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New York, NY – Today marks the 44th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision handed down on January 22, 1973. The case challenged a Texas statute making it a crime to perform an abortion unless a woman’s life was at stake, and has come to be known as the case that legalized abortion nationwide in the United States. The anniversary comes as millions of people turned out to march across the country to show their support for health, rights, and full equality of all – including access to safe and legal abortion. Americans are sending a clear message to politicians that they do not want further restrictions on abortion access.

At the time the decision was handed down, abortion was illegal in nearly all states except to save a woman’s life or for limited reasons such instances of rape, incest, or fetal anomaly. Roe rendered these laws unconstitutional and set a legal precedent that affected more than 30 subsequent Supreme Court cases involving restrictions on access to safe, legal abortion.

“We refuse to let extreme politicians take us backwards,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “The majority of Americans believe abortion should remain safe and legal. This is one of the reasons people across the country came out to march this weekend: to show support for the health, rights, and full equality of all people, including access to abortion.  

“At Planned Parenthood, we believe in the right of all people to make their own personal medical decisions about pregnancy, without political interference. We are proud to provide expert, high quality care -- including abortion -- and to ensure that patients receive accurate information about all of their pregnancy options. At Planned Parenthood, we trust women to make their own, fully informed health care decisions.”

Planned Parenthood has seen the devastating consequences forwomen in states like Texas where politicians have restricted access to abortion. Women have been forced to travel hundreds of miles, cross state lines, and wait weeks to get an abortion, if they can at all. These restrictions often have a disproportionate impact on communities of color, who already face systemic barriers in accessing quality health care.

Said Richards, “Abortion providers are compassionate, skilled people who believe in the health, well-being, and dignity of every single patient. They trust women and care for women every day.”

At 100 years old, Planned Parenthood remains committed to our mission of building a world where all people have access to the health care and education they need and all people have control of their bodies and can determine their own destinies.

Today, PPFA will be also be hosting aFacebook Live  event at 12:00 pm PT/3:00 PM ET to officially launch #IDEFY, a new campaign to amplify the voices of young people across the country who are fighting for the future they want to see.

Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading sexual and reproductive health care provider and advocate, serving 2.5 million patients annually through its health care service providers, and 1.5 million more through educational programs and outreach. The work of our compassionate and skilled staff makes this possible, and ensures that the communities we serve get the best care possible, every day — no matter what.


Planned Parenthood is the nation's leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation's largest provider of sex education. With approximately 700 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.


Planned Parenthood Federation of America


January 22, 2017