Roe v. Wade anniversary marked

    Activists from both sides of the abortion debate marked the 30th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision to legalize abortion on Jan. 22.

    David Safford
    Guardian

    At UCSD, abortion rights activists coordinated by Vox, a group affiliated with Planned Parenthood Federation of America, came together in the Price Center. The groups manned tables, distributed flyers, handed out free condoms and tubes of flavored lubricant, as well as offered demonstrations using vegetables of how to put on a condom.

    Briana Simmons, an Eleanor Roosevelt College senior and a volunteer with Vox, said the anniversary was both a celebration of the 1973 decision as well as an opportunity to raise awareness.

    “”A lot of college students have grown up always having the freedom of choice by our government,”” Simmons said. “”I feel sometimes that UCSD can be a conservative campus, and so we’re just trying to get different ideas out and let people know about them.””

    Jessica Horton
    Guardian

    Organizers said they noticed no anti-abortion activists in or around the Price Center.

    Last week, one anti-abortion group, Survivors, was present for several days on Library Walk. Telephone messages left at their Lake Arrowhead, Calif., office went unreturned.

    For both abortion rights activists and anti-abortion activists, the Republican-controlled Congress and presidency gives this anniversary more urgency than in past years. Both sides note that the Supreme Court is divided by a one-vote margin in its support for the Roe v. Wade decision.

    Many abortion rights activists believe that President George W. Bush will appoint an anti-abortion justice to the Supreme Court.

    “”If he’s got the balls to go to war with Iraq, then he’s definitely got the balls to overturn Roe v. Wade,”” said Kelly Davis, an Eleanor Roosevelt College junior and a Republican for Choice.

    “”We never again want to go back to hangers, never again want to go back to illegal abortions,”” she said.

    Cathlin Goulding, who was manning a table for the A.S. Women’s Commission, said that the there is a “”potent threat”” to the 1973 decision.

    “”I think we just have to show women what the benefits are and how much we benefit from the decision,”” she said.

    The commission, Goulding noted, does not necessarily represent the views of the A.S. Council.

    In Washington, D.C., where the largest demonstrations were, organizers for both sides marked the date with dueling rallies.

    President Bush addressed the March for Life, which was held on the National Mall, via satellite from St. Louis, Mo.

    “”The March for Life upholds the self-evident truth of that declaration — that all are created equal and given the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,”” he said to the crowd.

    Nationwide, the overall rate of abortion fell from 1994 to 2000 from 24 abortions per 1,000 women to 21, according to the nonprofit Alan Guttmacher Institute.

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