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39th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade

January 22, 2012

Today marks the 39th anniversary of the landmark Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court case.  The ruling ensured women their Constitutional right to choose what to do with their own bodies, marking a pivotal turning point for safe health practices and for a woman’s right to privacy. 
Prior to Roe vs. Wade, illegal or self-induced abortions accounted for as many as one out of every five maternal deaths.  Bringing this procedure out of the shadows has saved the lives of thousands of women every year.  Consider that effect over the course of nearly four decades and the profound impact of this case becomes crystal clear.
The 1973 ruling was also a distinct victory for women’s rights.  The Court ruled every woman has the right to privacy and control over her own body.  Women would no longer fall victim to circumstances beyond their control in cases of rape, incest, or medical complication.  Moreover, we were ensured the right to determine what would and would not be taking place with our bodies.
I am proud to have continued the fight for a woman’s right to choose during my time in Congress.  Despite persistent attempts to chip away at all that Roe vs. Wade accomplished, I have advocated for abortion to remain safe, legal and available to those in need.  In 2011 alone, I offered amendments to ensure federal funding for abortions would be available in cases where the life of the mother is at risk and cases where a mother may be undergoing chemotherapy for cancer, which often impairs the development of a pregnancy dramatically.
The effort to support – and oppose – Roe vs. Wade continues.  In the face of attempts by Republicans to undermine all of the good that has come from this ruling, I am asking everyone who reads this to join me in supporting a woman’s right to choose.