Senator Boxer on the 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade    

Tuesday, January 22, 2013  

Dear Friend:

Today, as we mark the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we should reflect on what has been accomplished since that landmark Supreme Court decision and recommit ourselves to defeating the continuing threats to its fundamental promise.  

Since 1973, the Roe decision has saved countless lives by ending the dark days when women were forced into the back alleys and made to continue pregnancies that endangered their lives and health.  It has helped ensure access to health care, including contraceptives, so that women can plan their families and futures.  And, as the Supreme Court wrote in 1992, it has ensured that women can “participate equally in the economic and social life of the Nation.”  

Sadly, 40 years after Roe, its promise is increasingly under attack by extremists trying to turn back the clock on women’s health and women’s rights.  In the last Congress, House Republicans introduced more than 30 bills to restrict a woman’s reproductive health care, including “personhood” legislation that would not only criminalize abortion, but also outlaw common forms of birth control and fertility treatments.  In state legislatures across the country, legislators in 39 states introduced almost 500 measures restricting access to health care for women.

We must fight back against this War on Women and continue working to expand access to health care.  This past August, health care reform began requiring insurance companies to offer affordable contraceptives to millions of women.  And just last month, Congress passed a Defense bill that expands access to reproductive care to women serving our country in the military.  But clearly, our work is not yet done.

On this 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, let us commit to doing everything in our power to make the promises of that landmark 1973 decision a reality for all women and their families.


Barbara Boxer, US Senator, California
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer