Roe v. Wade turns 40

By Maya Devereaux, Staff Writer
@MayaDevereaux

Protestors voice their opinion. Today marks 40 years since Roe v. Wade, and Americans remain almost evenly divided on the issue/PHOTO VIA latimesblogs.latimes.com

Protestors voice their opinion. Today marks 40 years since Roe v. Wade, and Americans remain almost evenly divided on the issue/PHOTO VIA latimesblogs.latimes.com

Today marks the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision made in Roe v. Wade. What has changed? Has much changed in terms of opinion? Has the debate taken a new turn?

The 1973 ruling deemed state laws restricting abortion unconstitutional, causing a wave of controversy that still persists. The two main sides of this hot topic are pretty much clear cut, and it appears there hasn’t been a much of a shiftEven as there seems to be a large surge or younger people leaning toward the pro-choice side of the spectrum, data show that there has not been a big fluctuation between opinions. According to a 2011 Gallup Poll, the statistics vary only slightly, with 56% of US adults considering themselves pro-choice, up 7% since 1995.

Also unchanged is March for Life, the pro-life rally that has taken place annually in Washington, DC on Jan. 22 since the court decision’s first anniversary. This year, however, the protest to overturn Roe v. Wade will occur on the Jan. 25, three days after its usual date.

Women who opt for abortion are mostly in their 20s, with rates of abortion dropping significantly with women 30 and older, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The introduction of the Plan B pill and the rise of pregnancy in young women has drawn attention to the often overlooked difference between emergency contraception and abortion. This mix-up, between the abortion pill and the Plan B pill, are causing some to believe they can rely on the latter to terminate a pregnancy, which is, in fact, not true. Such issues have the potential to change the direction of the abortion debate towards other debates involving birth control and even more complex issues.

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