ACLU Online Video Examines Roe v. Wade's Importance for Civil Liberties, 35 Years Later

January 22, 2008 12:00 am

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NEW YORK – On today’s 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark abortion rights decision, the American Civil Liberties Union announced the release of an online video examining the role of reproductive freedom in ensuring the full-range of civil liberties.

“The ability to control when and whether to have children is absolutely essential for women to be able to participate equally in society,” said Louise Melling, Director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. “So much of the ACLU’s work – from racial justice to lesbian and gay rights to women’s and immigrants’ rights – is tied together by a belief that everyone has the right to make personal decisions about their intimate relationships free from government interference.”

Matt Coles, Director of the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Project, says in the video: “Roe takes a concept of individual liberty that was very conventional and moves it past the conventional into something that very much focuses on individuals, and empowers individuals. The Constitution had already said that you have the right to think what you want, to have your own views of the world. What Roe did is to say, ‘And you have the right to live your life that way, without government interference. You have the right to decide what you think is good, what makes for a good life, and to live it.'”

The video, available on the ACLU’s website, YouTube, and MySpace, also features interviews with ACLU staff, including Melling; Coles; Lenora Lapidus, Director of the Women’s Rights Project; Dennis Parker, Director of the Racial Justice Program; Judy Rabinovitz, Senior Staff Attorney with the Immigrants’ Rights Project; and Jamil Dakwar, Advocacy Director of the Human Rights Program.

For more Roe v. Wade 35th anniversary materials visit:

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