On the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, polls show that a majority of Americans agree that abortion should remain legal. According to the results, a 54 percent majority, for the first time in history, feel that abortions should remain legal in the US.
On this date in 1973, the Supreme Court made the landmark decision that women had a constitutional right to have an abortion during the first three months of pregnancy. The decision hinged on a lawsuit brought before The Supreme Court which challenged the existing abortion laws in Texas. The Supreme Court decided that the laws violated the plaintiff’s rights provided by the 9th and 14th amendments.
Additionally, the survey revealed that a surprising 70 percent of Americans would oppose the Roe v. Wade decision being overturned. As reported by NBC News, there are several theories for the higher than expected numbers of those supporting the Roe v. Wade decision:
“Much of this change, the NBC/WSJ pollsters say, is coming from African Americans, Latinos and women without college degrees — all of whom increasingly oppose the Supreme Court decision being overturned.”
Republican pollster Bill McInturff contends that the unexpected results in favor of allowing abortions are tied to the recent presidential election. McInturff blames rhetoric surrounding election campaigns and the resulting national debate.
Despite the results of the poll, several states have passed local legislation to prevent or deter abortions. As reported by National Catholic Register, Arizona and South Carolina both saw significant changes in abortion law in 2012.
Arizona passed the “Women’s Health Protection Act,” which bans abortions after 20 weeks. The decision was reportedly based on findings that the fetus is able to feel pain and that an abortion after 20 weeks would pose health risks to women’s health.
South Carolina passed legislation to exclude any medical facilities performing abortions from participating in “exchanges operating in the state under the health care reform law.”
Most interesting on this anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Norma McCorvey, “Roe” of Roe v Wade, is now one of the most outspoken pro-life supporters.