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January 24, 2002


Communications Department

National Abortion Federation Joins a Growing Coalition of Organizations Opposed to Nomination of Judge Charles Pickering to Fifth Circuit

Washington, DC - At a press conference held today by a wide coalition of progressive organizations, the National Abortion Federation officially announced its opposition to the nomination of Judge Charles Pickering to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. "We have decided to come forward today because we believe strongly that this nomination would have a detrimental effect on the lives and health of American women," said Vicki Saporta, Executive Director of the National Abortion Federation (NAF).

"This nomination is critical because the Fifth Circuit has had the final say on many pieces of legislation that have had lasting implications for abortion providers and their patients. The Fifth Circuit has jurisdiction over Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi-all states with legislatures that have long been committed to restricting a woman's ability to choose abortion. Louisiana, for example, has attempted to ban all abortion in recent years, despite Roe v. Wade. The addition of one more judge to this circuit who is hostile to choice would further jeopardize the ability of women and families to make their own private, personal reproductive health care decisions."

Saporta cited the fact that Judge Pickering led the first subcommittee to approve changing the national Republican Party platform to support a constitutional amendment to ban abortion. "Pickering's record is clear," said Saporta, "and neither the Senate Judiciary committee members, nor the American public, should support the confirmation of someone who has so unequivocally demonstrated his opposition to this fundamental right for women. We urge the Senate to stand firm, and send the message to the President that judges on the extreme end of the ideological spectrum should not be granted lifetime appointments. The lives and health of American families must come before politics."


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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