The nation celebrates another milestone today: the 40th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade. That ruling was a tremendous and unprecedented advance for women’s health and equality. It protected women’s dignity and privacy, and helped give us the ability to contribute as equals in our society.
But even as we celebrate four decades of Roe, we recognize that it stands today as a fragile victory, under relentless attack by those who would turn back the clock on women’s health and rights. In the last election, we heard a lot from opponents of Roe, and voters soundly rejected their vision and values.
We must reject, just as decisively, their efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and Title X, to treat contraception differently than other preventive services under the Affordable Care Act, to make abortion care unavailable to young, rural and low-income women, and to interfere in the relationship between women and their health care providers. That means not requiring doctors to give women information that is medically inaccurate, not requiring women to have ultrasounds and counseling that are medically unnecessary and delay the care they need, and not allowing employers to impose their beliefs and deny women the medications their doctors have prescribed. It also means providing insurance coverage for abortion for all women, whether they get their health care from private insurance or through government programs like Medicaid.
The nation will be better off if, by the next anniversary of Roe v. Wade, attacks through state laws and federal health policy, and at women’s health clinics, have ended.”