When it comes to reproductive rights, 2015 has been a roller coaster of a year.
In some ways, the threats to women’s health care seemed to be coming from all sides this year — from smear campaigns to legislative blocks to actual physical violence. Whether it was conservative lawmakers’ fundamental misunderstandings about the way women’s bodies work, or the reality of what it looks like when women lose access to medical care, this year has been deeply disheartening to those who believe in a woman’s right to bodily autonomy.
The past few years have seen an unprecedented rise in restrictions on access to abortion care and reproductive health. According to reproductive-rights research and policy center the Guttmacher Institute, between 2010 and 2014, 231 new restrictions on abortion have been passed on the state level. Sadly, the trends continued in 2015. This year saw pushes from legislators in multiple states to drastically limit the availability of reproductive health services. On the federal level, women’s health care itself seemed to be called on to justify its very existence.
Of course, not everything is dark. For every politician seeking to limit a woman’s options, there are activists ready to stand up and defend women’s access to health care. But even with that silver lining, it’s an ongoing battle. As the year rolls to an end, we've collected the biggest stories you need to know about what happened regarding reproductive rights in 2015, and what to expect to see come January.