ANNIVERSARIES don't get much more controversial than this. On January 22nd, America will mark the thirtieth anniversary of the Supreme Court decision that declared abortion a constitutional right. Anti-abortionists will march in Washington in their thousands, carrying gruesome photographs. Supporters of abortion rights will retort that Roe v Wade, the decision in question, was one of the great milestones in the long march for women's rights—a heroic decision that has saved thousands of women from death by coat-hanger or back-street butchery. The two sides will end the day even more polarised than ever.
Since 1973, about 75 countries have liberalised their abortion laws (the most recent being Switzerland and Nepal last year). In most countries, that was enough to settle the debate. Not in America.
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