40 years ago today, Roe v. Wade gave women the right to make their own decisions about reproductive health care. Without it, women's lives would be very different.
History shows us that when abortion is illegal, it does not go away; it becomes dangerous. And that's why it's important to continue to make sure that abortion is legal, rare, regulated, and safe.
Before Roe, more than a million women each year took great risk to access health care they needed. They faced unlicensed and ill-equipped physicians, unsanitary conditions, illness, and death. This is why the Supreme Court ruling was so important 40 years ago. It ensured safe, legal abortions for these women.
Roe v. Wade ensures the basic right of privacy, the freedom to control one's body and one's future. It can be easy to feel complacent today, but the threats against reproductive health care rights are increasing.
There is still work to be done. Today, 40 years later, we must continue to fight so that women's reproductive health care rights are not rolled back.