It’s been 42 years since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade that a woman’s constitutional right to privacy includes her right to abortion. Since then, abortion opponents have been working tirelessly to chip away at access to safe and legal abortion by passing one restriction after another.
Over the last four years, we’ve seen an unprecedented increase in state restrictions. Since the 2010 midterm elections state legislatures have adopted 231 new abortion restrictions, according Guttmacher Institute. That’s more restrictions in the last five years than the previous decade!
Thank goodness we live in California. Our state has LONG history of supporting a woman’s personal decisions regarding her reproductive health, including abortion. Here’s but a sample of what we’ve done for women’s health in the last few years:
- In 2012, California led the nation in being the ONLY state to pass legislation expanding access to reproductive health care when the legislature passed AB 2348 expanding access to birth control.
- We did it again in 2013 when the Legislature passed AB 154 and AB 980, improving abortion access.
And we’ll continue to work to improve access and remove barriers to care in California and the rest of the nation.
While we may not all agree on the issue of abortion, 40 years after Roe Californians agree that they want this landmark abortion decision kept in place rather than overturned.
- In California 68 percent of adults believe government should not interfere with a woman’s access to abortion. This support bridged across party lines.
- Nationwide polls show support for Roe at 53 percent to 29 percent.
- Six in 10 young Americans believe abortion should be available in all or most cases, and 68 percent believe it should be available in their own community.
As Congress and state Legislatures consider policy on women’s health, it’s critical that they to listen to doctors and medical experts who know that legal abortion is safe. They also need to listen to voters who want politicians to stop interfering in personal medical decisions.
We know that abortion is a personal, private decision that each woman must make for herself, taking into account her own values and responsibilities. Ultimately, decisions about whether to choose adoption, end a pregnancy, or raise a child must be left to a woman, in consultation with her family, her faith, and her doctor or health care provider, and those decisions need to be respected.