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May 16, 2002


Communications Department

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Rules in Planned Parenthood v. ACLA That "Wanted" Posters and Nuremberg Files Web Site Not Protected Speech

Statement of Vicki Saporta, President and CEO

"We are very pleased with today's decision. This establishes that threatening speech, 'Wanted' posters and threatening Internet sites are not protected by the First Amendment. This decision will help ensure that the recent decrease in extreme forms of violence will continue."

"The Ninth Circuit recognized today that these threats are real because of the overall context in which they have been occurring. The National Abortion Federation has been collecting statistics on incidents of violence and disruption against abortion providers for over twenty years, and since 1977 we have documented 7 murders, 17 attempted murders, 41 bombings and 165 arsons. Two of these murders occurred after the distribution of 'Wanted' posters. Additionally, a line was struck through Dr. Barnett Slepian's name on the Nuremberg Files web site shortly after he was murdered in 1998. Clearly, a link exists between these threats and the violence that subsequently occurred."

"Health care professionals should not be threatened, intimidated, or terrorized for providing legal reproductive health care services to women. Regardless of one's position on a woman's right to choose abortion, today's decision should be welcomed by all those who believe that violence and threats of violence cannot be tolerated by our society."


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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