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Roe v. Wade 30 Years Later


How Have Abortion Practice, Policy, Politics, and Public Opinion Changed?

We are fast approaching the 30th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the United States. In January 2003, a generation will have grown up knowing abortion as a legal right for American women. Yet, abortion remains a hotly debated issue in this country.

So, 30 years later, where are we?

On October 8, at the most recent Emerging Issues in Reproductive Health Briefing a panel of researchers, public policy experts, and abortion providers discussed the current state of abortion politics and policies, the rates of abortion in recent years, who is having abortions today teens, low-income women, married women – how and why have these profiles changed, and what the future of the Supreme Court holds for abortion. The panel discussion featured leading experts, Rachel K. Jones, PhD, Senior Research Associate, Alan Guttmacher Institute; Kathryn Kolbert, JD, legal and public policy expert on abortion and reproductive rights at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center; Sarah Brown, MSPH, Director, The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy; and William F. Harrison, MD, a Fayetteville, Arkansas, ob/gyn for more than 30 years.