Abortion has been around for thousands of years and was legal in the United States since the very beginning. First it became illegal throughout the 1880’s up until 1973. Although abortion was illegal in the 1800 and 1900’s, it was still commonly done. It was still being used very unsafely and the number of deaths because of unsafe abortions increased to 15,000 by the 1930’s. These illegal abortions were very unsafe because untrained professionals were preforming them and they often left part of the fetus in the womb.
Criminalization of abortion did not reduce the numbers of women who sought abortions. In the years before Roe v. Wade, the estimates of illegal abortion ranged as high as one-point-two million per year. Although accurate records could not be kept, it is known that between the 1880’s and 1973, many women were harmed as the result of an illegal abortion (Tietze 14) One-third of the states liberalized or repealed their criminal abortion laws between 1967 and 1973. Then in 1973 the Roe case originated out of Texas, where the law stated that a legal abortion could be preformed only in the event to save the mothers life. In 1973 the ruling on the Roe v. Wade case made all abortions legal in the United States.
It ruled that American’s have the right to privacy including the right of a woman to decide whether to have children, and the right of a woman and her doctor to make that decision without any