Not 1925: Texas’ law banning abortion dates to before the Civil War

The north side of the Texas Capitol grounds in 1892.

Austin History Center, Austin Public Library

Spanish origins

Cover page of the sixth Texas Legislature’s penal code, adopted in 1857.

Legislative Library of Texas

The Capitol building in Austin from 1856 until it burned in 1881.

Texas Politics Project

Texas’ efforts to regulate both childbirth and abortion coincided with a national effort started by a Boston doctor named Horatio Storer, who pushed states to tighten their abortion laws.

Public domain

Early legal battles

1857 statutes today

Lawyers Sarah Weddington and Linda Coffee worked together to successfully argue Roe v. Wade, which in 1973 gave women a right to abortion.

Shelby Tauber for The Texas Tribune

Abortion opponents attend the Rally for Life march at the Capitol in Austin on Jan. 27, 2018.

Shelby Knowles for The Texas Tribune


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