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Abortion Issue Still Debated 25 Years After Roe vs. Wade

Posted January 21, 1998

— The landmark abortion case, Roe Versus Wade sparked a heated controversy 25 years ago. Still, the decision continues to divide Americans.

In some ways, thingshavechanged. Eighteen states have banned late term abortions. Many other states have restricted abortion rights by requiring a waiting period or parental consent.

What hasn't changed is the emotional debate surrounding abortion. People on either side of this issue may even be farther apart than they were in 1973.

People such as Father Tim O'Connor, who oppose abortion, remembered the anniversary of Roe versus Wade with prayer.

Abortion opponents also remember with symbols such as crosses the lawn of a Goldsboro church. Ron Tasket says he's not without sympathy for women who have to make the decision.

Since Roe versus Wade, there have been 35 million abortions performed in the United States. By the time they reach the age of 45, 43 percent of American women will have an abortion. Those who support abortion rights say as states make laws curtailing these rights. Planned Parenthood's Janet Colm says they must work even harder.

Abortion rights supporter Nina Hess agrees with Colm.

One thing hasn't changed in 25 years, the wide division between the two sides still exists. Father O'Connor says there is more to be gained by coming together and talking than "holding up signs and protesting one group against the other".

The availability of abortion has decreased. Only about 15 percent of counties in the United States have abortion providers, but abortion rights supporters say medical technology is helping to eliminate the need for traditional abortions.

Last year the Food and Drub Administration approved high doses of birth control pills to be used as a morning after pill.


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