Supreme Court

Attorney Gloria Allred (left) and Norma McCorvey (right), the anonymous plaintiff in Roe v. Wade, during a pro-choice rally in Burbank, California, on July 4, 1989

Women Who Shaped History

Who Was Norma McCorvey, the Woman Behind Roe v. Wade?

Dubbed "Jane Roe," McCorvey sought an abortion after becoming pregnant in 1969 but was thwarted by Texas' restrictive reproductive laws

Members of the Jane Collective in 1972

History of Now

When Abortion Was Illegal, Chicago Women Turned to the Jane Collective

A new documentary spotlights the group that helped thousands seeking abortions in the 1960s and '70s

Before the critical 1965 Supreme Court ruling Griswold v. Connecticut, state and federal morality laws prohibited access to contraceptives, even to married couples (above: a picketer protests the opening of a new Planned Parenthood Center in New Haven, Connecticut).

The Revolutionary 1965 Supreme Court Decision That Declared Sex a Private Affair

A Smithsonian curator of medicine and science looks back to the days when police could arrest couples for using contraception

Demonstrators at a pro-choice march in April 1989

History of Now

In 1973, a Leak at the Supreme Court Broke News of an Imminent Ruling on Roe v. Wade

Nearly 50 years later, a similar disclosure revealed that the court is poised to overturn legalized abortion in the U.S.

An original illustration from a children’s book, I Dissent, No I Dissent, depicts Associate Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia—opposites in ideology, politics and jurisprudence—facing off against each other. 

New Artifacts Document the Soaring Popularity of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The Smithsonian bestows its Great Americans Award on the former associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson testifies during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 23, 2022.

Women Who Shaped History

Meet the Black Women Judges Who Paved the Way for Ketanji Brown Jackson

Jane Bolin, Constance Baker Motley and Julia Cooper Mack laid the groundwork for the Supreme Court nominee

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