WASHINGTON – On January 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its landmark ruling in Roe v. Wade, recognizing the Constitutional protection of a woman’s right to abortion care. Forty-six years later, Roe is still the law of the land—but just barely.
Since Roe, state and federal lawmakers have attempted to pass hundreds of restrictions on women. The Trump Administration has tried to block young immigrant women from getting abortions because the agency responsible for unaccompanied immigrant minors has adopted a no-abortion policy. Over the last eight years, according to the Guttmacher Institute, 424 abortion restrictions have been passed in the states. And in 2018 alone, 15 states adopted 27 new restrictions on abortion and family planning.
Donald Trump has now succeeded in placing two justices on the Supreme Court he picked from a list of jurists compiled by anti-abortion extremists. If the Court overturns Roe, 24 states would likely move to ban or severely limit abortion. Four states—Mississippi, Louisiana, North Dakota, and South Dakota—have already passed “trigger laws” that would automatically ban abortion if Roe is reversed.
Roe v. Wade ended a terrifying era of back-alley abortions. Countless women lost their lives seeking basic reproductive healthcare. But Donald Trump and Mike Pence are determined to deny women control of their own bodies and deprive them of their reproductive health care rights. Pence has even said he looks forward to “Roe v. Wade consigned to the ash heap of history where it belongs.”
This year, as we look back over 46 years of safe and legal abortion, we must redouble our efforts to ensure that women keep their constitutional right to comprehensive reproductive health care, including abortion care.
This isn’t about politics. It’s about women’s lives.