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February 6, 2002


Communications Department

Bush Administration Ignores Supreme Court Precedent and Supports Ohio Abortion Ban

Justice Department Filed Amicus Brief to Support Ohio's So-Called "Partial-Birth Abortion Ban

Statement of Vicki Saporta, Executive Director

"This latest move by the administration should alarm the majority of Americans who believe that personal reproductive health care decisions should remain between women and their doctors. At a time when Americans are more united than ever before, the administration's recent actions only serve to divide us.

The Supreme Court ruled only a year ago that so-called 'partial-birth abortion' bans pose a threat to women's health, and this latest ban in Ohio is no exception. When United States District Court Judge Rice struck down the Ohio legislation, he did so on the basis that it contains an inadequate exception to preserve a woman's health. As the Court ruled in Stenberg v. Carhart, a woman and her physician should be able to choose the abortion procedure that is safest for her.

During his confirmation hearing, John Ashcroft pledged that he would not allow his ideology to affect his ability to perform his job effectively for all Americans. And yet, the Justice Department, under his leadership, has filed a brief that is in direct conflict with the Supreme Court's ruling on this issue. Taxpayer resources should be used to protect the rights that we hold dear, not to erode them through baseless legal challenges.

We urge Americans to judge this administration on its extreme actions, not on its moderate rhetoric. Despite the President's declaration that he respects women, in the last week he has blocked money for family planning for women and families around the world; laid the foundation for overturning Roe v. Wade by extending CHIP coverage to fetuses; and given his support to an abortion ban that would jeopardize the health of American women.

If Americans want to continue to have the freedom to make their own health care decisions free from government interference, they must send the unequivocal message to this administration that they will not tolerate any more encroachments on a woman's right to choose."


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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