Capitol Alert

45 years after Roe v. Wade, White House threatens landmark abortion ruling

President Donald Trump speaks via a live feed from the Rose Garden at the White House to anti-abortion activists as they rally on the National Mall in Washington, Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, during the annual March for Life.
President Donald Trump speaks via a live feed from the Rose Garden at the White House to anti-abortion activists as they rally on the National Mall in Washington, Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, during the annual March for Life. AP

In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy by ruling that Texas laws criminalizing abortion violated privacy guarantees under the Constitution. Yet 45 years later, the watershed decision continues to come under fire from pro-life advocates, including the nation’s chief executive.

“Under my administration, we will always defend the very first right in the Declaration of Independence, and that is the right to life,” President Donald Trump told thousands of anti-abortion advocates at a March for Life rally in Washington D.C., on the eve of the one-year anniversary of his inauguration last week.

Vice President Mike Pence, a staunch opponent of abortion, called Trump “the most pro-life president in American history” the day before the rally.

Trump, who previously vowed to nominate pro-life judges to help the high court overturn Roe v. Wade, said the case resulted in some of “the most permissive abortion laws anywhere in the world.” He called on the Senate to pass a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks, with exceptions for cases of rape or incest and if the mother’s life is at risk, and touted an early executive order to block U.S. aid to foreign nonprofits that use other funds to support abortions. Trump also extended legal cover last week to health care workers who object to abortions for religious reasons.

Today Planned Parenthood Affiliates of Northern California will gather pro-choice advocates and leaders for a different sort of rally celebrating the anniversary of Roe v. Wade on the north steps of the Capitol at 11:30 a.m.

The nonprofit organization enlisted a couple celebrities to help its cause – actresses Ali Larter and Zoey Deutch. Attendees should also expect speeches from Attorney General Xavier Becerra, Rep. Ami Bera, state Sens. Toni Atkins and Holly Mitchell, Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia and Lisa Middleton, a Palm Springs City Council member and the first transgender person elected to a non-judicial office in California.

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Taryn Luna: 916-326-5545, @TarynLuna

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