Events & exhibitions

The Age of Roe: The Past, Present, and Future of Abortion in America

The Age of Roe

For half a century, Roe v. Wade has resonated far beyond the confines of constitutional law. The Age of Roe rethinks what Roe has meant to American society, culture, and politics. It tells the story of abortion in the United States, from criminalization to constitutionalization and back again, through the eyes of those who created and defended Roe and those who mourned and unmade it, those at the center of politics and those at the margins. Battles over Roe upended party politics, changed medical practice, and divided faith communities. In other nations, Roe offered lessons about what it meant to treat abortion as a right or to rely on the courts to achieve change. Conflicting visions of justice—for people of color, for women, for life in the womb—shaped what Roe meant.

The Age of Roe reevaluates the decision’s legacy through the work of those who defined the past five decades of debate about reproduction. Their voices help us both to understand our present debates about reproduction and to suggest a way beyond them. And their stories suggest that the age of Roe will cast a long shadow over our ideas of reproduction and justice well after the Supreme Court’s 1973 ruling, properly understood, is gone.

The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study gratefully acknowledges the Helen Blumen and Jan Acton Fund for Schlesinger Library Exhibitions, which is supporting this exhibition.

Exhibition curated by Mary Ziegler, professor of law, UC Davis School of Law

Schlesinger Library Exhibition Committee Members:

  • Jenny Gotwals, curator for gender and society
  • Laura Peimer, archivist


Registration is recommended. Each reservation grants entry for the individual named in the confirmation only. Please make separate bookings for each member of your party.

On view Monday, October 24, 2022–Saturday, March 4, 2023
Monday–Friday, 9 AM–4:30 PM

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