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January 22, 2016

CONTACT: Jen Aulwes
651.755.9557, [email protected]

“We refuse to allow politicians to take us backwards.”

 St. Paul, MN — On the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we are reminded of what life was like for women before safe and legal abortion—and what could again become a reality for many women in our region if politicians continue to restrict access to safe, legal abortion. The stakes for women’s health and rights in 2016 are higher than ever, with the U.S. Supreme Court soon hearing the biggest abortion case in decades.

We have seen the devastating impact in states like Texas, where women are traveling hundreds of miles, crossing state lines, and waiting weeks to get an abortion. In fact, researchers estimate that between 100,000 to 240,000 Texas women have tried to end a pregnancy on their own without medical assistance (read more here and here). 

Today, we are reminded of what life was like for women before safe and legal abortion--and what could again become a grim reality for many women across the country,” said Sarah Stoesz, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota (PPMNS.) “As a health care provider, we’ve seen the harmful impact on women when politicians restrict access to abortion. On the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we stand with women, men, and young people from across our region who support a woman’s right to safe, legal abortion.  We will continue to fight for every woman’s right to make her own personal decisionsand we refuse to allow politicians to take us backwards.

According to new data from the Guttmacher Institute, politicians at the state level have passed 288 restrictions on safe, legal abortion since the 2010 elections. In fact, one-quarter of all abortion restrictions enacted since Roe have been passed in the last 5 years—despite the public’s overwhelming support for women’s access to safe, legal abortion. 

“Politicians in North Dakota and South Dakota have spent years passing abortion laws and restrictions—making them two of the most difficult states in the country to access safe abortion,” continued Stoesz. “Were it not for Governor Dayton, legislators here in Minnesota would have taken us down a similar path.”

Polls consistently show that the majority of Americans support access to safe and legal abortion and Planned Parenthood. Since July, there have been 14 national polls measuring support for Planned Parenthood—and every single one of them shows strong support for Planned Parenthood and access to reproductive health care. A recent Bloomberg Politics national poll found that 67 percent of Americans surveyed said the Supreme Court was right to rule that women have a constitutional right to abortion and agree with the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade. AVOX/PerryUndem poll found that more Americans consider themselves pro-choice than pro-life. Sixty-eight percent of millennials don't want to see Roe overturned, and 72 percent of Republicans think abortion should be available. 

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For more than 85 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 19 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 65,000  women and men each year.

Visit us on the web at www.ppmns.org