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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, February 26, 2004

CONTACT

Communications Department
202-667-5881

The National Abortion Federation Urges Congress to Protect Pregnant Women Without Endangering Abortion Rights

Statement of Vicki Saporta, NAF President and CEO, on the House of Representatives' Plan to Pass Bill Granting Legal Rights to Fertilized Eggs, Embryos and Fetuses

Washington, DC - Harming or killing a pregnant woman is a heinous crime that can and should be severely punished. When a violent attack causes a woman to lose a wanted pregnancy she suffers more than physical pain, and any punishment against her attacker must reflect that fact.

Sadly, many members of the House of Representatives are today once again exploiting the tragic stories of women who have lost their pregnancies due to violence. Anti-choice politicians claim their bill (H.R. 1997) must be passed to protect pregnant women from violence, yet they reject measures that would preserve safe havens for victims of domestic violence. Federal law already allows harsher punishment for criminals who attack pregnant women, and the consequences could easily be made more severe without creating legal rights for fertilized eggs, embryos and fetuses, but anti-abortion forces refuse to consider these alternatives.

We must be careful that any changes to our laws do not create other possible legal ramifications, such as endangering a woman's constitutional right to choose.

The leading cause of death for pregnant women is murder. Congress should be doing everything they can to address this problem - instead they are again playing politics with women's lives.

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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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