The world we want respects people's personal and private decisions about forming intimate relationships and building secure and healthy families. The ACLU works to ensure that everyone has the resources to make these decisions responsibly: from sex education to birth control to prenatal care to the option of abortion.
Nearly 40 years ago, the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that legalized abortion and helped to ensure that women and their families could decide for themselves whether to have a child. Within just a few years of the Roe decision, Congress stripped coverage for abortions from the Medicaid program, making access to abortion services harder to obtain for low-income women. Today, some politicians are still working to pass laws that will make it impossible for all women and their families to buy insurance policies that cover abortion. And the struggle is getting worse.
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Deciding whether and when to become a parent is one of the most private and important decisions a person can make. It is a decision that should be made by a woman, her family, and her doctor. Nearly four decades after Roe v. Wade changed the legal landscape for women across this country, politicians must stop trying to interfere with private medical decisions by playing politics with a woman’s health.
The ACLU’s legal, legislative and advocacy efforts related to protecting access to abortion care include: Attempts to Ban Abortion, Insurance Coverage for Abortion, Religious Refusals to Provide Reproductive Health Care, Government Penalizing Organizations that Provide Abortion Care and Referrals, abortion restrictions aimed at Targeting Underserved Populations, and Political Intrusion into Health Care Decisions.
2011: Abortion Access Under Attack in State Legislatures (2011 map): Politicians waged the most serious and damaging attack on abortion access in decades. This map shows the states that saw major threats to abortion access and states that passed new laws taking away a woman’s ability to make her own best decision for her personal circumstances.
Bans on Insurance Coverage of Abortion (2011 map): Most Americans with employer-based heath insurance currently have coverage for abortion care. Unfortunately, politicians across the country have been busy trying to take away this coverage. The map below illustrates abortion insurance bans throughout the country.
Lift the Bans: U.S. Servicewomen Denied Essential Abortion Care (2011 resource): More than 400,000 women serve and sacrifice for their country in the United States Armed Forces. Many more women support our nation as part of military families. Despite their commitment to protecting our freedoms, when it comes to reproductive healthcare, the U.S. government has abandoned them.
TAKE ACTION: Tell Congress to Support the MARCH for Military Women Act (2011 action): More than 400,000 women serve in the armed forces and put their lives and limbs at risk to preserve our rights and freedom. Yet these women are denied access to the same care available to the civilians they protect. Senator Gillibrand (NY) and Representative Slaughter (NY) have introduced the Military Access to Reproductive Care and Health for Military Women Act (The MARCH for Military Women Act) that would change these discriminatory policies and provide federal coverage for abortion care for military personnel and families in cases of rape or incest and allow privately-funded abortions to be performed at military treatment facilities.