21 Inspirational Images Of Women Standing Up For The Right To Choose


On Jan. 22, 1973, the Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade that a woman's choice to have an abortion was a fundamental right under the Constitution.

In the 42 years since then, a woman's right to safe, legal abortion has been threatened again and again.

In the last year alone, "personhood" ballot initiatives in North Dakota and Colorado threatened legal abortion. The number of abortion clinics in Texas has been reduced by half, severely restricting abortion access for the state's low-income women. Anti-abortion "protestors" continue to verbally abuse and intimidate women at abortion clinics as buffer zones crumble, and so-called "pregnancy crisis centers" mislead women looking for information about termination. As their options become more and more limited, women are increasingly forced to turn to back-alley abortions.

Clearly, there is a lot of work to be done to ensure that all women have access to this fundamental right. The anniversary of Roe v. Wade is a time to look back at the activists who tirelessly fought for abortion access, and consider the obstacles ahead.

Here are 21 inspirational images of women protesting for the right to control their bodies:

1935: Women's rights activists Margaret Sanger, center, Pearl Buck, author, and Katharine Martha Houghton Hepburn, right, pose at a dinner celebrating the 21st anniversary of the birth-control movement in Washington, D.C. on June 11, 1935. (AP Photo)
H. William Tetlow/Fox Photos/Getty Images
1967: Birth Control information on New York buses is held up for scrutiny by Marcia Goldstein, the publicity director of Planned Parenthood. (Photo by H. William Tetlow/Fox Photos/Getty Images)
1971: Demonstrators demanding a woman's right to choose march to the U.S. Capitol for a rally seeking repeal of all anti-abortion laws in Washington, D.C., Nov. 20, 1971. On the other side of the Capitol was a demonstration held by those who are against abortion. (AP Photo)
Peter Keegan/Keystone/Getty Images
1973: Pro-abortion rights campaigners at a demonstration in favor of abortion in front of the American Hotel in mid-town New York, where the American Medical Association is holding its annual convention. (Photo by Peter Keegan/Keystone/Getty Images)
Barbara Freeman/Getty Images
1974: A reproductive rights demonstration, Pittsburgh, PA, 1974. (Photo by Barbara Freeman/Getty Images)
Barbara Freeman/Getty Images
1974: A young woman holds a sign reading "Abortion Rights Coalition" during a 1974 reproductive rights demonstration in Pittsburgh PA. (Photo by Barbara Freeman/Getty Images)
Barbara Freeman/Getty Images
1974: Reproductive rights marchers in Pittsburgh, PA, 1974. (Photo by Barbara Freeman/Getty Images)
Peter Keegan/Keystone/Getty Images
1977: Women taking part in a demonstration in New York demanding safe legal abortions for all women. (Photo by Peter Keegan/Keystone/Getty Images)
Spencer Grant/Getty Images
1977: View of a pro-abortion rights rally against the Hyde Amendment, in Boston Common, Boston, Massachusetts, 1977. (Photo by Spencer Grant/Getty Images)
Barbara Alper/Getty Images
1980: Pro-abortion rights protestors at a People's Convention in New York City, before the start of the Democratic National Convention, 10th August 1980. One woman carries a placard hung with coat hangers and bearing the words 'Our bodies, our lives. Fund medicaid abortions n.o.w. N.Y.' (Photo by Barbara Alper/Getty Images)
Barbara Alper/Getty Images
1986: Pro-abortion rights campaigners at a National March For Women's Lives in Washington DC, 9th March 1986. (Photo by Barbara Alper/Getty Images)
Barbara Alper/Getty Images
1986: Pro-choice campaigners at a National March For Women's Lives in Washington DC, 9th March 1986. (Photo by Barbara Alper/Getty Images)
Ron Galella/WireImage/Getty Images
1989: Morgan Fairchild, Jane Fonda, Bella Abzug, Marlo Thomas, Whoopi Goldberg and Cybil Shepherd (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
Ron Galella/WireImage/Getty Images
1989: Marlo Thomas and Whoopi Goldberg during a pro-abortion rights rally and march in Washington D.C. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)
1992: March For Women's Lives in Washington, D.C.
Evan Agostini/Liaison
1995: National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League leader Kelli Conlin, feminist Gloria Steinem, actress Olympia Dukakis and other protestors hold up a banner at the Women's Rights rally October 7, 1995 in New York City. The rally protested the arrival of Pope John Paul II, whose conservative doctrine on issues such as abortion, sex, and homosexuality contradict the ideology of many women's rights groups. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Liaison)
1999: Protesters organized by the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League demonstrate across the street from the hotel in New York where Republican Texas Governor and presidential hopeful George W. Bush appeared at a reception 05 October, 1999. (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
Nikki Kahn/MCT/MCT via Getty Images
2004: Tina Welke, 28, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, joins thousands of fellow protesters as they parade down Pennsylvania Avenue, in Washington, D.C., Sunday, April 25, 2004 during the 'March for Women's Lives,' a pro-abortion rights rally. (Photo by Nikki Kahn/MCT/MCT via Getty Images)
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
2004: Protestors march across the Brooklyn Bridge in support of a women's right to choose August 28, 2004 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Win McNamee/Getty Images
2005: Pro-abortion rights activists and anti-abortion activists demonstrate in front of the U.S. Supreme Court November 30, 2005 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Mark Wilson/Getty Images
2013: Women hold up signs during a women's pro-abortion rights rally on Capitol Hill, July 11, 2013 in Washington, DC. The rally was hosted by Planned Parenthood Federation of America to urge Congress against passing any legislation to limit access to safe and legal abortion. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Before You Go

<strong>Clara Barton</strong>, Founder Of The Red Cross

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