47 Years of Roe

Today is the 47th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that affirmed a woman’s constitutional right to abortion.

While abortion may feel like a partisan political issue today, this 7-2 decision was decided by a Supreme Court comprised of a majority of Justices appointed by Republican presidents. In fact, five of the seven Justices who affirmed a woman’s right to abortion were Republican-appointed (three by President Nixon).

Regardless of their political affiliation, most people in the United States support a woman’s access to reproductive care, including safe and legal abortion. Having this right is fundamental to a woman’s ability to lead a healthy and autonomous life. To take away health care and family planning options is to exacerbate financial instability for women already struggling to make ends meet.

Although abortion has been legal in the U.S. for nearly five decades, states continue to pass laws seeking to undermine Roe and restrict women’s reproductive rights. Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it will hear a case involving a Louisiana state law that mandates hospital admitting privileges for doctors who perform abortions. This is the first case on abortion to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court since the appointments of Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, and it is likely to be a major determinant of abortion access going forward.

CWLC has submitted amicus briefs arguing against federal attempts to restrict access to reproductive care and we have worked to expand health care in California. Last year, CWLC was a strong advocate for legislation providing college students with access to medication abortion at on-campus health centers.

We are grateful for California’s elected and policy leaders who are committed to the expansion of health care access for all communities, and we remain vigilant and engaged in the national fight to protect reproductive rights.