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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 2, 2000

CONTACT

Communications Department
202-667-5881

Senate Overwhelmingly Passes Schumer Amendment (S.625) to Bankruptcy Code

Sends Clear Message that Anti-Choice Terrorists Will Not Get Away With Breaking The Law

Washington, DC- The Senate today passed the Schumer-Reid Amendment to the Bankruptcy Code by a vote of 80-17. The amendment prevents those who violate the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE) from declaring bankruptcy to avoid paying financial damages to abortion providers. Under the FACE Act, it is illegal to use force or the threat of force to prevent persons obtaining, or those providing, reproductive health care services from entering health care facilities.

"Today's vote represents an important victory for the health care professionals across the country who routinely risk their lives to provide necessary reproductive health care services to women," said Vicki Saporta, Executive Director of the National Abortion Federation. "It sends a clear message to the criminals who violate FACE that they cannot get away with breaking the law. They will no longer be able to hide behind a legal loophole by declaring bankruptcy."

Saporta continued, "The National Abortion Federation has been collecting statistics on incidents of violence and disruption against abortion providers for more than twenty years. While there has been a decrease in some forms of anti-choice violence - due in large part to the passage of FACE - more remains to be done to protect clinic staff and their patients."

"We know that too many extremists who have violated FACE have avoided paying damages to clinics by declaring bankruptcy. In fact, some anti-choice activists have even boasted that they have declared bankruptcy so that they will never have to pay clinics what they are owed. With this vote, we can now fully prosecute those who are willing to break the law to advance their political agenda."

"We commend the Vice President and Senator Schumer for their leadership on this issue. Their commitment to preserving women's ability to access safe abortion care has provided us with another important tool for preventing the violence abortion providers and their patients face."

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The National Abortion Federation is the professional association of abortion providers in the U.S. and Canada dedicated to ensuring that abortion remains safe, legal and accessible.
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