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Roe v. Wade Rally Meets Protest

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It's been over thirty years since the controversial Roe v. Wade decision, but there's still heated debate about the issue of abortion.

Both sides went head to head Thursday on the Texas A&M campus to defend their beliefs.

The protest underscores the divisiveness, thirty years later, of Roe v. Wade.

With picket signs and very strong, varied beliefs, a community faced a controversial issue head on.

"We don't support abortion, just the right to choose," says Kelly McDonald of the Aggie Democrats.

"It's not about choice it's about life or death," says Marilisa Carney of Coalition for Life.

Members of Aggie Democrats organized the rally to celebrate the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that overturned a Texas anti-abortion law.

For 32 years, Pro-choice groups have championed Roe v. Wade but pro-life groups say the ruling is hurting women.

"We're upset that the Aggie Democrat Leaders and Planned Parenthood are here celebrating a decision that has killed over 45 million children nationally, and 2,334 locally as a result of Roe v. Wade," says Carney.

The pro-choice students say the rally is just as much about the right to choose as free speech, because their opinions make them a minority on a highly conservative campus.

"There's a lot of counter protest and we feel like our voices aren't being heard on campus," says McDonald.

But students are listening to both sides.

The rally drew a big crowd of on-lookers and protestors.

Beyond the signs is a message heard loud and clear, Roe v. Wade will always be a contentious debate.

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Roe v. Wade

About the Ruling

  • It created a new, basic constitutional right for women in the right to privacy that the Supreme Court had created only a few years earlier. That right to privacy was "broad enough to encompass a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy."

  • It authorized no legal restrictions on abortion in the first three months.

  • Abortion was allowed until birth if one licensed physician judged it necessary for the mother’s "health."

  • Declares that states may restrict or ban abortions in the last trimester as the fetus nears the point where it could live outside the womb. In this trimester a woman can obtain an abortion despite any legal ban only if doctors certify it is necessary to save her life or health.

About the Case

  • Jan. 22, 1973, 25-year-old, Norma McCorvey challenged the criminal abortion laws in Texas.

  • McCorvey first filed the case in 1969. She was pregnant with her third child and claimed she was raped, but the case was rejected and she was forced to give birth. In 1987, McCorvey announced that her rape testimony was false.

  • In 1973, McCorvey filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court.

Source: A collection of Web Reports contributed to this report.