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On 40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade, National Women's Law Center Looks to Inspire a New Generation

NWLC brings millennials into the fight to protect and expand women’s reproductive health care

January 22, 2013

(Washington, D.C.) Forty years after the Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade decision, the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) is redoubling its fight against the unprecedented attacks on women’s ability to get the reproductive health care they need. An important part of this work is expanding outreach to young women, educating them about the importance of protecting access to reproductive health care and engaging them in the fight to protect it.

Roe v. Wade has opened doors for countless women and has meant healthier women and healthier families,” said NWLC Co-President Marcia D. Greenberger. “The ability of women to get a safe and legal abortion has saved women’s lives and recognized the dignity and equality of women in this country.”

Recent years have seen a sharp increase in attacks on Roe. In 2011, states enacted the highest number of restrictions on abortion ever—92, followed by 43 in 2012, the second-highest number of restrictions in one year.

The past two years were notable not only for the relentless efforts to restrict abortion in state legislatures, but also for the intense spotlight placed on the egregious remarks made by some candidates for office about women who have been raped or who have had an abortion. Abortion opponents suffered defeats at the ballot box across the country in the 2012 election and defeat of two ballot measures that would have restricted reproductive health care.

A January study by the Pew Research Center (http://www.pewforum.org/Abortion/roe-v-wade-at-40.aspx) found that most Americans are opposed to overturning Roe. Support for safe and legal abortion is even stronger among younger women.

In response to the need to engage young people in the fight, NWLC, on behalf of more than 50 allied organizations, launched This Is Personal, a groundbreaking online campaign that seeks to empower, educate and activate women across the country to protect women’s reproductive health care. The campaign is equipping women with the facts and tools they need to talk to their friends, write to their elected officials, and make a difference. In just 4 months, 400,000 young women have joined the campaign across its Facebook, Twitter and email platforms.

“These constant attacks undermine the protections of Roe v. Wade and the ability of a woman to make her own decisions about her reproductive health, life and future,” said Greenberger. “Young women don’t want to turn back the clock and I know will join the fight to secure a woman’s right to a safe and legal abortion for generations to come.”

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