Today: Local Events on 40th Anniversary of Roe V Wade

If you are among the majority of Americans who oppose overturning Roe V. Wade, then are several Roe day events where you can go and show your support today and through the week.

All day today: Follow along on twitter all day: Women’s Law Project staff and friends will be using the hashtag #protectRoe4me all day and invite you into the conversation on Twitter.

Today, Noon – 1pm: Pennsylvanians for Choice and Raising Women’s Voices of SEPA are hosting a noontime “visibility event” outside at Broad and Walnut Sts., where reproductive health advocates, providers, and patients will demonstrate their commitment to safe, legal access to abortion in Pennsylvania.

Tonight, 5pm – 7pm: Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania will be hosting Roe’s 40th Anniversary Cocktail Party at MilkBoy Philly (11th and Chestnut Sts.)

Thursday, 5:30pm – 7pm: Women’s Medical Fund will be hosting Roe at 40: Providers Under Attack. David S. Cohen, Associate Professor of Law at Drexel University’s Earle Mack School of Law, and Krysten Connon (Drexel School of Law, Class of 2012) will present their ground-breaking research on the targeted harassment of abortion providers. The first study of this scope, they interviewed 85 abortion providers about the toll of working under threat of violence — a topic that Director of Communications at The Women’s Centers and former executive director of Allentown Women’s Center Jen Boulanger once wrote about with chilling detail for HuffPo.

On the occasion of the 40th anniversary, the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life released an in-depth report on attitudes toward and awareness of reproductive health policy across the country.

They found that support of Roe has remained consistent for the last twenty years, with 63 percent of those surveyed responding that they would not like to see it overturned. But they found substantial gaps in knowledge according to age: “Among those ages 50 to 64, 74 percent know that Roe v. Wade dealt with abortion, the highest percentage of any age group. Among those younger than 30, just 44 percent know this.”

This is particularly disturbing since the vast majority of women obtaining abortions are 20 to 24 years old — the same bracket of people who are least likely to be aware of what Roe even is.

Other findings:

  • The percentage viewing abortion as a “critical issue facing the country” fell from 28% in 2006 to 15% in 2009 and now stands at 18 percent.
  • 47 percent say it is morally wrong to have an abortion, while 27 percent say abortion is not a moral issue (with another 9 percent saying that “it depends”)
  • White evangelical Protestants are the only major religious group in which a majority (54 percent) favors completely overturning the Roe v. Wade decision
  • Republicans are pretty evenly divided over whether the ruling should be overturned: 46 percent say it should, while 48 percent say it should not
  • More Republicans than Democrats know Roe dealt with abortion
  • Surprisingly, there is no gender gap in opinions on Roe V. Wade
  • Last March, the Democratic Party held a 16-point advantage as better representing people’s views on abortion (47% to 31%). In October 2011, the Democrats led by eight points on this issue (44% to 36%).

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania was recently ranked #3 by one of the country’s leading anti-choice advocacy groups.

Plug alert!  Get Out of My Crotch: 21 Writers Respond to America’s War on Women’s Rights and Reproductive Health comes out today. I contributed a chapter exploring Philadelphia’s Kermit Gosnell case and the way it has been distorted and exploited to pass legislation designed to make it harder for working-class and poor women to access abortion in Pennsylvania and around the country. Other contributors include Katha Pollitt of The Nation, Kate Sheppard of Mother Jones and Elissa Bassist of The Rumpus. You can order the book on Amazon here.

Do you have a Philadelphia Roe Day event to add? Email me at with details.

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