Media Center: Abortion Before Roe v. Wade
Many of Physicians for Reproductive Health’s founders began their medical careers before the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion in the United States. These doctors were forever marked by their experiences treating patients who suffered from botched illegal abortions. Some risked their freedom to provide safe (albeit illegal) abortions, while others worked within the medical and legislative systems to make abortion legal. Many doctors’ memories of this time are preserved in our Voices of Choice film and other publications.
What Our Doctors Are Saying
“Ward K on the first floor of the Dulles building had many beds occupied with women who were bleeding or infected from unsafe abortion. Two years after Roe v. Wade, by the time I was a resident, there were no women in ward K who were the victims of unsafe, infected abortion.”
—Steven Sondheimer, MD
- Physicians for Reproductive Health’s short film Voices of Choice documents the experiences of physicians who practiced before the Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion in the United States
- One of our founders, William K. Rashbaum, MD, talks about his experiences as a doctor before abortion was legalized
- In two outtakes from a 2001 interview, George Tiller, MD, talks about his dedication to providing abortion services.