What is Choice?
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NARAL Pro-Choice Washington advocates for every woman’s right to access the full range of reproductive options, including safe, legal abortion care and healthy pregnancies. In addition, we support efforts to prevent unintended pregnancy and reduce the need for abortion.
In 1973, the Supreme Court guaranteed American women the right to choose abortion in its landmark decision Roe v. Wade. In Roe, the Court issued a compromise between the state's ability to restrict abortion and a woman's right to choose.
Since 1973, the anti-choice movement has worked to restrict abortion rights and at the same time to limit access to abortion care. Most recently, the Supreme Court upheld the Federal Abortion Ban of 2003. (The case, Gonzalez v. Carhart, undermines the Roe decision by eliminating the requirement that abortion restrictions contain exceptions to protect the pregnant women’s health.) Below you can learn more about this case, as well as other attempts by anti-choice politicians to chip away at abortion laws by instituting parental notification laws, waiting periods for abortion care, biased counseling requirements, and RU-486 or Mifepristone, the FDA-approved option for early non-surgical abortion.
In 2016, the Supreme Court overturned two provisions of a Texas law that would have closed all but a handful of the state's remaining abortion clinics. The Texas rules required doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital and required clinics to be rebuilt as mini-hospitals complete with hospital-style surgical theaters. By overturning this Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) law, the Court laid the groundwork for overturning similar anti-choice laws in other states.