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40th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade Marked in Texas

PHOTO: A campaign by Planned Parenthood called "Not in Her Shoes" has people take a photo of their shoes and explain why reproductive health choices should be an individual decision. CREDIT: John Michaelson
PHOTO: A campaign by Planned Parenthood called "Not in Her Shoes" has people take a photo of their shoes and explain why reproductive health choices should be an individual decision. CREDIT: John Michaelson
January 22, 2013

AUSTIN, Texas - Today is the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that affirmed a woman's right to have an abortion. The day is being marked by both pro-choice and pro-life advocates.

Melanie Linton, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, says her organization will continue to work to preserve that right.

"As the leading women's health-care provider and advocate, Planned Parenthood works every day to reduce unintended pregnancy and keep women healthy. Specifically in Texas, we've been here for more than 75 years. We're going to continue to be here and we're going to continue to do our best to help the women, men and families who depend on us."

The anniversary comes as a new law in Texas bars abortion providers and their affiliates from receiving state tax dollars in the Women's Health Program for the poor. Linton says such actions by politicians only hurt women in need.

"And what they really do when they place restrictions on abortion is, they put women's lives and women's health at risk."

Linton says they'd also like to shift the discussion away from labels such as pro-choice and pro-life. As part of that effort, Planned Parenthood has launched a campaign called "Not in Her Shoes." It has people posting pictures of their shoes and talking about why reproductive-health decisions need to be personal.

"What we find is that 'pro-choice' and 'pro-life' don't reflect the complexity of the issue of abortion or the way that Americans think and talk about abortion."

Anti-abortion advocates, including Governor Rick Perry, will gather at the State Capitol in Austin this Saturday for the annual Texas Rally for Life. Texas is said to be the seventh most pro-life state in the union.

A new poll by the Pew Research Center finds only 29 percent of Americans would like to see Roe v. Wade overturned.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - TX