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October 1, 2002


Communications Department

National Abortion Federation Opposes Nomination of Dennis Shedd to Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals

Statement of Vicki Saporta, President and CEO of the National Abortion Federation

On October 3, 2002 the Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on the nomination of Dennis Shedd to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. In the interest of the safety of abortion providers and the women they serve, the National Abortion Federation (NAF) opposes his nomination.

Although Judge Shedd has had a fairly limited record on reproductive rights, his 1997 decision to strike down the Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) is a disconcerting example of how he might rule on future privacy cases that protect citizens, including abortion providers and their patients, from violence. The DPPA is a federal act passed by Congress in 1994 to prohibit state departments of motor vehicles and their employees from releasing personal information about an individual without their consent. For over twenty years NAF has collected statistics on violence and disruption against abortion providers. Since 1993 there have been 7 murders, 15 attempted murders, 265 death threats and 444 incidents of stalking. The enactment of the law was in reaction to violence against women and abortion providers who had been stalked by individuals who obtained their addresses from state departments of motor vehicles. Judge Shedd's decision on the DPPA was overruled by a unanimous United States Supreme Court decision.

NAF is concerned that the nomination of Judge Shedd to an already conservative circuit could erode safety measures protecting patients and providers. We encourage the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to vote down the nomination of Dennis Shedd to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.


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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