alaska and Washington repealed their abortion laws and allowed abortion on demand; South Carolina and Virginia reformed their abortion laws based on the ALI Model Penal Code.[citation needed]
  • 1970 – Family Planning Services and Population Research Act of 1970 Pub.L. 91–572, which established the Public Health Service Title X program, providing family planning services for those in need.[28][29]
  • 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.[30]
  • 1972 – Florida reformed its abortion law based on the ALI MPC.
  • 1972 - The U.S. Supreme Court, in Eisenstadt v. Baird extends Griswold v. Connecticut birth control rights to unmarried couples.
  • 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.
  • 1973–1980 – 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)
  • 1976–1977– Representative Henry Hyde of Illinois sponsors the Hyde Amendment, which passes, allows states to prohibit the use of Medicaid funding for abortions.
  • 1978 - US Federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act was passed, prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.[31]
  • 1979 – The People's Republic of China enacted a one-child policy, to alleviate social, economic, and environmental problems in China,[32] encouraging many couples to have at most one child, and in some cases imposing penalties for violating the policy.
  • 1979 – Ireland, Health (Family Planning) Act, 1979 allowed sale of contraceptives, upon presentation of a prescription.
  • 1983 – Ireland, by popular referendum, added an amendment to its Constitution recognizing "the right to life of the unborn." Abortion is still illegal in Ireland, except as urgent medical procedures to save a woman's life.
  • 1985 – Ireland, Health (Family Planning) (Amendment) Act, 1985 allowed sale of condoms and spermicides to people over 18 without having to present a prescription.
  • 1985 - United Kingdom, Prohibition of Female Circumcision Act 1985 made female genital mutilation a crime throughout the UK. The Act was replaced by the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 and the Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation (Scotland) Act 2005 respectively, both of which extend the legislation to cover acts committed by UK nationals outside of the UK's borders.
  • 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.
  • 1989– Webster v. Reproductive Health Services reinforces the state's right to prevent all publicly funded facilities from providing or assisting with abortion services.
  • 1990 – The Abortion Act in the UK was amended so that abortion is legal only up to 24 weeks, rather than 28, except in unusual cases.
  • 1992– In Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the Supreme Court overturned the trimester framework in Roe v. Wade, making it legal for states to proscribe abortion after the point of fetal viability, excepting instances that would risk the woman's health.
  • 1993 – Ireland Health (Family Planning) (Amendment) Act, 1992 allowed sale of contraceptives without prescription.
  • 1993 – Poland banned abortion, except in cases of rape, incest, severe congenital disorders, or threat to the life of the pregnant woman.
  • 1994– Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act is passed by the United States Congress to forbid the use of force or obstruction to prevent someone from providing or receiving reproductive health services.
  • 1997 – In South Africa, the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1996 comes into effect, allowing abortion on demand. The Abortion and Sterilization Act, 1975, which only allowed abortions in very limited circumstances, is repealed.
  • 1998 – In Christian Lawyers Association and Others v Minister of Health and Others, the Transvaal Provincial Division of the High Court of South Africa upholds the Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act, holding that the Constitution of South Africa does not forbid abortions.[33]
  • 1999 – In the United States, Congress passed a ban on intact dilation and extraction, which President Bill Clinton vetoed.
  • 2000 – Mifepristone (RU-486) approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In Stenberg v. Carhart, the Supreme Court of the United States overturned a Nebraska state law that banned intact dilation and extraction.
  • 2003 – The U.S. enacted the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act and President George 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)
  • 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.
  • 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.[34] The second referendum passed, however, and President Cavaco Silva signed the measure into effect in April, 2007.[35][36]
  • 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.[37]
  • 2007 – The U.S. Supreme Court upholds the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003.[38]
  • 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.[39]
  • 2009 – In Spain a bill decriminalizes abortion, making it legally accessible to women in the first 14 weeks of the pregnancy.[40]
  • 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.[41]
  • 2011 - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services established the policy, effective 2012, that all private insurance plans are required to provide contraceptive coverage to women without a co-pay or deductible.[42][43]
  • 2012 – In the Philippines, the Congress of the Philippines passed the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012 which guarantees universal access to contraception, fertility control and maternal care. The bill also mandates the teaching of sexual education in schools.[44][45]
  • 2012 – Uruguay legalizes abortion in the first trimester, making it legally accessible to women.[46]
  • 2014 - Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, 573 U.S. ___ (2014), is a landmark decision[47][48] 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,[49] 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.[50] 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.[51]

  • 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.[52] 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".[53] 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".[54] The Supreme Court expressed "no view on the merits of the cases."[55] In a concurring opinion, Justice Sotomeyer, 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.[56]
  • 2016 - Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, 579 U.S. ___ (2016), was a United States Supreme Court case decided on June 27, 2016, when the Court ruled 5-3 that Texas cannot place restrictions on the delivery of abortion services that create an undue burden for women seeking an abortion. It has been called the most significant abortion rights case before the Supreme Court since Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1992.[57]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "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. 
  1. ^ a b Freedman, 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. JSTOR 2939211. PMID 8475521. 
  2. ^ a b Cook, 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. JSTOR 2950752. 
  3. ^ a b Amnesty International USA (2007). "Stop Violence Against Women: Reproductive rights". SVAW. Amnesty International USA. Retrieved 2007-12-08. 
  4. ^ Template
  5. ^ William Blackstone, Commentaries, 1:120--41 (1765).
  6. ^ Blackstone, William (1979) [1765]. "Amendment IX, Document 1". Commentaries on the Laws of England 5. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 388. 
  7. ^ Lord Ellenborough’s Act." (1998). The Abortion Law Homepage. Retrieved February 20, 2007.
  8. ^ Keown, John (1988). Abortion, doctors, and the law: some aspects of the legal regulation of abortion in England from 1803 to 1982. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 26. ISBN 0-521-89413-1. OCLC 49550035. 
  9. ^ a b Status of abortion in Japan. (1967). IPPF Medical Bulletin, 1(6):3. Retrieved April 12, 2006. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "japan3" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  10. ^ a b Sixtus
  11. ^ Kevles, Daniel J. (2001-07-22). "The Secret History of Birth Control". The New York Times. Retrieved 2006-10-21. 
  12. ^ Mohr, James C. (1978). Abortion in America: The Origins and Evolution of National Policy, 1800–1900. New York: Oxford University Press US. 
  13. ^ O'Beirne, Kate. (2005, January 8). "America's Earliest Feminists Opposed Abortion." Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved March 16, 2006.
  14. ^ a b "Biographical Note". The Margaret Sanger Papers. Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Mass. 1995. Retrieved 2006-10-21. 
  15. ^ "population". Encyclopædia Britannica. 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-14. 
  16. ^ Mexico rape
  17. ^ "Rozporządzenie Prezydenta Rzeczypospolitej" (PDF) (in Polish). 1932-07-11. Retrieved 2008-12-10. 
  18. ^ Iceland
  19. ^ Friedlander, Henry (1995). The origins of Nazi genocide: from euthanasia to the final solution. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: University of North Carolina Press. p. 30. ISBN 0-8078-4675-9. OCLC 60191622. 
  20. ^ Proctor, Robert E. (1989). Racial Hygiene: Medicine Under the Nazis. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. p. 366. ISBN 0-674-74578-7. OCLC 20760638. This emendation allowed abortion only if the woman granted permission, and only if the fetus was not old enough to survive outside the womb. It is unclear if either of these qualifications was enforced. 
  21. ^ Arnot, Margaret; Cornelie Usborne (1999). Gender and Crime in Modern Europe. New York City: Routledge. p. 241. ISBN 1-85728-745-2. OCLC 249726924. 
  22. ^ Facing History and Ourselves. (n.d.). Timeline: Hitler's Notion of Building a Racial State. Retrieved June 22, 2006.
  23. ^ Proctor, Robert E. (1989). Racial Hygiene: Medicine Under the Nazis. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. pp. 122–123. ISBN 0-674-74578-7. OCLC 20760638. Abortion, in other words, could be allowed if it was in the interest of racial hygiene… the Nazis did allow (and in some cases even required) abortions for women deemed racially inferior… On November 10, 1938, a Luneberg court declared abortion legal for Jews. 
  24. ^ Tierney, Helen (1999). Women's studies encyclopedia. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 589. ISBN 0-313-31072-6. OCLC 38504469. In 1939, it was announced that Jewish women could seek abortions, but non-Jewish women could not. 
  25. ^ a b United Nations (2002). Abortion Policies: A Global Review: Oman to Zimbabwe. New York City: United Nations Publications. p. 50. ISBN 92-1-151365-0. OCLC 84347959. 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. 
  26. ^ "Homosexuals: Victims of the Nazi Era". United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Archived from the original on May 24, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-12. 
  27. ^ (Romanian) Scarlat, Sandra. "'Decreţeii': produsele unei epoci care a îmbolnăvit România" ("'Scions of the Decree': Products of an Era that Sickened Romania"), Evenimentul Zilei, May 17, 2005.
  28. ^ US Office of Population Affairs – Legislation
  29. ^ OPA: PUBLIC LAW 91-572-DEC. 24, 1970
  30. ^ Aggrawal, Anil (2006). Self Assessment and Review of Forensic Medicine. Pee Pee Publishers. pp. 235–239. ISBN 81-88867-85-3. 
  31. ^ "Facts About Pregnancy Discrimination". Eeoc.gov. 2008-09-08. Retrieved 2011-06-29. 
  32. ^ da Silva, Pascal Rocha (2006). "La politique de l'enfant unique en République populaire de Chine" ("The politics of one child in the People's Republic of China"). Université de Genève (University of Geneva). p. 22-8. (French)
  33. ^ Irving, Helen (2008). Gender and the constitution: equity and agency in comparative constitutional design. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 205. ISBN 0-521-88108-0. OCLC 180577386. 
  34. ^ nytimes.com
  35. ^ Associated Press (2007-03-10). "Portugal: Parliament Liberalizes Abortion". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-07. 
  36. ^ Timeline: Portugal, a chronicle of key events, BBC News
  37. ^ Mexican Supreme Court upholds legalized abortion law, 28 August 2008, Los Angeles Times
  38. ^ Greenhouse, Linda (April 19, 2007). "Justices Back Ban on Method of Abortion". New York Times. Retrieved August 27, 2009. 
  39. ^ 10/Oct/2008 Abortion decriminalised in Victoria smh.com.au
  40. ^ Kingstone, Steve (26 September 2009). "Spain unveils abortion law change". BBC News. Retrieved 12 January 2013. 
  41. ^ http://www.med.uchile.cl/2010/4009-presidenta-bachelet-promulga-ley-de-pildora-del-dia-despues.html
  42. ^ ABC News, "Birth Control Free for All: New Insurance Rules Affect Millions of Women", Aug 1, 2011
  43. ^ Reuters, "U.S. says insurers must fully cover birth control", Aug 1, 2011
  44. ^ Maila Ager (December 19, 2012). "RH Bill passes bicam". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved December 19, 2012. 
  45. ^ Karl John Reyes; Lira Dalangin Fernandez (December 19, 2012). "Senate, House ratify bicameral panel version of RH Bill". TV5. InterAKSYON. Retrieved December 19, 2012. 
  46. ^ "Uruguay Senate Approves First-Trimester Abortions". NY Times. 17 December 2012. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 
  47. ^ Willis, David (Jun 30, 2014). "Hobby Lobby case: Court curbs contraception mandate". BBC News. Retrieved Jun 30, 2014. 
  48. ^ O'Donoghue, Amy Joi (Jul 5, 2014). "Group protests Hobby Lobby decision on birth control". Deseret News. Retrieved Jul 30, 2014. 
  49. ^ Haberkorn, Jennifer; Gerstein, Josh (Jun 30, 2014). "Supreme Court sides with Hobby Lobby on contraception mandate". Politico. Retrieved Jun 30, 2014. 
  50. ^ See:
  51. ^ See:
  52. ^ Liptak, Adam (March 23, 2016). "Justices Seem Split in Case on Birth Control Mandate". The New York Times. 
  53. ^ Zubik v. Burwell, No. 14–1418, 578 U.S. ___, slip op. at 3, 5 (2016) (per curiam).
  54. ^ Zubik, slip op. at 3-4.
  55. ^ Zubik, slip op. at 4.
  56. ^ Zubik, slip op. at 2-3 (Sotomayor, J., concurring).
  57. ^ Green, Emma (November 13, 2015). "A New Supreme Court Challenge: The Erosion of Abortion Access in Texas". Atlantic. Retrieved January 26, 2016. 

External links[edit]