Okay, we have to admit this article title is a little deceptive… we are only covering 11 ways life was different before the 1973 Roe v. Wade landmark case that legalized abortion in the United States. One point we’ll cover is a similarity to today: people were still having abortions regularly. That hasn't changed. Accessibility to safe abortions will always be within the reach of the rich and well-connected. Legalization only affects whether safe abortion is within reach of marginalized communities, because, you know, we really need more challenges. 

Regardless of what you think about the medical procedure of abortion, the Supreme Court’s likely upcoming vote to overturn Roe v. Wade will have resounding consequences, most directly affecting people of color and people living in poverty. So, if our future will be a repeat of our history, what can we expect? What was life like before the court case we all know by name?

There were underground abortion networks.

LIFE BEFORE ROE V. WADE CRACKED There were underground abortion networks. For example, in Chicago during the 60s and 70s, an underground group of 100+ people called Abortion Counseling Service of Women's Liberation (or Jane for short) helped 10,000s of people get abortions.

Source: VICE

Abortions didn't use the best or safest technology.

LIFE BEFORE ROE V. WADE CRACKED Abortions didn't use the best or safest technology. Past illegal abortions could be dead as people didn't have access to the sterile instruments and medical professionals of abortion clinics. Understandably, people who had complications from illegal abortions were scared to go to hospitals and face legal repercussions.

Source: ABC News

The most common abortion method was self-induction.

LIFE BEFORE ROE V. WADE CRACKED The most common method was self-induction. You've probably heard the horror stories the dangerous ways people attempted to perform an abortion themselves.

Source: NPR 

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People who had unwanted pregnancies were more likely to live in poverty and stay with an abusive partner.

LIFE BEFORE ROE V. WADE CRACKED People were more likely to live in poverty and stay with an abusive partner. The first long-term study about being turned away from a wanted abortion didn't happen until 2007. The main takeaways were: People with unwanted pregnancies were 4x more likely to live below the poverty level and 3x more likely to be unemployed. People were also more likely to stay in contact with an abusive partner, putting them and their children at greater risk. (We assume this would have been historically applicable.)

Source: The Turnaway Study

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