H-CENTRAL COAST

Jan 14, 2011 8:12 PM by Courtney Meznarich

Local pro-choice and pro-life supporters speak out before Roe v. Wade anniversary

With less than a week to go, people on both sides of the abortion debate are preparing to mark the anniversary of Roe v. Wade January 22.

In 1973, the Supreme court ruled it was against a woman's constitutional rights to prevent her from having an abortion. Since then, thousands have taken the landmark decision back to court to overturn it. So far, none has been successful.

But a new United States Congress has both pro-life and pro-choice camps wondering what is going to happen next.

From Atascadero to Lompoc, hundreds of white crosses dot church lawns. Santa Maria resident Jon Lindgren put them there. He says it's his life calling. "I felt the calling to fight for these little ones when I myself had children," he said.

Just one week before America marks the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Lindgren sets up the crosses to represent unborn children, lost to abortion each year.

"It is a life," he said. "It is someone who is meant to be here, and someone who is meant to gain maturity."

Lindgren says he'll never stop fighting, no matter what happens to the Roe v. Wade decision. "It's not really any other thing but a life issue."

With a new congress in Washington, something could happen. Christine Lyon is the executive director for Planned Parenthood of Santa Barbara County. She says the organization is prepared for a tough road ahead. "Congress has made abortion politics a priority and have actually wasted no time in introducing an aggressive legislative agenda," she said.

Planned Parenthood says it's committed to offering options for women.

"Abortion is a legal medical procedure and it's not our policy to judge a woman's decision," Lyon said.

She hopes someday people can come together to see what she calls a broader issue-preventing unplanned pregnancy in the first place.

Lyon says she respects the right of people to demonstrate against abortion, as long as it's within the law. She says planned parenthood also speaks up this time of year, with a full page pro-choice ad in the newspaper.

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