SARASOTA - Today marks the 40th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court ruling of Roe vs. Wade, legalizing abortion in the U.S.
In 1973, the Supreme Court ruled a woman has the right to abort her pregnancy, sparking a nationwide debate about a mother's rights, which continues today even here on the Suncoast.
Today, Planned Parenthood held a press conference to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, and along with supporters, were protestors.
Dozens of people came out to either show their support for Planned Parenthood. “I think it's very important that we maintain the right to do as we wish with our bodies,” says Pat Kaufman.
People also showed up to protest. “We're praying for these poor unborn children, says Nancy Murphy.
Planned Parenthoods across the country celebrated the 40th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, and officials are saying they recognize the need for continued access to safe and legal abortion. “We found recently that a lot of people don't even know that Roe vs. Wade was about abortion,” says Kellie Dupree of Planned Parenthood.
One protestor did interrupt the press conference from outside of the gate. Other than that, the celebration of Roe vs. Wade was peaceful. The protestors held rosaries and said prayers as they walked around the Planned Parenthood building. “We think that every human life is worth a lot and we should honor that and try to protect the unborn, because they have no one to speak for them.
But Planned Parenthood supporters say their goal is protecting every woman's right to make her own personal, medical decisions. “It's important to be here today because we can't take our rights for granted. That's one sad thing about our women. We get rights, we lose rights, and I'm here to say you're not going to take my rights away from me,” says Judy Helgheer.