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A Guide to Finding Government Information

Web version of this guide includes links to web resources.

Search Tips:

Mix and match these terms in searching the library catalog, WestCat , or use them to search journal articles and law reviews via the library's Databases page. You can also use them to search government information sites listed on our Starting Points page - click the tab and pay particular attention to the Top Six.

  • abortion
  • abortion clinics
  • anti-abortion
  • partial-birth abortion
  • reproductive freedom
  • reproductive rights
  • religion
  • pro-abortion
  • pro-choice
  • pro-life
  • violence
  • incest
  • rape
  • Operation Rescue
  • Roe v. Wade


Related Topics:
  • privacy
  • contraception
  • states' rights

An important source for many research topics is Congress. Congressional committees and subcommittees hold hearings on a wide variety of controversial and timely subjects. Simply add the word "hearing?" to a search string in WestCat .

Search Engines

Google and StartPage
Use these search engines to search for government information by typing "site:gov" in the search box preceding your search terms:

  • site:gov "partial-birth abortion"
  • site:mil abortion

Federal Government Information
LEAKED SUPREME COURT OPINION: Thomas E. Dobbs, State Health Officer of the Mississippi Department of Health et al v. Jackson Women's Health Organization et al. : on writ of certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Read the 98-page opinion drafted by Samuel Alito that will remove the constitutional right to privacy for all Americans and leave abortion rights to the individual states.

Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act

This hearing on a bill to make it illegal for a minor to cross state lines to receive an abortion discusses both the constitutionality of the bill and federal overreach as well as the effects of abortion on minor females.

Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003

This hearing offers testimony on H.R. 760 from proponents and opponents of partial-birth abortion. 2003
Y 4.J 89/1:108/14

Scope and Myths of Roe v. Wade

The bulk of this two-volume hearing (2307 pages) is comprised of affidavits, mostly from women who've had abortions; while only 70 pages are actual testimony of witnesses.
Y 4.J 89/1 109-84/v.1 & 2

Abortion Surveillance - United States

This Center for Disease Control summary gives the number and characteristics of women who have obtained a legal induced abortion.

The Consequences of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton

This hearing discusses the consequences of this controversial Supreme Court decision from both the pro-life and pro-choice perspectives.

Illinois Government Information
Illinois Abortion Statistics, 1973-Current

This Illinois Department of Public Health website has both past and present abortion numbers broken down by age group, county, and marital status.

Illinois Compiled Statutes

Generally, see 720 ILCS 510/1 (The Illinois Abortion Law of 1975). See also Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act, 720 ILCS 513/, and Parental Notice of Abortion Act of 1995, 750 ILCS 70/.

Legal Information
Court Cases

Roe v. Wade (1973)
Akron v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health (1983)
Thornburgh v. American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists (1986)
Webster v. Reproductive Health Services (1989)
Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey (1992)
Bray v. Alexandria Clinic (1993)
Stenberg v. Carhart (2000)

What Roe v. Wade Should Have Said: the Nation’s Top Legal Experts Rewrite America’s Most Controversial Decision

Legal experts from both sides of this controversial issue were challenged to individually rewrite Roe v. Wade while restricting themselves to court precedents and laws in effect at the time the original decision was written.
LEGL REF. KF 228 .R59 W47 2005

"The Legal Status of Abortion in the States if Roe v. Wade is Overruled"

This article describes, on a state-by-state basis, the laws currently on the books (in light of each state's post-Roe court opinions) that would immediately be enforceable upon a U.S. Supreme Court Decision overturning Roe v. Wade.
Issues in Law & Medicine, v. 27, p. 181 (2012) via  Nexis Uni

"Abortion and Technology: Sonograms, Fetal Pain, Viability, and Early Prenatal Diagnosis"

This article discusses the role technology has had, and potentially will have, in the evolution of abortion law and arguments on both sides of the issue.
University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law, v. 14, p. 327 (2011) via  Nexis Uni

"Regulating Abortion Through Direct Democracy: the Liberty of All Versus the Moral Code of a Majority"

This article sets the stage by looking at the history of direct democracy in the United States and then discusses abortion-related state initiatives and referenda and their treatment by the courts.
Boston University Law Review, v. 91, p. 305 (2011) via  Nexis Uni

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