This article was originally published on January 22, 2015.
In 1973, Jane Roe needed an abortion. She couldn't access one in her state (Texas, where abortion was illegal except to save the mother's life) and so Roe carried to term and gave her child up for adoption. Then, she sued Texas.
Roe v. Wade made it to the Supreme Court, which on January 22, 1973 ruled 7-2 that a fetus is not a person: The decision to abort belongs to a pregnant woman alone. This landmark decision affirmed that every woman in the U.S. has the same right to an abortion during the first two trimesters of pregnancy "as she has to any other minor surgery," TIME wrote
of the decision in 1973.
Today, that right is under attack. As the legal battle over abortion plays out on the national stage, we often lose sight of what this procedure looks like on the ground. Individuals across the country are working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that women who need abortions can access them. We spoke with five of these workers — a doula, a counselor, a clinic escort, a doctor, and a practical support volunteer — about what they do, why they do it, and their takes on the future of women's reproductive rights in America. Whatever your stance — pro-life or pro-choice — you'll want to hear what these five women have to say. Read on for their stories.Some women have asked to be identified only by their first names.