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July 9, 2002


Communications Department

National Abortion Federation Opposes So-Called "Partial-Birth Abortion" Ban

House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution Today to Hold Hearing on Unconstitutional Legislation

Washington, DC - The National Abortion Federation (NAF) today again voiced its strong opposition to repeated Congressional attempts to ban safe abortion procedures. The House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution will today hear testimony about the so-called "partial-birth abortion" ban legislation. "We encourage members of the Committee to see this legislation for what it is: a deceptive, intentionally vague and unconstitutional bill that would jeopardize the lives and health of American women," said Vicki Saporta, President and CEO of the National Abortion Federation.

In June 2000 the Supreme Court ruled in Stenberg v. Carhart that a ban on so-called "partial-birth abortion" was unconstitutional because it lacked the necessary exception for preserving the health of a woman and the definition of the targeted procedure was so vague as to possibly proscribe other abortion procedures, thus placing an "undue burden" on a woman's right to seek an abortion. The current legislation does not contain a health exception and contains intentionally vague language that is neither designed nor written to apply to one abortion procedure.

"In fact, this legislation is even more deceptive than past attempts to ban abortion procedures because the authors claim to have crafted a constitutional bill when they have clearly ignored the Supreme Court's ruling," stated Saporta. "Additionally, the sponsors of the bill have introduced fifteen pages of non-operative 'findings.' Contrary to their claims, these deceptive findings do not circumvent the Supreme Court's ruling that restrictive abortion bans that endanger women's health are unconstitutional."

"We ask that legislators stop playing election year politics with the lives and health of women and leave private medical decisions where they belong - with women and their families, in consultation with their doctors - not legislators."


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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