This week: abortion laws, a biopsy alternative and childhood vaccinations

Sep 22, 2016

Laws governing abortion in America have changed over time, from no laws in Colonial days -- when it was considered a medical issue -- to the various state restrictions seen today.

In the 1820s, states started restricting medicines that women took to induce abortions, mostly out of concern for the woman’s health. Abortion also became a legal matter, says Jonathan Parent, PhD, a political science professor at Le Moyne College who studies the history of abortion law.

This week, Parent traces how such laws developed, explains the 1973 Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision and notes that public attitudes toward abortion have tended to remain stable for decades.

Also on the show: fine needle aspiration, an alternative to biopsy, and the importance of childhood vaccinations.