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40 years later: Roe v. Wade foes rally in Minnesota

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Anti-abortion activists are rallying Tuesday at the Minnesota Capitol in a call for stricter abortion laws. The event falls on the 40th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that effectively legalized abortion.

Minnesotans Citizens Concerned for Life is hosting the noon event, and thousands are expected at the annual rally. The group in a press release says it plans to announce its agenda for the new legislative session.

Democrats this year control both chambers of the Legislature, so it's unlikely lawmakers will consider new anti-abortion bills.
Gov. Mark Dayton last session vetoed a Republican-backed bill that would have required a doctor's presence for pill-induced abortions, the Associated Press noted.

State records indicate Minnesota doctors have performed more than 560,000 abortions since 1975, the AP says. The number of annual procedures in the state has decreased in the past 30 years to 11,000 in 2011, the AP reports. The state health department keeps yearly statistics.

On the other side of the debate, NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota is co-hosting an event to mark the 40th anniversary at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the McNamara Center on the University of Minnesota campus.

Pro-choice advocate Sarah Stoesz, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, writes in the Star Tribune that 40 years after the ruling, a majority of Americans still agree with the Supreme Court that personal health care decisions should be left up to a woman.

Meanwhile, the only abortion clinic in North Dakota has been in the spotlight, the Associated Press reports. Time magazine profiled the clinic. A crew from MSNBC host Rachel Maddow's show recently visited the facility.

The Associated Press in a lengthy story chronicles the issues in the abortion debate since the 7-2 Supreme Court vote on Jan. 22, 1973.

The New Yorker magazine has a slide show with eye-opening images and insights into the abortion fight, including one from Minnesota in 1974.

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