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Statement from John Kerry on the 31st Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

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Date:
Location: Unknown


January 22, 2004

For Immediate Release

"The 31st anniversary of Roe v. Wade marks the year when women who were not afraid to stand up and fight won a victory for choice. But today, it also marks a moment when all Americans must stand up and fight harder than ever to preserve this victory. Never in my years in public service have the rights of women been at such risk - never have women been assaulted in their citizenship here at home or womanhood around the globe as they are by this Administration.

I have always believed that women have the right to control their own bodies, their own lives, and their own destinies. And I am proud that I am the only presidential candidate to pledge that I will support only pro-choice judges to the Supreme Court. Some may call this a litmus test - but I call it a test of our will to uphold a Constitutional right that protects women's right to choose and to make their own decisions in consultation with their doctor, their conscience, and their God. And If I get to share a stage with this President and debate him, one of the first things I'll tell him is: 'There's a defining issue between us. I trust women to make their own decisions. You don't. And that's the difference.'

We can't go back to the days of back alleys - days in which women were shamed and put to all kinds of risk. We can't put women in the place where their choice is to break the law and be branded a criminal.

The right to choose didn't just happen. People made it happen - women most of all. Now we need to work just as hard to protect it. We need to energize a new generation of citizens who care about freedom - who care about respect for women - and who will stand up and make clear that we can't go back. We will never go back. We will never, ever let this right be taken away."

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