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01/23/2013 08:41 am ET Updated Jan 23, 2013

Rachel Maddow Celebrates Roe v. Wade On Its 40th Anniversary (VIDEO)

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Rachel Maddow honored the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade on her Tuesday night show.

The MSNBC host sent two of her producers to women's clinics in four different cities to interview the only doctors in various areas who were performing abortions. She wanted to know why these doctors, despite the threats from anti-abortion activists and pressure from anti-abortion law makers, continued performing abortions.

Doctors described how the number one killer of women in their child-bearing years used to be complications from abortions. That's no longer the case since Roe v. Wade passed forty years ago.

"The legacy of Roe is not that there became a country named America in which there was abortion and there hadn't been abortion before. The legacy of Roe is that women very very very rarely die from abortion in this country anymore, and they used to die from it a lot," Maddow said.

Maddow also criticized anti-abortion lawmakers for what she called successfully eroding the legacy of Roe v. Wade by limiting access to abortions at the state level. According to NBC News, "Eight states now require women seeking abortion to have ultrasounds, after Virginia lawmakers passed a measure in 2012. Three states also enacted laws that require abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a local hospital, which can deny them for a variety of reasons."

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