KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

On Roe Anniversary, Poll Finds Wide Support For Abortion Access

A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds that 70 percent of Americans think the landmark Supreme Court case should stand. But those against abortion continue their battle to overturn the decision with a new generation of leaders and state-by-state strategies to restrict the procedure.

The Wall Street Journal: Support Grows For Roe V. Wade
Seven in 10 Americans believe Roe v. Wade should stand, according to new data from a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, as the landmark Supreme Court abortion-rights ruling turns 40 on Tuesday. That is the highest level of support for the decision, which established a woman's right to an abortion, since polls began tracking it in 1989. The shift is mostly the result of more Democrats backing the decision—particularly Hispanics and African-Americans—and a slight uptick in support from Republicans (Radnofsky and Jones, 1/21).

Politico: Anti-Abortion Groups Take Page From NRA Playbook
Even before Roe v. Wade, there was the National Right to Life Committee. On this 40th anniversary of the landmark abortion decision, the NRLC remains the biggest anti-abortion group. But other groups have risen to claim the voice of the movement. Some, like Susan B. Anthony List, Americans United for Life and Concerned Women for America have brought on board a new generation of younger anti-abortion activists who are media-savvy, skilled at fundraising and able to extend the reach of the movement deep into statehouses and on ballots nationwide (Smith, 1/21).

Boston Globe: Advances in Reproductive Health Since Roe V. Wade
Tuesday will mark the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court's ruling on Roe v. Wade that struck down many state and federal restrictions on abortions, and it's a perfect time to reflect on how much (and also how little) women’s reproductive health issues have changed since then. Abortion remains a highly charged political issue — leading Congress to continue to ban federal funding for abortion procedures. And women in most states are finding it harder lately to get one with the recent passage of more restrictions, like waiting periods (Kotz, 1/21).

CNN: Before And After Roe V. Wade
Tuesday marks the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. In a 7-2 ruling on January 22, 1973, the justices declared laws prohibiting abortion violated a woman's constitutional right to privacy. They also said states could regulate abortion procedures in the interest of a woman's health or in protecting a potential human life starting at the end of the pregnancy's first trimester. Abortion was legal under common law in the United States leading up to the 19th century, says Leslie Reagan, professor of history and law at the University of Illinois and author of "When Abortion was a Crime." Early laws only prohibited the use of toxic substances to cause miscarriages after "quickening," or when a woman feels her child move -- usually four or five months into the pregnancy (Wilson, 1/22).

NPR: 'Roe V. Wade' Turns 40, But Abortion Debate Is Even Older
Jan. 22, 2013, marks the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide. But the conventional wisdom that the court's 7-2 decision marked the beginning of a contentious battle that still rages today is not the case, according to those on both sides of the dispute (Rovner, 1/22).

National Journal: As Roe v. Wade Turns 40, Foes Focus On State Capitols
President Obama’s re-election bid emphasized abortion rights more than any other presidential campaign in history, warning women that their reproductive freedom was at stake on Nov. 6. But while Obama picked Supreme Court justices believed to support abortion rights and backed federal funding for Planned Parenthood, state legislatures quietly passed a record-setting number of restrictions over the past two years, according to the Guttmacher Institute (Reinhard, 1/22).

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