Schlesinger Library Opens Exhibit on the History of Abortion in America | News

The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study opened a new exhibit Monday on the history of abortion in the United States through the decades leading up to the Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade.

The plans for the exhibit, titled “The Age of Roe: The Past, Present, and Future of Abortion in America,” were changed this year after the Supreme Court Most overturning the Roe v. Wade — which protected the constitutional right to abortion. abortion – with the June decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

Two years ago, the Schlesinger Library of the Radcliffe Institute had worked to prepare an exhibit that would honor the fiftieth anniversary of Roe v. Wade in 2023. Before the court’s ruling in Dobbs, the library planned to present “extensive collections that document the long and controversial struggle for women’s reproductive rights in society.”

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Mary R. Ziegler ’04, exhibition curator and reproductive health historian at the University of California Davis School of Law, wrote in an email that despite the Supreme Court’s Roe reversal, the plot of the show remains the same.

“We planned the exhibition to mark the fiftieth anniversary of Roe and to reflect on what Roe, who had such a wide range of views, had to say on the ongoing problems with childbearing in America, Zielger wrote. “Well, apparently, Roe is gone, at least as a matter of black-letter law.”

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He added: “We decided to look back at the time that Roe described – and think about whether it is over or not. “But the purpose of the exhibition – to bring light to the heat – and to invite viewers to meet people whose lives have been deeply affected by abortion – it hasn’t changed.”

Ziegler also wrote that the overturning of Roe reinforced the importance of creating a show.

“If anything,” she wrote, “in a world where abortion could once again be a crime, it seemed even more important to listen to people talking about the issue of abortion that we always ignore.

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The Schlesinger Library exhibit features a variety of objects related to women’s reproductive rights over the past century, including political buttons, postcards, letters, portraits, and portraits of prominent figures.

The exhibit will be on display at the Schlesinger Library until March 4, 2023. The Radcliffe Institute also plans to host a conference on the exhibit and the state of abortion in America in January 2023.

– Staff writer Caroline E. Curran can be reached at [email protected]

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