Despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 landmark decision that legalized abortion nationwide, many women still lack access to safe and affordable abortion. Anti-choice legislators have constructed a latticework of abortion restrictions and bans in state legislatures that has prevented Roe v. Wade from being a reality for everyone.
More state abortion restrictions have been enacted in the past five years than in any other five-year period since Roe was decided. Such restrictions push safe and affordable abortion care out of reach for those who already face significant barriers to quality health care, such as low-income women; immigrants; youth; women of color; and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT, people. All women deserve reproductive health policies that respect their moral decision-making and safeguard their health and well-being, regardless of age, gender, socio-economic status, or other factors. In order to equalize health outcomes for all—including access to abortion services—the nation’s lawmakers must heed the original intent of the Roe v. Wade decision and restore to women their basic legal rights.
Lauren Kokum is the Special Assistant for the Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative at the Center for American Progress.