THIS month marks the 40th anniversary of Roe v Wade, the landmark US Supreme Court decision that declared abortion as a constitutional right.
Although American, the case is still sighted as the most influential in Australian law and thinking about abortion.
It twitched the notion of abortion as a women's right - her health, her body, her choice - from feminist idea to legal truth.
So why, in 2013, do Tasmanian women face the prospect of having to travel interstate to secure a safe and legal termination of their pregnancy?
Many do already.
It is easier to attend a women's health clinic in Melbourne than secure the written agreement of two doctors and undergo the mandatory counselling that Tasmania requires.
Easier, too, to flick through old waiting room magazines in a state that has decriminalised your choice and where you don't have to prove why you can't have or don't want a baby right now.
The legislative position on abortion in Tasmania is not very different from other states.
Aside from Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory, where it is decriminalised, all states require a doctor to certify that pregnancy is being terminated because harm to the woman would be greater if the pregnancy continued than if it did not, or because of genetic defect.
The "harm" can be mental, physical or economic, depending on state.
Counselling is mandatory and providing a referral, if a doctor has a conscientious objection to abortion, is not.
In 2001, a medical student who was a conscientious objector reported the Royal Hobart Hospital to police for performing "unlawful" abortions.
The hospital was investigated but not prosecuted.
It had the desired effect, though: Tasmania's public hospitals and many in private medical practice decided elective abortions were not worth the risk.
The law in Tasmania was repealed to remove the phrase "unlawful abortion" and replace it with a list of scenarios in which abortion would be lawful.
Access improved, but then Tasmania's private hospital sector became dominated by catholic organisations who exercise their right not to perform terminations.
Now two Victorian doctors who come to Tasmania to operate clinics once a week face strict new regulations that could make maintaining their clinics uneconomic.
The Tasmanian government supports decriminalising abortion, but that will only help if it encourages more doctors to offer the service here.
Options available to Tasmanian women are already limited by limited providers.
The abortion drug RU486 was cleared for use throughout Australia last year but is not provided by the main Tasmanian clinics, because it requires a follow-up not possible on a one-day swing.
Abortion is legal up to 20 weeks gestation but not performed past 12 weeks because anything past that requires an overnight hospital stay.
This is not a place to argue whether women ought to have the right to terminate a pregnancy.
The fact is that legally they do, in certain circumstances, but practically they can't because of insufficient services.
One in two women will have an unplanned pregnancy at some point, and one in four will terminate it.
This is not the provence of reckless teenagers: according to a 2009 study abortion is highest among the 25 to 34 crowd.
Women should not be denied access to their rights just because they can't afford the plane ticket to reach a clinic.