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Results tagged “Roe” from Blog for Choice

An Eventful 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade!


This week, Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, zipped all over town to talk about the importance of the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that recognized that women have the fundamental right to safe and legal abortion care.

CNN was her first stop of the day. Nancy had a spirited conversion with CNN's Carol Costello about the current state of the pro-choice movement, and our continued work to protect women's reproductive freedom.

Nancy also, joined by Wisconsin Rep. Gwen Moore (D), spoke with Thomas Roberts on MSNBC about how the fight for choice has now moved to the states.

Nancy also discussed choice at the state level with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow:

"It's no longer about the legality which was the battle of Roe, making abortion legal in this country. It has now become a debate and a fight around access...This is the most extreme pressure on women, that the ultimate decision is not with her, it is with a politician here in Washington, D.C., or in the state Capitols."

But that's not all. Nancy also sat down with Gwen Ifill on PBS NewsHour to debate the future of choice with Charmaine Yoest, president and CEO of anti-choice group Americans United for Life.

The celebration of Roe continued when Nancy released an op-ed via CNN affirming the significant role Millenials will play in protecting a woman's right to choose:

"During the past two presidential elections, we have seen Millennials' ability to exercise their power, speak up and change the fabric of our nation. Many are speaking up online, in the voting booth, at the grass-roots level and in the hallways of our organizations. They are telling their stories and charting their own path, but it is critical that we create pathways to broaden and build a new conversation about protecting women's reproductive health."

We know that these last four decades have challenged us to stand our ground against anti-choice extremists who work every day to overturn of Roe v. Wade - or at least render it meaningless. But we're not alone: 70 percent of Americans believe that Roe should remain intact.

With your help, we will work to ensure reproductive rights don't become a thing of the past.

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What Would Happen if States Could Outlaw Abortion?


Are you okay with allowing nearly half of the states in the Union to ban abortion care?

The reason we're asking is that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee brought it up this week.

Anti-choice former Gov. Mitt Romney expressed his desire to see Roe v. Wade overturned:

I would love the Supreme Court to say, "Let's send this back to the states." Rather than having a federal mandate through Roe v. Wade, let the states again consider this issue state by state.

Sen. John McCain made a similar, "let the states decide" argument in 2008. It's an old line from anti-choice politicians.

It's no big deal if the Supreme Court overrules nearly 40 years of jurisprudence that says a woman has a fundamental, constitutional right to choose safe, legal abortion care, these politicians say. The issue would just go to the states.

But what would it mean if states got to consider the issue of a woman's right to choose, "state by state?"

It would mean very bad news for women throughout the nation.

If Roe v. Wade were overturned today, women could lose the right to legal abortion immediately in 17 states.

Near Total Bans.png

Based on analysis of current state laws and the hostile legislative landscape, here is how it could happen:

Fifteen states have near-total bans on abortion already on the books that aren't in effect because they are unconstitutional. Bans in the following states may become enforceable if Roe falls: AL, AZ, AR, CO, DE, LA, MA, MI, MS, NM, OK, UT, VT, WV, and WI.

Four states have laws that would impose near-total criminal bans on abortion if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade (sometimes known as "trigger" bans): LA, MS, ND, and SD.

That brings the numbers of states where abortion becomes illegal to 17. (Louisiana and Mississippi are included in both groups.)

But we shouldn't stop there. Fifteen states currently have anti-choice legislatures and governors that would likely outlaw abortion if Roe falls: AL, AZ, GA, ID, LA, MI, MS, NE, ND, OH, OK, SD, TX, UT, and WI.

Five of these states, GA, ID, NE, OH, and TX, are not in the two previous categories.

So, in total, there are 22 states where choice is at risk if Roe is overturned.

That's 44 percent of the states.

Put simply, overturning Roe v. Wade would mean that a woman's personal, private medical decisions would be up to guys like the gyno-governors, rather than a woman and her doctor.

Just something to consider the next time you hear Gov. Romney or other anti-choice politicians throw around the "let the states decide" line.

Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America,, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

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Obama vs. Romney: The Contrast Couldn't Be Clearer


We're blogging for choice today because it's the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision that recognized a woman's constitutional right to choose safe, legal abortion.

On the Roe anniversary, many candidates and elected officials issue statements. And there's quite a contrast between statements from pro-choice leaders and those from anti-choice politicians.

Case in point--here's President Obama's statement:

As we mark the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we must remember that this Supreme Court decision not only protects a woman's health and reproductive freedom, but also affirms a broader principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters. I remain committed to protecting a woman's right to choose and this fundamental constitutional right. While this is a sensitive and often divisive issue- no matter what our views, we must stay united in our determination to prevent unintended pregnancies, support pregnant woman and mothers, reduce the need for abortion, encourage healthy relationships, and promote adoption. And as we remember this historic anniversary, we must also continue our efforts to ensure that our daughters have the same rights, freedoms, and opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams.

And here's the statement from one of the men who want to replace him, anti-choice former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-Mass.):

Today marks the 39th anniversary of one of the darkest moments in Supreme Court history, when the court in Roe v. Wade claimed authority over the fundamental question regarding the rights of the unborn. The result is millions of lives since that day have been tragically silenced. Since that day, the pro-life movement has been working tirelessly in an effort to change hearts and minds and protect the weakest and most vulnerable among us. Today, we recommit ourselves to reversing that decision, for in the quiet of conscience, people of both political parties know that more than a million abortions a year cannot be squared with the good heart of America.

Time for a quick word count:

Mentions of "woman," "women," or "daughters": Pres. Obama 4, Gov. Romney 0.

Mentions of freedom: Pres. Obama 2, Gov. Romney 0.

Mentions of the need to reduce the need for abortion and support healthy pregnancies: Pres. Obama 1, Gov. Romney 0.

These differences speak for themselves.

Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America,, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

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Last year, anti-choice Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed into law a bill forcing a woman seeking abortion care in the Lone Star State to undergo an ultrasound and view the image--even if she does not want to, and even if her doctor does not recommend it.

Instead of a woman and her doctor deciding whether an ultrasound is right for her, politicians in Austin have made that decision for them.

And just this week, a federal court in Texas ruled that this new mandate on women could be enforced even while the courts continue to review whether the law is constitutional.

Who wrote the court's opinion allowing Texas' mandatory ultrasound law to go into effect?

That would be Judge Edith Jones.

The name Edith Jones not setting off any alarm bells? Let's step into the DeLorean for a moment, and take a trip to the land of anti-choice court decisions of years gone by.

First stop: 1985. (One year before I was born.) President Reagan appoints the ultra-conservative Jones to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. She takes office just days before her 36th birthday. Remember, federal judges serve for life.

Next: 1990. Justice William J. Brennan--one of the U.S. Supreme Court's greatest champions of a woman's constitutional right to privacy--retires. President George H.W. Bush considers nominating Judge Jones to replace him. Instead, he nominates David Souter.

1992. In Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, the Supreme Court rules 5-4 to uphold Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to choose safe, legal abortion. Justice Souter votes to preserve the key principles of Roe v. Wade. If Edith Jones had been on the court instead, it is very likely that the case would have gone the other way, and that Roe v. Wade would have been overturned.

1993. Judge Jones votes to uphold Mississippi's dangerous parental-consent mandate, which requires a young woman seeking abortion care to receive permission from both parents--:even if she comes from a home where there is physical or emotional abuse. She said Mississippi's mandate "helps to safeguard the interests of both parents and the family unit."

2004. In McCorvey v. Hill, Judge Jones expresses her desire to see Roe v. Wade overturned: "One may fervently hope that the Court will someday acknowledge such developments and re-evaluate Roe and Casey accordingly."

The Philadelphia Inquirer called Judge Jones' opinion "perhaps the strongest official assault on Roe from a sitting federal judge, and the boldest abortion statement by a potential high court nominee."

2005. There are two vacancies on the Supreme Court. Once again, Jones makes the short list of potential nominees. In the end, President George W. Bush appoints John Roberts and Samuel Alito--both of whom vote to uphold the Federal Abortion Ban, a law that criminalizes safe abortion procedures.

Back to the future--and beyond. Judge Jones continues her anti-choice activism from the bench. She will serve as a federal judge for as long as she wants to.

The lesson of this long, strange, Edith Jones trip? The president's power to nominate judges to the federal courts matters--a lot.

Federal judges can determine who gets to make a woman's most personal, private medical decisions: the woman herself in consultation with her doctor, or politicians and bureaucrats whom she's never met and who don't know (or care) about her circumstances.

Edith Jones is an unfortunate example of an anti-choice judge appointed by an anti-choice president who will continue to rule on women's reproductive lives for a very long time.

And the next president could nominate enough Supreme Court justices to determine the future of Roe v. Wade and women's constitutional right to choose for decades to come.

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