Protests mark Roe v. Wade anniversary

January 22, 2009 5:28:21 PM PST
There were several hundred marches organized by abortion rights supporters throughout the country Thursday, the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and just as many sponsored by abortion rights opponents.

In Los Altos, protestors prayed as they walked toward downtown.

One of the abortion rights opponents protest's organizers quoted a paragraph from President Obama's inaugural speech in which he said, "The time has come to reaffirm our sprit and to choose the God given promise all people are equal, all are free and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness."

"So today, we say there will always be a voice for the one that can't be heard and that's why we are here today," Carmel Caligaris said.

But Thursday the president reaffirmed his position to protect abortion rights.

"And that he will use his presidency to expand access particularly for young poor and rural women to reproductive health in general, to contraception, to prenatal care, to abortion," abortion rights supporter Linda Williams said.

Mr. Obama is expected to issue an executive order to reverse a controversial abortion policy which banned the use of federal dollars for international family planning groups that discuss or provide abortion services.

The policy was imposed in 1984 by President Reagan, but lifted by President Clinton lifted shortly he took office. President Bush reinstated it and now President Obama is expected to reverse it.

As for the constant debate surrounding Roe v. Wade someday being overturned, former California Supreme Court Justice Joseph Grodin does not see the balance on the court changing.

"Any vacancies on the court are likely to occur on the liberal side; I think Roe v. Wade is alive and well," Grodin said.

But, Grodin added, there will be many more marches like these during the Obama administration.