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Roe V. Wade

January 22, 2012 by staff 

Roe V. Wade, In its ruling in Roe v. Wade, issued 39 years ago on January 22, the Supreme Court affirmed a constitutional right of privacy “broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy.” No constitutional right, apart from questions related to race that go back nearly 400 years, has been subject to such an extended attack, and those attacks reached a crescendo last year.

The crescendo of opposition has taken the form of an unprecedented spike in the number of anti-abortion initiatives proposed in state legislatures and, in too many instances, enacted into law. While many candidates in 2010 focused their campaigns on economic policy, once elected they turned their attention to anti-abortion legislation instead of addressing the nation’s economic woes as promised.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, last year more than 1100 anti-abortion proposals were introduced in the legislatures of all 50 states, and of these, 135 were enacted in 36 states. More than two-thirds further restricted access to abortion. Among the measures adopted, five states enacted provisions to ban abortion at or beyond 20 weeks’ gestation, an arbitrary ban not grounded in medicine. Four more states enacted burdensome regulations to abortion clinics that will make their operations increasingly expensive or impossible. Nine states adopted restrictions to insurance coverage of abortion.

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