Congressman Charles Rangel released the following statement to recognize the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade on January 22, 2012:
"The historic Roe V. Wade case changed the course for protecting women's healthcare and personal freedom for generations to come. Four decades later, the majority of Americans support the premise of this decision; a woman should have the right to choose whether or not to have abortion.
While this ruling represents a major landmark, it is important that we remain committed to implementing policies, initiatives and programs that will prevent unintended pregnancies. We have made tremendous progress in this arena. One such example of this is the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act, which I sponsored. Studies have shown that this mandate, which requires employer-based insurance plans to cover contraception without a co-pay, will benefit low-income women and reduce abortion rates. Without the contraceptive services that are in place today, federal and state Medicaid expenditures for pregnancy-related health care and medical care of newborns would increase by $1.2 billion a year.
Despite these savings and the vast support for women's health issues, many of my Republican Colleagues continue to push for an outdated agenda that harms women by limiting their access to healthcare and their right to choose. Since the Republican's took control of the House in 2010, there have been many votes that restrict abortion rights; votes that cut access to preventive care; and votes that limit access to reproductive and maternal care services.
These votes take us in the wrong direction and it is important that we work to uphold the historic Roe V. Wade decision. I will continue to work with my Colleagues in Congress to ensure that women have the right to choose and the access to the reproductive healthcare they deserve."