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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 15, 2001

CONTACT

Communications Department
202-667-5881

Abortion Providers Around Country Receive Letters Claiming to Contain Anthrax

Clinics in At Least Twelve States Report Receiving Letters, Some of Which Refer to Anti-Choice Terrorist Group the Army of God

Washington, DC - Clinics around the country today reported receiving letters claiming to contain anthrax, according to the National Abortion Federation. "We have received more than thirty calls so far from member clinics in twelve states, and are receiving more calls by the minute," said Vicki Saporta, Executive Director of the National Abortion Federation (NAF). "We advised our clinics last week to be on alert for this type of attack, based on what was happening in Florida and New York. At this point, we do not know if the letters are linked to those attacks. We do know that some of the letters reference the Army of God, a group of domestic terrorists that has claimed responsibility for the murder of abortion providers."

The National Abortion Federation notified its members through fax and email last week that there was an increased risk of an anthrax attack. An alert also went out to members today with information about the letters that have been received so far. The letters claim to contain anthrax, and are filled with a white, powdery substance. Some of the letters are postmarked from Atlanta, and have a return address "US Secret Service." Other letters are postmarked from Cleveland or Columbus, Ohio, with a "US Marshals" return address. All clinics are being advised not to open any similar or suspicious letters.

"This type of threat is unfortunately not new to abortion providers," said Saporta. "Those who are opposed to a woman's right to choose have not hesitated to resort to bioterrorist threats and attacks to advance their personal agenda. Today's events are a sad reminder to all Americans that not only do we face threats from foreign terrorists, but we also face threats from domestic terrorists as well. Until those responsible for these latest threats are brought to justice, our members will continue to remain vigilant as they provide vital reproductive health care services to women."

In response to anthrax threats received at more than eighty clinics from late 1998 to 2000, NAF developed a brochure, Anthrax: Bioterrorism Against Reproductive Health Care Clinics. The brochure has been distributed to abortion providers around the country, as well as to law enforcement officials, including the ATF and FBI.

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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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