On January 22nd, 1973, the Supreme Court issued its landmark decision in Roe v. Wade, protecting a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion and the freedom to choose. This upcoming Sunday, January 22nd, 2023, will be the first anniversary of Roe v. Wade since the overturn that happened seven months ago.
Every year since 1973, abortion rights activists have gathered on January 22nd to celebrate the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. This year, Roe v. Wade day is sure to be different. Protestors will again gather nationwide to support women having the right to choose and reproductive rights. Instead of celebration, there will likely be more emotions of pain, anger, fear, uncertainty, and mourning. This Sunday would have marked the big 50th anniversary of nationwide reproductive rights.
On this anniversary, everyone is going to be looking at the reality that people, specifically women, are facing in the post-Roe U.S. With Roe being overturned, a key part of reproductive health has become illegal or severely restricted for more than 20 million people. Women nationwide will march together to continue to fight for abortion care and honor generations of advocates who have fought for reproductive freedom. Many Women’s marches and organizations fight for something bigger than Roe v.Wade. Executive director of the Women’s March, Rachel O’Leary Carmona, said: “Reproductive freedom has always been bigger than Roe.”
Anti-abortion protestors will gather Friday and march with the theme “Next Steps: Marching in a Post-Roe America.” Other anti-abortion protestors will plan to protest at pharmacies next month, objecting to the FDA allowing the sale of abortion pills at specific retailers- in states where abortion is legal.
Instead of celebrating what would have been the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, many women will still march forward and continue to fight for what was taken away. Women nationwide continue to have hope for what will come of abortion care post-Roe. With the FDA-approved abortion pills being provided by certain pharmacies, this Justice department decision is just the first step towards hope for women in the U.S.
The fight and debate over abortion access have now shifted to the state courts and legislatures, ballots, and abortion funds. There have also been dozens of lawsuits following the overturn, using state constitutions and statutes to fight the abortion bans in many states. The President of the United States, Joe Biden, has said “I continue to call on Congress to pass legislation to make those protections the law of the land once and for all. Until then, I will continue to use my Executive authority to protect women and families from harm in the wake of the Dobbs decision.” In President Biden’s proclamation on the 50th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, he says “I call upon Americans to honor generations of advocates who have fought for reproductive freedom to recognize the countless women whose lives and futures have been saved and shaped by the Roe v. Wade decision and to march forward with purpose as we work together to restore the right to choose. President Biden also urges for protests to remain peaceful this weekend and that violence and harm are never the answer.
The memory and legacy of Roe v. Wade continue to live on and will continue to motivate many people and women nationwide. Many women will continue to fight for abortion care and reproductive rights. Roe v. Wade has now become a cultural symbol for many movements in the U.S. and it encourages many people to think about what is next in the fight for abortion rights.
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