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Planned Parenthood Stands with Women on the 40th Anniversary of Roe; Advocates for Continued Access to Safe and Legal Abortion

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Jen Aulwes, 651-755-9557


Published: | Updated: 01.18.13

“To protect their health and the health of their families, women must have access to safe, legal abortion services without interference from politicians.”  

– Sarah Stoesz, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota


St. Paul, MN – On the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade (January 22, 2013), Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota (PPMNS) stands with women across the country in reinforcing the importance of safe and legal abortion. Despite a woman’s constitutional right to make her own personal medical decisions without interference from politicians, access to safe and legal abortion is still at risk.

“As a leading women’s health care provider and advocate in our region, Planned Parenthood understands that abortion is a deeply personal and often complex decision for a woman to consider if and when she needs it,” said Sarah Stoesz, PPMNS President and CEO. “A woman should have accurate information about all her options around her pregnancy. To protect their health and the health of their families, women must have access to safe, legal abortion services without interference from politicians, as protected by the highest court.”

In 1965, illegal abortions made up nearly one-fifth of all pregnancy-and childbirth-related deaths. In the 40 years since Roe v. Wade blocked states from banning abortion, it has been one of the safest medical procedures — today, less than 0.3 percent of women undergoing legal abortions sustain a serious complication. Despite abortion being legal, constitutionally protected, and consistently supported by a majority of Americans, opponents of women’s health have made it increasingly harder for women to access it. In states across the country, some politicians have eroded access to safe and legal abortion through court battles, ballot measures, and burdensome legislative restrictions.

In South Dakota for example, a range of unpopular attacks on women’s health, designed to restrict abortion access are at play. Even though South Dakotans have twice decisively voted to protect access to abortion if a woman needs it, politicians in Pierre have spent a significant amount of time making abortion extremely limited and heavily restricted in the state.  As a result, the State of South Dakota has spent the better part of the last fifteen years tied up in litigation around unconstitutional laws that undermine women’s health care, and it has cost South Dakota taxpayers over a half a million dollars in fees, not to mention thousands of attorney hours and state resources.

In November, women’s health played a deciding role at the polls, with thousands of women in our region voting for pro-women’s health legislators. “A majority of Americans oppose efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade, and in November they voted to protect a woman’s ability to make her own personal medical decision without interference from politicians,” said Stoesz. “Legislators who continue to interfere with a woman’s access to safe and legal abortion do so against the will of their constituents.”

  • According to a 2012 Gallup poll, 77 percent of Americans think abortion should be legal in some or all circumstances.
  • According to a post-election poll  from the Pew Research Center, 64 percent of voters younger than 30 said that abortion should be legal in all or most cases.
  • According to a Gallup poll of voters in 12 swing states, 39 percent of women cited abortion as the most important election issue for women. Women who cited abortion preferred Obama by a 3-1 margin.
  • According to research from the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of Latino registered voters support a woman's ability to make personal, private decisions about abortion.
  • According to a 2012 survey from the Public Religion Research Institute, two-thirds (67 percent) of African Americans believe that abortion should be legal in all or most cases.

As a leading women's health care provider in our region, PPMNS works every day to reduce unintended pregnancy and keep women healthy. We serve more than 64,000 patients every year with a range of preventive health care services. From the courthouses to the state legislatures, Planned Parenthood works to protect access to health care for women across our three-state region — taking action to ensure that women have access to care, no matter what.


 

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For more than 80 years, Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota has worked in our region to make sure all people have the information and the means to make free and responsible decisions about whether and when to have children.  Planned Parenthood operates 20 clinics in Minnesota and South Dakota and an Online Health Center, providing quality and affordable family planning, reproductive health care services and education to nearly 64,000  women and men each year.

 

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