38th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade marked

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner were poles apart Saturday in their remarks on the 38th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade.

The president issued a statement saying the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1973 that legalized abortion, not only protects women's health and reproductive freedom but affirmed a fundamental principle "that government should not intrude on private family matters."


"I am committed to protecting this constitutional right," he said in a statement released by the White House. "I also remain committed to policies, initiatives and programs that help prevent unintended pregnancies, support pregnant women and mothers, encourage healthy relationships, and promote adoption.

The Hill reported Boehner, R-Ohio, issued a statement of his own, saying the decision "tore asunder a right to life our Founding Fathers described so indelibly in our Declaration of Independence."

"The decision denigrated the respect we must have for life at all stages, especially the innocent unborn," Boehner said.

House Republicans this week introduced two bills seeking to make permanent restrictions on federal funding for abortions that now must be renewed annually and to rewrite provisions of the healthcare reform law to ensure it does not allow for taxpayer funding of abortion.


The National Organization for Women, in a statement Friday, decrying both GOP measures.

"Legislators from the radical right are eager to make this moment a turning point in their crusade to outlaw abortion care," NOW President Terry O'Neill said. "We cannot let them because abortion is a constitutional right. And we cannot let them because they won't stop there. I promise that if we let them overturn Roe, they will come for contraception next."

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