Abortion Policy

October 16, 1987

Report Outline
Special Focus


A low-income woman in Kentucky who is pregnant with a child she does not want may have to give birth because she cannot come up with several hundred dollars for an abortion. If she lived instead in nearby North Carolina, she could afford an abortion because the state would pay for it.

A teenager who wants an abortion in Massachusetts must first get permission from her parents or a judge. If she travels to neighboring. New Hampshire, no such consent is required.

Almost a decade and a half after the Supreme Court legalized abortion, the debate continues, Mostly, attention is focused on the Supreme Court, and whether is might overturn or modify Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that said women have a constitutional right to an abortion. But as the cases of the Kentucky woman and the Massachusetts teenager suggest, the nation's abortion policy may depend in the future as much on what is done in the states.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Sep. 09, 2022  Abortion Post-Roe
Mar. 01, 2019  Abortion Controversies
Mar. 21, 2014  Abortion Debates
Oct. 04, 2011  Gendercide Crisis
Sep. 10, 2010  Abortion Debates
Sep. 22, 2006  Abortion Showdowns
Mar. 21, 2003  Abortion Debates
Nov. 28, 1997  Roe v. Wade At 25
Apr. 07, 1995  Abortion Clinic Protests
Jul. 05, 1991  Teenagers and Abortion
Jan. 26, 1990  Abortion: Politicians' Nightmare
Oct. 16, 1987  Abortion Policy
Jan. 14, 1983  Abortion: Decade of Debate
Oct. 22, 1976  Abortion Politics
Jul. 24, 1970  Abortion Law Reform
Oct. 06, 1965  Abortion in Law and Medicine
Abortion, Contraception and Reproductive Issues
Abortion, Contraception and Reproductive Issues
Supreme Court History and Decisions