Roe v. Wade at 40: Six questions about the state of abortion rights today

On Tuesday, the United States marks the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the historic US Supreme Court decision that granted women the right to an abortion. Here is a look at the state of abortion rights in America today.

4. What do abortion-rights groups see as the most worrisome trends?

These groups point to the gradual erosion of women’s access to abortion, reduction in the number of clinics, and reduction of funding and insurance coverage for abortion.

1973 “was a high point for women’s reproductive freedom,” says Donna Crane, policy director of NARAL Pro-Choice America in Washington. “In the 40 years that followed, the Supreme Court has gotten increasingly conservative and has allowed more and more antiabortion state laws to creep on the books.”

Since 1995, Ms. Crane notes, 754 “antichoice” state laws have been enacted. In 2011 alone, some 92 restrictions were enacted, a record.

The regulations targeting providers are having an effect. According to the Guttmacher Institute, the number of abortion providers has been generally decreasing since 1982, when there were 2,908. In 2008, the most recent year for which Guttmacher provides figures, there were 1,793 – fewer than in 1974.

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