WASHINGTON, DC – As the nation marks the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide, women across the country face an unprecedented assault on access being pushed forward by a small but vocal group of extreme politicians and conservative special interest groups. A recent report from the Guttmacher Institute, an independent reproductive health research organization, found that more than half of women of reproductive age are living in states where access to abortion is being restricted by their state legislatures.
Despite a 2013 nationwide poll showing that voters across the political spectrum think these are the wrong issues for Congress to focus on — Republicans (62 percent), Democrats (78 percent), and Independents (71 percent) — a report out earlier this week indicates that some Republican leaders are encouraging candidates and the party itself to double down on their opposition to access to safe and legal abortion.
"For four decades, two-thirds of the public has supported access to safe and legal abortion. That remains consistent. Meanwhile, some Republican leaders continue to stand with a small, yet vocal fringe of individuals dead set on turning back the clock on safe and legal abortion access in America,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund.
“As the nation’s leading women's health care provider and advocate, Planned Parenthood stands with the majority of Americans who agree that a woman and her doctor, not politicians, should be making health care decisions.”
But as these out-of-touch politicians continue to drive their anti-women’s health agenda, young people are energizing the reproductive rights movement. They led to a decisive 10-point defeat of the Albuquerque 20-week abortion ban and the defeat of extreme Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli in the Virginia gubernatorial race based largely on his opposition to women’s access to safe and legal abortion. And of course, they packed the Texas state capitol in support of Texas State Senator Wendy Davis while she held her ground in the historic 11-hour marathon filibuster to run out the clock on an extreme and dangerous anti-women’s health bill.
Six in ten Millennials believe abortion should be available in all or most cases, similar to other generations, but Millennials are more likely to support access in their own community: 68 percent believe abortion should be available in their community, compared to 60 percent of boomers and only 42 percent of seniors.
“This year, Planned Parenthood Generation Action programs — already on more than 200 campuses across the country — and our millions of supporters across the country are focused on harnessing the power, energy, and enthusiasm of young people to fight for reproductive freedom — and for fundamental justice for all. Just like generations before them, the majority of young Americans oppose efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade.
“We’re committed to changing the face of leadership in key states in order to ensure that a woman’s access to health care doesn’t depend on her zip code. Looking back to President Obama’s re-election in 2012 and Terry McAuliffe's election in the Virginia gubernatorial race in 2013 we know that women reject politicians and policies that attack their access to reproductive health care services, including birth control and safe and legal abortion," said Richards.