Texas takes up abortion as Roe v. Wade hits 40th anniversary

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by JESSICA VESS / KVUE News & Photojournalist KENNETH NULL

Bio | Email | Follow: @JessicaV_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on January 22, 2013 at 8:15 AM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 22 at 11:01 AM

AUSTIN -- Forty years ago the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its ruling in the case of Roe vs. Wade. The ruling confirmed that the right to privacy includes making your own personal medical decisions, including abortion.

However the fight over abortion rights continues. One of the biggest is playing out among state lawmakers.

Polls show most Americans still support the Supreme Court's ruling. According to a 2012 Gallup Poll, 77 percent think abortion should be legal in some or all circumstances. The battle at the Texas Capitol centers on just how far abortion rights should go.
 
Several bills have already been filed this legislative session designed to pass more stringent anti-abortion laws.

Governor Rick Perry supports tighter restrictions. He's pushing legislation dubbed The Fetal Pain Bill. Perry wants to ban abortions after 20 weeks of gestation based on the claim that a fetus can feel pain at that point. Currently states can only ban abortions after 24 weeks.

Perry released a statement on the Roe vs. Wade decision Monday evening saying,  "Roe v. Wade paved the way for the loss of more than 54 million innocent lives, with more than a million added to that total with each passing year. This catastrophic loss of life is a grim testament to judicial activism, and a tragic stain on our national conscience."

Perry is facing opposition in the fight for anti-abortion laws.

State Representative Donna Howard released her own statement saying,  "It is unfortunate that discussions about women's health services -- which are effective in preventing abortions -- have become so polarizing.  We are losing sight of the serious health consequences and fiscal costs that result from a lack of access to medical screenings, contraception and treatment."

Perry has said state lawmakers will spend the entire session "protecting life."

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