The first edition of Abortion, Politics and the Courts was completed in 1980 and published in 1982. I first became interested in this intriguing subject in 1973, after reading the decision of the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade. I was, at the time, teaching a seminar in constitutional law and wished to explore the constitutional doctrines used by the Court to support what was a surprising decision. But I was also curious about the genesis of state abortion legislation, as well as about the background of the new challenges by women plaintiffs. I found myself belatedly reading feminist literature. In 1973, the background material available on abortion was scattered and fragmentary. I read what I could find, although I was not satisfied that I really understood the dynamics of the nineteenth-century campaign to criminalize abortion until much later, when I read James Mohr's book, Abortion in America. I presented my preliminary thoughts about the decision in a law review article published in 1974 in the North Carolina Central Law Journal.
As I continued to follow legal and political developments after 1974, I became more and more interested in the range of responses to the decision, and I began to collect material with the idea of doing some kind of impact study. The subject kept unfolding and changing focus. A movement for legal reform dominated by