On Tuesday’s date in 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court made one of its best known decisions. Siding with a woman from Texas in Roe v. Wade, the court legalized abortion.
40 years later, it's still one of the most hotly debated issues in our country.
Abortion providers on Tuesday applauded the Supreme Court’s now decades-old decision.
“What we need to remember is that when abortion is not safe and legal, women die,” said Rowen O’Connell-Barger.
Managers at Woman's Health Specialists say the Roe decision gave women more than a right to an abortion, it allowed them to choose their own destiny.
“Every woman needs to have that choice because we cannot possibly know that path that she is on,” said O’Connell-Barger
Although, not everyone is happy about the decision, Trinity Lutheran Church in Redding has placed 40 crosses on its lawn, one for each year since Roe v. Wade.
“You are not supposed to murder and it would be very difficult to go through that,” said Laura Kegel who set up the cross display. She says, in addition to her religious beliefs, she's against abortion because her children were adopted.
“I would not have a family if they had been aborted,” said Kegel.
In the coming years Kegel hopes law makers can protect the sanctity of life.
“I pray that it will be overturned and changed and that with more knowledge, more information, more prayers,” said Kegel
But abortion providers don't think the ruling will be overturned, instead they say women's rights are already being infringed in other ways.
“It does not matter if a woman has a legal right to have an abortion if that abortion is not in reality accessible,” said O’Connell-Barger.
For example, in South Dakota, there is a three day waiting period for abortions and only one clinic in the entire state.
Much of time, the abortion debate comes down to politics. Republicans are typically pro-life, Democrats are typically pro-choice.
Currently the Supreme Court is made up of 5 justices appointed by Republicans, and 4 appointed by Democrats. Still the decision has not been overturned. A few of the justices could retire during President Obama's term, shifting the current weight.