Online Resources

  • Massachusetts Citizens for Life
    This organization is the local affiliate of the National Right to Life Committee. "In recognition of the fact that each human life is a continuum from conception to natural death, the mission of MCFL , Inc. is to promote respect for human life and to defend the right to life of all human beings, born and preborn." The web site has links to pregnancy help centers, adoption resources, post-abortion healing programs, etc.

  • National Organization for Women
    This is the web site by the pro-choice National Organization for Women. It covers such topics as the battle over the morning-after pill, erosion of reproductive rights in states, President Bush signing a law granting personhood to fetuses etc.

  • United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Site
    This web site of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is pro-life and has quotes from the church on abortion and also features testimony from a doctor that performs partial birth abortions. This website also features such topics as the morning after pill, stem cell research, in vitro fertilization etc.

    A good general web site "devoted to reporting news that affects the pro-life community."

  • National Right to Life Committee
    This organization works "to restore legal protection to innocent human life." It has affiliates in all 50 states.

  • National Abortion Rights Action League
    The National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) has been an "advocate for privacy and a woman's right to choose … to protect the pro-choice values of freedom and privacy …" The state affiliates monitor relevant legislation in their legislatures.

  • Pro-Choice Public Education Project
    The Pro-Choice Public Education Project's goal is to educate young women about reproductive freedom and choice, energizing a new generation of pro-choice leaders. Published June 2004
  • Abortion Clinic Manual
    The Abortion Clinic Manual contains the regulations, administrative and billing instructions, and service codes for abortion clinics.

  • Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts
    PPLM's purpose is "to protect and promote sexual and reproductive health and freedom of choice. "

Available Books:

The Ethics of Abortion: Pro-Life vs. Pro Choice.
Baird, Robert M. and Stuart E. Rosenbaum, eds.
Buffalo, NY: Prometheus books, 1989.
HQ 767.15 .E84 1989
An anthology of essays on infanticide, the moral and legal aspects, abortion and the concept of consistency, etc. The book also includes excerpts from the US Supreme Court decision Webster vs. Reproductive Health Services.

The House of Atreus: Abortion as a Human Rights Issue.
Westport, CT: Praeger, 1999.
HQ 767.5 .U5 B65 1999
The fallacies of Roe v. Wade (1973), the right to life of all human beings, born and unborn, and the inevitable expansion of euthanasia and mercy-killing.

Roe v. Wade: The Abortion Rights Controversy in American History.
Hull, N.E.H. and Peter Charles Hoffer
University Press for Kansas, 2001.
KF 228 .R59 H85 2001
An historical survey from the 1800s through the Clinton years.


Public Opinion About Abortion: Twenty-Five Years After Roe v. Wade.
Ladd, Everett Carll and Karlyn H. Bowman
Washington, D.C.: AEI Press, 1999.
HQ 767.5 .U5 L3 1999
Topics in this survey include the sanctity of life, the role of choice, abortion circumstances, and the issue in election seasons. Included are 32 tables on the many aspects of the issue as taken in polls.


A documentary history of the legal aspects of abortion: Colautti v. Franklin.
Mersky, Roy M.
Littleton, CO: Fred B. Rothman, 2000.
KF 3771 .D63 2000
A collection of legal documents submitted for this 1978 Supreme Court decision: amici curiae briefs, lower court rulings, the transcript of oral arguments, and the ruling itself. The case can be seen as related to the recent issue of infants born alive during abortions.


The morality of abortion; legal and historical perspectives.
Noonan, John T., editor
Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1970.
K 5181 .M67
A collection of essays on philosophical, legal, theological, and ethical aspects of this issue prior to the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.


The Right to Life movement and third party politics.
Spitzer, Robert J.
New York: Greenwood Press, 1987.
Some historical perspectives from 19 th-century political developments, including reference to the anti-slavery movement.

First Among Equals: The Supreme Court in American life.
Starr, Kenneth
New York: Warner Books, 2002.
KF 8748 .S815 2002
Chapter 7 of this book covers privacy rights, abortion, and the Constitution.


Life before birth: the moral and legal status of embryos and fetuses.
Steinbock, Bonnie
New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.
K 642 .S74 1992
The final chapter leads into the areas of embryonic research, which has become more prominent and controversial in recent years.


The Freedom of Choice Act of 1993: report together with additional and minority views (to accompany S.25)
United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Labor and Human Resources.
Washington, D.C.: U. S. Govt. Printing Office, 1993.
Y 1.1/5:103-42
This bill is part of the current public debate and controversy.


Massachusetts Legislative Papers

Materials on abortion can be found in the collected papers of several Massachusetts legislators of the General Court. They can be consulted in Special Collections, Room 55 of the State House.

Papers of Jack H. Backman

Papers of Edward Kirby

Lois G. Pines


This information is provided by The State Library of Massachusetts.