Pioneers of women's rights movement reflect on Roe v. Wade anniversary

Tuesday marks the 40th anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision which made it legal for women to get abortions in the U.S.

Retired nurse, Diane Dwire remembers life before.

"I was there before these things were legal. I was there in the 1960s working labor and delivery, working family planning programs," says Dwire.

Karen Decrow, an attorney and the one time President of the National Organization of Women, also remembers life before Roe vs. Wade.

"When I was in high school and college abortion wasn't legal. So the idea of an unwanted pregnancy was terrifying. If we don't have the right to control our health and our bodies then what rights do we have?" says Decrow.

Both women say its symbolic that this anniversary falls on the same week as President Obama's inauguration and MLK jr. Day. It's a true indication of just how far the equal rights movement has come.

"President Obama is very good on the issue of gender equality so I trust him to appoint people who will not take away rights of women," says Decrow.

While the fight for equality continues, celebrating victories along the way is rejuvenating.

"We sometimes feel like we're in a constant battle and sometimes you have to come back and say today we celebrate. We did good," says Dwire.

In the latest NBC Wall Street Journal poll, a majority of people support legalized abortion, with 70% saying the supreme court decision should not be overturned.