Ever since the territorial days, Arizona has had a history of severely restricting women’s reproductive freedom. From territorial era laws passed in 1864 to the laws restricting both abortion and contraception passed in 1901 (called the Comstock Laws), Arizona lawmakers and governors have actively sought to restrict women’s reproductive rights.
When the U.S. Supreme Court announced their decisions in the 1960s and 1970s (Griswald v Connecticut & Roe v Wade) Arizona finally began to allow more reproductive freedom (including the right to have an abortion), but only because
the courts had forced their hand.
The recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization has potentially set back women’s reproductive rights to the territorial era in Arizona.
In this special report, we review historical documents to piece together the history of women’s reproductive health rights from the beginning of Arizona’s territorial era in 1864 to the present day.
Buckle your seat belt. You’re in for a bumpy ride.