The state of abortion rights, 40 years later

Updated
5th July 1973:  Pro-choice campaigners at a demonstration in favour of abortion in front of the American Hotel in mid-town New York, where the American...
5th July 1973: Pro-choice campaigners at a demonstration in favour of abortion in front of the American Hotel in mid-town New York, where the American...
Peter Keegan

Forty years ago the Supreme Court made an extraordinary decision and ruled in favor of a woman’s right to choose. After 4 decades and roughly 50 million abortions, this is a topic that still divides the country, but the most Americans seem to support Roe vs Wade.

According to a new NBC News/ Wall Street Journal Poll 54% of those polled believe abortion should be legal. That is an unprecedented support for the women’s right to choose. The same poll shows that 70% of Americans believe that Roe vs Wade should be not be overturned, the highest percentage singe polls began tracking support in 1989.

However, as Kate Pickert wrote in a recent Time piece, “What Choice,” getting an abortion today, in some places, is harder than before it was a constitutional right. She writes, “The number of abortion providers nationwide shrank from 2,908 in 1982 to 1,793 in 2008.” Pickert points out that “while the right to have an abortion is federal law, exactly who can access the service and under what circumstances is the purview of states. And at the state level, abortion-rights activists are unequivocally losing.”

Even though the polls show that Americans believe in women’s right to choose, states like North Dakota, South Dakota, Mississippi, and Arkansas each have only one clinic state-wide in operation that can perform abortions. The Supreme Court may have given them the right to an abortion but they still lack the access.

So where do you stand on abortion? According to the NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll here is what those polled had to say but we want to hear from you in the comments section or on our Facebook page.

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The state of abortion rights, 40 years later

Updated