The history of birth control and abortion is a long one. In the United States, abortion and contraception were legal from Colonial times until the late 1800s. Then state legislatures, pushed by the American Medical Association, began outlawing abortion. And some states adopted and expanded Comstock laws, set by the federal postal service to ban the shipping of contraceptives and informational pamphlets.
At about the same time these laws were passed, the concept of the right to privacy began to emerge.
An associate professor at Black Hills State says the issue of reproductive rights today is not black and white. And she says there is room for discussion and consensus among people with gray-area viewpoints.
Pam Carriveau led a forum on these issues for a primarily female audience earlier this week in Rapid City.
Outside the meeting room, on the other side of a window, antiabortion activists staged a brief protest.
SDPB's Victoria Wicks talked with people from both sides.