As the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the US Supreme Court case legalizing abortion, approaches, many Americans assume that legalized abortion is only as old as that ruling. In fact, as Anna Peterson discusses this month, abortion had only been made illegal at the turn of the 20th century. The different histories of abortion in Europe and the United States reveal much about the current state of American debates-so prominent in the 2012 elections campaigns-over abortion and women's health.
House Republicans in Ohio are pursuing a proposal that targets abortion providers like Planned Parenthood while directing public health care dollars to other programs that help uninsured and underinsured women.
To avoid constitutional issues, lawmakers placed Planned Parenthood at the back of the line for money rather than defunding it entirely.