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Year: 2009 Type: Article Language: English

Thirty-five years on from the abortion rights victory of Roe vs. Wade, abortion proponents in the USA continue to battle political opposition and the formidable abortion opponents that seek to overturn legal abortion in the long-run, and limit access to services in the short-run. This article outlines the many battles over national and foreign aid policies, legal changes, attacks on and limits to access that have characterized the on-going abortion debate in the USA. Beyond the political, it further illustrates how, despite the legal and human rights discourse the politicians and advocacy bodies pursue, deficient access and funding and stigma are overwhelmingly the critical barriers for the poor and ethnic populations, demonstrating that the ‘choice’ debate is not a realistic one in a context where poor mothers can neither afford to have an abortion, nor mother another child.

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