On the 39th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade, We’re Still Fighting

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    Cross posted from the NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia blog

    Thirty-nine years ago the Supreme Court issued its 7-2 decision in the Roe v. Wade case stating that abortion is a fundamental right under the United States Constitution. Sadly decades later we are still fighting everyday to preserve this fundamental women’s right.

    No woman expects or plans for an unintended pregnancy. Those women for whom the unexpected happens are put in a terrible position; the consequences are steep, no matter what they decide. And this decision should not be made or interfered with by the federal, state, or local government.

    Last year, 92 anti-abortion anti-choice measures were passed into law across the United States, including seven measures passed in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. One measure is Virginia’s regulation, or “TRAP” law, to treat abortion clinics as ambulatory surgery centers instead of doctor’s offices, as they have been classified. Clinics must now meet hospital-type standards on the size of rooms and widths of hallways, among other changes, possibly forcing closure of many clinics across the commonwealth. I was proud to join with women and men across the Commonwealth to stand against Governor McDonnell’s endorsement of these extreme regulations.

    Under the landmark Affordable Care Act, women across the country with private insurance are eligible to receive birth control and other preventative services without paying anything out of pocket. Just this week, the Obama Administration announced women will be able to obtain these benefits beginning this summer. While we continue to fight a larger battle to preserve a woman’s right to choose, this week’s news is welcome progress in the fight to expand access to basic health care for women.

    Unfortunately the efforts of anti-choice advocates both in state legislatures and within the halls of Congress will surely extend to the 2012 election year. This effort to eliminate access to women’s reproductive rights runs contrary to the intent of the Supreme Court’s constitutional ruling. I will continue to strongly advocate for abortion rights for women. This is an issue of great personal conscience that should be free of government interference. The Supreme Court has proclaimed its legality; the rest should be left to a woman, her family and her physician.