40 Years After Roe: Inside North Dakota’s Only Abortion Clinic

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January 22, 2013 marks the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision that made access to abortion a constitutionally protected right. Instead of celebrating this milestone, however, abortion rights activists find themselves on the defensive. In the four decades since the high court’s historic ruling, pro-choice activists have been steadily losing ground to their pro-life opponents. The result is that in many parts of the country today, it is harder to access abortion services than at any time since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973.

Pro-life activists have pursued a multi-pronged strategy to reduce the number of abortion providers in the U.S. and make it more difficult and more expensive for women to access the procedure.  In 2008, there were 38% fewer abortion providers in the U.S. than in 1982.

Today, there are four states that have just a single surgical abortion provider: North Dakota, South Dakota, Arkansas and Mississippi. The facility featured in these photographs, the Red River Women’s Clinic in Fargo, ND, is one such provider. Doctors who work at the clinic perform 20 to 25 abortions every week and women travel to Red River from across North Dakota, nearby Minnesota and Canada.

Photographer Jamie Chung traveled to Fargo in late 2012 as part of a TIME cover story documenting the state of abortion rights in America. His photographs offer a rare glimpse at the delivery of abortion services inside a clinic, 40 years after Roe v. Wade.

More Photography from Time


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