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In a more just world, this would be the 50th anniversary of Roe v Wade | Moira Donegan

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Until last year, Roe made it more possible for women’s lives to be determined by their choices, not merely by their bodies

If the supreme court hadn’t overturned it last June, undoing a longstanding precedent and inflicting untold harm to women’s well-being and dignity, Sunday 22 January would have been the fiftieth anniversary of Roe v Wade.

Over those 50 years, Roe changed American life dramatically. Abortion became a routine part of life, a resource people planned their lives around having. In contrast to its political controversy, abortion in the Roe era was – as it is now – aggressively common. Approximately one in four American women will have an abortion at some point in the course of their reproductive lives.

Moira Donegan is a Guardian US columnist

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