Tuesday, Jan. 22, marks the 40th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court ruling of Roe v. Wade, legalizing abortion in the U.S.
In 1973, the highest lawmaking body in the country voted that a woman has the right to abort her pregnancy.
It prompted a nation-wide debate about a mother's rights, which continues today.
Roe v. Wade originated in Texas, and 40 years later, the situation there and in much of the U.S. is complex.
On the one hand, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has made this vow:
“My goal, and the goal of many of us joining me here today, is to make abortion at any stage a thing of the past.”
On the other hand, at the Whole Women's Health Clinic in Austin, about seven women will have abortions today.
Amy Hagstrom Miller started Whole Women's Health 10 years ago and her business has grown. Now she has five clinics in Texas, offering gynecology care that includes providing abortions to about 9,000 women a year.
“My main goal is to provide an oasis for her, where she feels safe, where she feels comfortable,” Miller said. “Where she can feel at peace.”
In the entire state, 72,470 women received abortions in 2011.
In the U.S., nearly one in three women will have an abortion before the age of 45, according to the the non-partisan Guttmacher Institute.
Elizabeth Graham is the director of the anti-abortion group Texas Right to Life.
“We do have a lot more work to do because we continue to miss this many women in Texas,” Graham said.
Anti-abortion groups have already been hard at work. Texas has cut off funding to planned parenthood.
Women there have to see a doctor and then wait 24 hours before having an abortion.
Plus, in \Texas, before a woman is allowed to have an abortion, she has to have an ultrasound. The doctor has to ask if she'd like to see the image and hear the heartbeat. She can say no, but she has to listen to the doctor describe the image - if there are limbs, if there's a heartbeat.
These restrictions haven't stopped people like Miller, who provide abortions.
So has the anti-abortion movement won?
“I don’t think so,” Miller said. “We've had all these attacks from the outside, we're still able to manage to provide not only access but really good care for women.”
Like in many other states, anti-abortion groups in teas are working to pass legislation making it even harder to have an abortion, which means a new fight in a state where both sides have vowed to never rest.
©2007 The E.W. Scripps Co. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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