Illinois action blog

Friday, January 25, 2013

Celebrating Roe: 40 years of Safe and Legal Abortion

Dawn Clark Netsch
Wednesday night we marked the 40th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, at Carnivale Restaurant in Chicago.

Nearly 1,000 guests joined us at the event, including these special guests: former senior advisor to President Barack Obama David Axelrod, Senate President John Cullerton, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and former Illinois state senator, comptroller, and candidate for governor, Dawn Clark Netsch, who was honored with the Dr. Marvin Rosner Lifetime Achievement Award.

40 years after the Roe v. Wade decision, seventy seven percent of Americans support access to safe and legal abortion and oppose efforts to overturn Roe vs. Wade. However, despite a woman’s constitutional right to make her own personal medical decisions without interference from politicians, access to safe and legal abortion is still at risk.

Carole Brite, Planned Parenthood Illinois Action
“As Illinois’ leading women’s health care provider and advocate, Planned Parenthood knows firsthand why it’s so critical that women have access to a comprehensive range of reproductive health care services,” said Carole Brite, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Illinois Action. “Thanks to Roe vs. Wade, one of the most difficult and complex decisions a woman will ever make remains a personal and private matter.”

We honored Dawn Clark Netsch (pictured above), who recently revealed that she has been diagnosed with ALS, with the Dr. Marvin Rosner Lifetime Achievement Award for her extensive life’s work supporting justice and equality for all. Dawn Clark Netsch has been an influential equal rights activist in Illinois since 1972.

“It is a major award and I am very conscious of that and very grateful,” said Dawn Clark Netsch, “You [Planned Parenthood] are the ones who really ought to get the award, especially this year. There were states that were passing laws saying that you could not be funded and you were attacked from many, many sides. And yet you stood firm, for what you have always stood for. It’s an understanding of women’s particular health needs, not just abortion and reproductive issues.”

Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama David Axelrod was the evening keynote and Illinois Senate President John Cullerton was the master of ceremonies.

"I applaud the tireless work of Planned Parenthood as we mark 40th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade,” said Cullerton. “Because of this historic victory and the constant support and advocacy of Planned Parenthood, women are able to make their own choices about health and the future of their families.”

Mayor Rahm Emanuel
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel also made an appearance at the event and addressed the audience.

"As we reflect on 40 years of progress, we must redouble our efforts on behalf of all women," said Mayor Emanuel. "Our sisters, mothers and daughters must have every opportunity to shape their futures and realize their dreams and aspirations."

We were so honored to have so many amazing people speak and attend the 40th Anniversary Celebration. We would like to thank all of the people who took an active role in making this event possible, especially our event co-chairs the Hon. William Marovitz, Laura Tucker, Deborah Witzburg, and Jay Beidler - we wouldn’t have been able to do it without you!

All of your support benefited our mission at Planned Parenthood Illinois Action, which engages in educational and electoral activity, including public education campaigns, grassroots organizing, and legislative advocacy on behalf of policies that protect the reproductive health and rights of women, teens, and families.

To see more photos from the event visit us on Facebook.

This post was created by Planned Parenthood Illinois Action (PPIA). PPIA is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood of Illinois (PPIL).

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