Roe v. Wade Didn't Just Legalize Abortion: It Made It Our Constitutional Right

This is a guest post by Megan J. Peterson and Rachel Roth of the National Network of Abortion Fundsin honor of the 39th Anniversary ofRoe v. Wade.

Abortion has not only been legal in the United States for almost 40 years, the right to continue or terminate a pregnancy without interference by the state has been our Constitutional right since 1973′s Supreme Court decision.

Only three years post-Roe, however, that right was put out of reach for too many poor and low-income women.

For 35 of the years that abortion has been legal, low-income women have had to struggle to obtain abortion care because Congress denies funding for this common medical procedure. Every year since 1976, Congress has passed the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding for abortion under Medicaid. Because states do not have to pay for medical care that the federal government does not share the costs of, only 15 states reliably cover abortion for women enrolled in Medicaid.

“The Hyde Amendment [is] designed to deprive poor and minority women of the constitutional right to choose abortion,” Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall argued in his 1980 dissent from the 5-4 decision upholding the Hyde Amendment.

This is a cross-post from Forbes courtesy the National Network of Abortion Funds.Read the rest of the piece here.

Forbes / By Megan J. Peterson and Rachel Roth | Sourced from

Posted at January 23, 2012, 6:34am