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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 22, 2002

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Twenty-Nine Years Later, Roe v. Wade Decision That Has Saved Women's Lives Protected by Only a One-Vote Margin in the Supreme Court

New Report Points to Harmful Effects that the Eroding of Roe v. Wade Over the Last Three Decades Has Had on Access to Abortion for Women in Diverse Communities

Washington, DC - To highlight the current threat to the Roe v. Wade decision posed by a narrowly divided Supreme Court, the National Abortion Federation joined a diverse coalition of women's organizations in running an ad in Newsweek and Roll Call. "The Supreme Court is currently divided by only a 5-4 margin in favor of a woman's right to choose," said Vicki Saporta, Executive Director of the National Abortion Federation (NAF). "One anti-choice appointment by the administration could result in a complete overturn of Roe v. Wade, which we know from history would result in the deaths of countless American women. NAF joined this effort because the majority of Americans who support their ability to make their own private health care decisions need to know that in the next few years they could lose that freedom."

"Americans also need to know that many communities of women have already been denied equal access to safe abortion care," said Saporta. The National Abortion Federation chose the 29th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision to release a new report, "Increasing Access to Abortion for Women in Diverse Communities" (PDF file, 3.6 MB). The report is the product of a consortium held by NAF with the participation of representatives from health care advocacy associations, faith-based organizations, abortion clinics, and human rights groups from around the country. It identifies barriers to access to abortion for low-income women, women of color, and immigrant women, and recommends concrete steps to improve access such as repealing the Hyde amendment, which denies insurance coverage for abortion to low-income women.

Saporta continued, "On the 29th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, it is imperative that pro-choice Americans send the message to Congress and the White House that we will not go back to the days of illegal abortion. We will never again allow women's lives to be sacrificed in the name of politics. And at the same time that we work to protect Roe v. Wade, we must strive to ensure that all women are granted equal access to safe abortion care, regardless of their socioeconomic, cultural or religious backgrounds."

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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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