This thesis reviews a selection of American works of fiction dating from 1927 to 2017 in order to discuss changes in the way abortion has been written about in American literature before and after Roe v. Wade. The thesis takes aim at exploring the effects of legalization of abortion on the language of abortion and descriptions of abortion stigma in American literature in the 20th and 21st century. A feminist close reading of short stories by Ernest Hemingway, Alice Walker, David Foster Wallace and novels by Richard Yates, Richard Brautigan, Ruth Ozeki and Joyce Carol Oates reveals the presence of abortion stigma, both experienced and felt by the characters that are faced with abortion. This finding supports the argument posed by scholars that the 1973 landmark US Supreme Court decision did not entirely grant women the right to choose. The language of the law does not settle upon a definition of personhood, which leaves the rights of the fetus and the woman open to interpretation. The thesis analyses the linguistic and narrative structures applied to address the issue of personhood in the literary texts, and connects the inability to define the notion in the law, debate and literature to the perpetuation of abortion stigma. Finally, the thesis suggests that despite the prevalence of abortion stigma and the patriarchal structures it reflects, the abortion trope in literature conveys female agency and defiance of gender stereotypes.