Reproductive Freedom

A woman’s decision whether or not to bear a child is one of the most intimate and important decisions she will ever make. Like decisions about contraception, marriage, and child-rearing, the decision to continue or to end a pregnancy has been protected from government interference by the US Constitution since the 1973 Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade.

The Court recognized that the health of individual women would be dramatically improved if they were free from the dangers of illegal abortion. It also maintained that the quality of their lives generally would be improved if they had the ability to make reproductive choices.

And in the Commonwealth, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled in 1981 that our state Constitution protects the right to choose whether or not to have a child and that "coercive funding restrictions" are unconstitutional. Thus, the Massachusetts Constitution has been judged to have stronger protections for women’s reproductive rights than the US Constitution.

The ACLU of Massachusetts works to protect reproductive freedom, eliminate barriers to women’s access to reproductive healthcare, and promote access to age-appropriate health education to enable young adults to make safe, healthy, informed choices.

Read more about Reproductive Freedom and related topics:

Reproductive Freedom

Roe v. Wade

Sex Education