In the 1973 case of Roe vs. Wade, our Supreme Court ruled it is a woman's right to have an abortion until the time a fetus is viable. It defined viability as the ability of a fetus to live outside the womb. The Court said this usually occurs between 24 and 28 weeks after conception. Each year, nearly half of the 3 million American women who have unplanned or unwanted pregnancies choose to end these pregnancies by abortion. Between 1973 and 2008, nearly 50 million American fetuses were legally aborted. About 90% of these abortions were performed during the first trimester, or prior to the 13th week of gestation. The main reasons women give for having an abortion included their inability to afford a child (75%) and that having a baby would interfere with school or work (75%). Health problems were responsible for 12% of these decisions and about 1% of women who chose to end their pregnancy reported they were the survivors of a rape. Pro-life advocates want all abortions outlawed because Row vs. Wade does not take into account the welfare of the unborn. They claim life begins at conception and aborting a fetus is comparable to murdering a person. Pro-choice advocates claim life does not begin until very late in gestation, or even until birth. They do not believe abortion takes the life of a person. They say only a woman knows if she is a ready to become a parent and that abortion helps insure the birth of children who are wanted. Pro-life and pro-choice advocates also disagree as to whether a woman's right to make this decision is protected by our Constitution. Studies have found the current rate of abortion is at its lowest level since the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision, a sign that contraception is now more effective than ever in preventing unwanted pregnancy.

Pending Legislation/Resolution:
S.48 - Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act of 2015
H.R.816 - Life at Conception Act
H.RES.47 - Supporting women's reproductive health care decisions

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Poll Opening Date
March 26, 2020
Poll Closing Date
April 1, 2020

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