51st anniversary of Roe v. Wade comes as country remains divided on issue

Roe v. Wade 51st anniversary

Today marks the 51st anniversary of the landmark decision Roe v. Wade. Both sides say this is not the time for complacency, with a lot on the line right now.

Monday marked the 51st anniversary of the landmark decision Roe v. Wade. Now abortion politics may be a factor in the upcoming election.

“I think it’s very sad,” said Chelly Hegan, Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood President and CEO. “It’s a really sad day to imagine that we’re less free today than we were a year ago, and I think it’s also really incumbent upon us in New York to not think that we’re safe.”

Hegan reflected on this 51st anniversary of the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade.

In 1973, the ruling came as a shock, while New York’s then existing liberal abortion law was under attack, as seen in reporting from that time.

“Well, it means that January 22, 1973, will stand out as one of the great days for freedom and free choice,” said Dr. Alan Guttmacher of Planned Parenthood in 1973.

“How many millions of children prior to their birth will never live to see the light of day because of the shocking action of the majority of the United States Supreme Court today,” said Msgr. Eugene Clark of the New York Archdiocese in 1973.

In 2022, a Supreme Court ruling ended federal protection for Roe’s abortion rights.

At least 16 states now have all-out bans.

“The shame that we have been living under is that they work to overturn Roe v. Wade for 50 years and here we are in this position, and they had absolutely no plan as to how to take care of women, the children that they have, the unbelievable number of people who are experiencing unintended pregnancies, dangerous pregnancies,” said Hegan.

There was a large anti-abortion march in Washington last week, celebrating that Dobbs decision and pushing to keep fighting.

The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a case that could limit access to a commonly-used abortion medication.

The issue might become a hot topic on the campaign trail. Democrats are expected to rally supporters on abortion rights this presidential election.

“I think that voters across the country strongly support continued access to abortion care,” said Hegan. “And state after state when it’s on the ballot, they have spoken. And so I cannot imagine that that won’t continue. I know that it’s going to be on the ballot here in New York with the Equal Rights Amendment. It’s going to be on the ballot in states across the country with ballot initiatives. So I have no doubt that abortion will play a role.”