January 22nd marks the 40th anniversary of the Roe v Wade decision in the United States.
In 1973, seven Supreme Court justices agreed that the 14th Amendment guarantees the right to privacy and protects a woman's right to choose to terminate a pregnancy. This constitutionally protected right to privacy shields women from the state-issued restrictions historically placed upon abortion.
As pro-choice activists, we recognize the monumental victory of the Roe v Wade decision, but we also know that our work is far from done. States continue to pass legislation that hinders a woman's ability to exercise her rights. The shortage of abortion providers also prevents many women from accessing their Roe-protected rights. Health care reform affirms previous restrictions and leaves the door open for more barriers to abortion. Please take this opportunity to celebrate a woman's right to choose, and to educate your communities on the factors that continue to make abortion inaccessible.