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American Prospects

What's Left of Roe

January 22, 2013

Since the ruling was handed down 40 years ago today, Roe v. Wade?which held that the constitutionally guaranteed right to privacy included a woman's right to choose to have an abortion?has been subject to an ongoing legal and political assault. This assault has not succeeded in getting the decision overturned. But it has caused the scope of the opinion to become narrower in ways that have disproportionately affected the rights of women of color, poor women, and women in isolated, rural areas. The re-election of Barack Obama might make Roe safe for the time being, but it is worth taking stock of how its meaning is being eroded and w

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