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Lancet. 1989 Apr 22; 1(8643):879-80.A historical review of the legislation of abortion in America leads to the paramount 1973 amendment by the Supreme Court to legalize abortion. The 16 year old decision is currently up for reconsideration. As compared to the consensus of other countries who have similar policies, in the United States, the issue of abortion is still highly controversial. The Reagan era reflected an attitude of "anti-choice" that was further propagated by Reagan appointees. However, only 1 in 10 Americans believes abortion is murder as many are pro-choice. It is also observed that women who work outside the home are more likely to favor the right to choose an abortion than women who stay home. Compared to England and Wales, contraceptive measures are more limited and expensive in the U.S., and consequently, the overall ratio of abortions to live births is higher in the United States. As well, contraception remains elusive to the American teenager, and as a result, 80% of the 1.1 million teenage pregnancies are unwanted and 450,000 terminate their pregnancies. The final Supreme Court decision is expected at the end of June, and few expect a reversal of the 1973 decision. A possible decision may turn the authority to dictate the legal status of abortions back to the state. If this would happen, as with the situation of contraception, teenagers would be the hardest hit group and might be forced to seek illegal abortions or cross state lines.