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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

CONTACT

Communications Department
202-667-5881

NAF Releases Report On Onslaught of Anti-Choice State Legislation On Eve of Roe v. Wade Anniversary

Washington, DC - On the eve of the 31st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the National Abortion Federation (NAF) released a new state legislative report on anti-abortion attacks in states throughout the country (PDF file, 107K) .

"Legislative attacks on Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to choose are all too common in state legislatures," said Vicki Saporta, NAF President. "Just last year alone, over 600 anti-choice bills were filed."

The leading bills profiled in the report include those that aim to restrict women's access to abortion care. The most common restrictions were abortion bans, biased counseling, parental involvement, restrictions on public funding of abortion, and Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP).

"Due to the efforts of pro-choice legislators, grassroots opposition and the widely held belief that government should not interfere in a woman's decision to make private health care decisions, many of these bills were defeated or held over into the next session," stated Saporta.

Fourteen of these bills were passed and signed into law. These include one abortion ban in Virginia; seven biased counseling bills in Arkansas, Minnesota, Missouri, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia - four with waiting periods; three parental involvement bills in Colorado, New Hampshire, and Virginia; one TRAP bill in Texas; and two bills restricting public funding of abortion in Iowa and Tennessee. New Hampshire's parental notification bill was struck down. Missouri's biased counseling law and Virginia's abortion ban are being challenged in court.

"Restrictions that interfere with a doctor's ability to provide safe, quality abortion care and a woman's ability to access that care are dangerous, not only on a state level, but on the federal level as well."

That is why NAF immediately filed suit in November when President Bush signed the first-ever federal ban on safe abortion procedures. "We filed suit against this ban for the same reason we fight state legislative attacks on abortion - to safeguard the lives and health of women," concluded Saporta.

NAF, represented by the ACLU, was successful in obtaining a temporary restraining order (TRO) against enforcement of the federal ban. The hearing for the permanent injunction will begin March 29 in federal district court in the Southern District of New York.

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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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