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Supreme Court’s draft opinion ignites debate over abortion history

  • Scholars have fought for decades over how states viewed abortion in the 1860s.
  • Alito: The majority of states had criminalized abortion when the 14th Amendment was ratified.
  • Historians on both sides of the abortion debate accuse the other of ignoring context, nuance.

WASHINGTON — Associate Judge Samuel Alito’s draft opinion in Mississippi’s challenge to Roe v. Wade reinvigorates a fight over the history of abortion in the United States — a debate almost as tense as that over the procedure itself.

Lawyers and lawyers fought for decades over how states treated abortion when the 14th Amendment was ratified in 1868, ensuring states could not deprive Americans of “liberty” without due process. . The framing of this story will be key as the judges deliberate over how Americans defined “freedom” 150 years ago.

USA Today

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