WASHINGTON (January 22, 2004) -- Today is the 31st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that overturned the laws of all 50 states and the District of Columbia and created a legal right to abortion at any time in pregnancy for any reason. Tens of thousands of people come to Washington every year on this date to march in protest of this decision and to pray for an end to abortion.
"Roe v. Wade gave the United States the most extreme law on abortion in the world, short of China which coerces women to abort their children," said Cathy Cleaver Ruse, Esq., Director of Planning and Information for the Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). "But Roe v. Wade did more than change laws, it changed social norms dramatically," she continued. "Thirty-one years after Roe, abortion has become routine."
"The decision taught this country that abortion is the compassionate response to a woman with an untimely pregnancy," the USCCB official said. "But the sad reality is that women turn to abortion because they feel they have no other choice. And this is the dirty secret of the pro-choice movement: Abortion is a reflection that we have failed to meet the needs of women."
"Roe v. Wade has been a social experiment on the lives of women and children," Cathy Ruse said. "But the culture is turning away from abortion. More and more people believe that all children deserve a chance to be born, and that women deserve better than abortion."