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January 22, 2014

NARAL Pro-Choice President Ilyse Hogue on Roe v. Wade at 41 and the Majority for Choice

On the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and as NARAL Pro-Choice America just reached 45 years of fighting for reproductive rights, President Ilyse Hogue released the following statement:

"Forty-one years ago, the Supreme Court handed down a ruling that fundamentally changed the lives of women in America. With access to legal abortion, women were finally afforded the ability to make their own decisions about how, when, and with whom they have families, without being forced into a situation that might jeopardize their lives. Abortion access is ground zero for reproductive freedom, and from there we have made strides in making contraception widely available, providing accurate information to young people through comprehensive sex education, and offering maternal health care to women who carry pregnancies to term – all elements of a public policy that gives women control over our lives and our health.

It's no wonder that public support for the rights enshrined in Roe is at a record high. Seven out of ten Americans support that landmark decision, making America solidly a pro-choice country.

Yet, from the moment Roe was handed down, an extreme minority has diligently and obsessively focused on stripping these rights from women. From the passage of the Hyde amendment in 1976, that put abortion access out of financial reach for low-income women, to just last week when those same forces went to the Supreme Court to challenge the buffer zone that keeps women safe from harassment, intimidation, and violence as they access reproductive health care clinics, a well-coordinated and well-funded anti-choice minority has used every trick in the book to put the promise of Roe out of reach for too many American women.

But the tide is turning. In 2013, the pro-choice majority in this country rallied to support champions like state Sen. Wendy Davis of Texas and defeated anti-choice hopefuls like Ken Cuccinelli in Virginia. Voters at the ballot box in Albuquerque, New Mexico defeated the first-ever municipal attempt to ban abortion. On the 41st anniversary of Roe, NARAL Pro-Choice America is committed to mobilizing all Americans who believe women should have the freedom and access to make our own decisions about our families and our futures."

Read Ilyse Hogue’s op-ed “2014: The Year the Pro-Choice Crowd Fights Back” in Politico.

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