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Advocates for Continued Access to Safe and Legal Abortion

“To protect her health and the health of her family, a woman must have access to safe, legal abortion services without interference from politicians.” – Ruth Lytle-Barnaby

[Wilmington, Delaware] — On the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Planned Parenthood of Delaware 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 Delaware, 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 Ruth Lytle-Barnaby, President and CEO. “A woman should have accurate information about all her options around her pregnancy. To protect her health and the health of her families, a woman 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 such as Texas, South Dakota, Florida, and Michigan, some politicians have eroded access to safe and legal abortion through court battles, ballot measures, and burdensome legislative restrictions.

“A majority of Americans oppose efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade, and politicians who continue to interfere with a woman’s access to safe and legal abortion do so against the will of their constituents,” said Lytle-Barnaby.

• According to a 2012 Quinnipiac poll, 64 percent of American voters agree with the Roe v. Wade ruling, up from 60 percent in 2010.
• 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 Delaware, Planned Parenthood works every day to prevent unintended pregnancy and keep women healthy. Planned Parenthood health centers provide health care that helps women prevent an estimated 486,000 unintended pregnancies and 204,000 abortions every year. From courthouses to statehouses to Capitol Hill, Planned Parenthood works to protect access to health care for women across the country — taking action to ensure that women have access to care, no matter what.


The mission of Planned Parenthood of Delaware is to ensure the right of all individuals to access the appropriate information and the services necessary to make and act on personal decisions related to their own reproduction, sexuality and health. Planned Parenthood provides family planning, gynecological services, abortion, cancer screening, STD testing and treatment, health education, and more. The agency serves all three counties, has operated in Delaware for more than 80 years, and serves 11,000 clients a year. For further information, check out www.ppdel.org.


Planned Parenthood of Delaware


Amelia Auner
302.655.7297 (office)
302.507.4694 (cell)


January 18, 2013


January 24, 2013