RELEASE: On Eve of Roe v. Wade Anniversary, Anti-Abortion Activism Not “Pro-Woman”

Washington, D.C. — Today, on the eve of the 43rd anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic Roe v. Wade decision—which affirmed a woman’s right to abortion—the Center for American Progress released a column and an infographic examining how decades of state abortion restrictions have prevented many women from fully accessing the right to abortion granted to them in Roe. Furthermore, CAP’s column details how anti-abortion doublespeak on laws that restrict abortion access is not only misleading but also dangerous and demeaning.

On Friday, thousands of anti-abortion activists will be in Washington, D.C., for the annual March for Life, a day-long event of rallying, advocacy, education, and lobbying for the elimination of abortion rights. As CAP’s new column demonstrates, however, the selected theme of this year’s rally—”Pro-Life and Pro-Woman Go Hand in Hand”—is deceptive and hides the devastating impacts of anti-abortion restrictions and anti-abortion rhetoric.

“Progressive people of faith know that being ‘pro-woman’ means valuing a woman’s conscience, her emotional and physical well-being, and her human dignity,” said Carolyn Davis, Senior Policy Analyst for the Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative at the Center for American Progress and a United Methodist minister. “Being truly pro-woman is about creating the circumstances necessary for a woman to make the decision that is right for her and her family without the intrusion of politicians or others who oppose full reproductive health care access. For many vulnerable women, this can literally be a matter of life and death.”

Forty-three years after Roe, contemporary efforts to roll back abortion access—whether through efforts to defund organizations like Planned Parenthood, through laws that place dramatic and unnecessary restrictions on abortion clinics, or through states’ refusals to expand Medicaid—are not pro-women and instead severely limit women’s access to lifesaving reproductive health care. Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, 1,074 state abortion restrictions have been enacted.

In contrast, as CAP’s new column lays out, real pro-woman policies for reproductive health honor a woman’s ability to make the decision that is right for her when facing an unplanned pregnancy. This means ensuring that all women can access and afford the health care that is right for them—including safe, legal abortions. Moreover, real pro-woman advocacy includes calling for policies like Medicaid expansion, paid medical and family leave, a higher minimum wage, and the elimination of the wage gap.

Read the column: True Pro-Women Policies Foster a Woman’s Right to Reproductive Health Care Access by Carolyn Davis

Read the infographic: Reclaiming Roe for All by Lauren Kokum

Related resources:

For more information or to speak to an expert, contact Chelsea Kiene at ckiene@americanprogress.org or 202.478.5328.

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