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Roe v. Wade - Impact

abortion laws party amendments

Every state was affected. New York, which had previously permitted abortion until the twenty-fourth week of pregnancy, had to extend that period by several weeks, and the laws of Alaska, Hawaii, and Washington required similar amendments. Fifteen states needed a complete overhaul of their abortion laws, while 31 states--including Texas--had strict anti-abortion laws which became immediately and entirely invalid.

In the spring of 1973, with support from the Catholic Church, the Committee of Ten Million began a petition drive demanding a "human rights amendment," to ban abortion in the United States. Several proposed constitutional amendments were introduced and discussed in Congress, including proposals for amendments that prohibited abortions even when required to save a mother's life. These attempts failed, and Roe's opponents tried to organize the legislatures of 34 states to call for a constitutional convention; in the mid-1980s, this strategy was abandoned as well.

The Republican Party has since adopted the "pro-life" position as part of its party platform, gaining Catholic and fundamentalist members and losing enough support among women to create a 24 percent "gender gap" in the 1988 elections. The Democratic Party--which supports Roe v. Wade--also benefited from the women's vote in the 1992 presidential election, in which Bill Clinton, a supporter of a woman's right to an abortion, was elected president.

Roe v. Wade - Subsequent Developments [next] [back] Roe v. Wade - Landmark Decision

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over 7 years ago

Do you know what sort of impact Roe had in Iowa, i.e., did it require a change in existing law, and if so, do you know what the change was? Thanks, John Kirsch