For Immediate Release
Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards' Statement on Anniversary of Roe v. Wade
WASHINGTON - "Tomorrow marks the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the U.S.
Supreme Court decision that recognized the right of women to make
personal, private medical decisions and to control their bodies and
their reproductive health. Many Americans do not remember a time when
abortion was banned outright in states across the country, forcing women
— our mothers and grandmothers — to resort to dangerous and, too often
deadly, illegal procedures.
“Thirty-eight years later, this landmark ruling is facing an
unprecedented attack — even though the majority of Americans strongly
support the Supreme Court’s decision in the case. Just this week, we
had a harsh reminder that the fight to protect reproductive health and
rights is far from over. Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), opened a new front in
this battle by introducing a bill intended to end private health
insurance coverage for virtually all abortions.
“We have been able to defeat anti-choice legislation like this in the
past, but Smith’s bill goes far beyond any anti-choice ban on private
health insurance coverage ever introduced in Congress. If this ban
passes, it will put the lives of women with life-threatening pregnancies
in danger, and it will even curtail abortion coverage for many women
who are raped and become pregnant as a result.
“The anniversary of Roe v. Wade is a reminder that advances
for women's health and rights do not come easily. We have to speak out
and stand together to make progress, and we have to do whatever it
takes to protect the gains we have made from extreme politicians like
Rep. Smith who want to turn back the clock to the days when women
“Other opponents of women’s health and rights, who were elected on a
wave of discontent over the economy, are mounting aggressive attacks
intended to take reproductive health care —including abortion — away
from women. With these anti-choice politicians newly empowered in
Congress and statehouses across the country, Rep. Smith's bill is just
the first in what will be a long string of attacks on women's health. In
dozens of states, a record number of anti-choice state legislators and
governors are proposing wide-ranging anti-choice, anti-women’s health
legislation. These opponents of legal abortion are also busy undermining
women’s access to birth control and family planning. In fact, Rep. Mike
Pence (R-IN) plans to introduce a bill that would strip Planned
Parenthood of all Title X family planning funding, which has made it
possible for millions of low-income women to choose and pay for
contraception and other basic preventive health care since 1970.
“Today, we celebrate what we achieved 38 years ago with Roe v. Wade and rededicate ourselves to protecting each woman's constitutional right to make her own private, personal medical decisions.”
Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is many things to many people. We are a trusted health care provider, an informed educator, a passionate advocate, and a global partner helping similar organizations around the world. Planned Parenthood delivers vital health care services, sex education, and sexual health information to millions of women, men, and young people.