President Obama released this statement to mark the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that struck down nearly all state laws on abortion:
As we mark the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we must remember that this Supreme Court decision not only protects a woman’s health and reproductive freedom, but also affirms a broader principle: that government should not intrude on private family matters. I remain committed to protecting a woman’s right to choose and this fundamental constitutional right. While this is a sensitive and often divisive issue- no matter what our views, we must stay united in our determination to prevent unintended pregnancies, support pregnant woman and mothers, reduce the need for abortion, encourage healthy relationships, and promote adoption. And as we remember this historic anniversary, we must also continue our efforts to ensure that our daughters have the same rights, freedoms, and opportunities as our sons to fulfill their dreams.
For decades, Roe effectively established a regime of mandatory legal abortion on demand in all 50 states at any point throughout any pregnancy for any reason. Its effects have only been slightly blunted since then by the 2007 decision Gonzales v. Carhart.