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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, January 8, 2007

CONTACT:

NAF Communications Department
202-667-5881
press@prochoice.org

Federal Trial of Confessed Murderer and Anti-Abortion Extremist James Kopp to Begin

Saporta: We hope this trial will send a clear message to extremists that violence against abortion providers is not justifiable and that anyone engaged in such activities will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Already serving a 25-year-to-life state sentence for the 1998 murder of Dr. Barnett Slepian, James Kopp now faces a federal trial starting this week on charges of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act with a maximum sentence of life without parole.

The National Abortion Federation (NAF) was instrumental in advocating for passage of the FACE Act, which was signed into law by President Clinton in 1994. FACE prohibits the use of "force, threat of force or physical obstruction" to prevent someone from providing or receiving reproductive health services.

"The enforcement of the FACE Act has had a significant impact on the decline in extreme violence against abortion providers," said Vicki Saporta, President and CEO of NAF.

While major incidents of violence against abortion providers have decreased in recent years, there are still many anti-abortion extremists who believe that it is justifiable to murder doctors because they provide women with safe and legal abortion care. The Army of God, of which Kopp is a member, supports the use of force to end abortion.

"We hope this trial will send a clear message to extremists that violence against abortion providers is not justifiable and that anyone engaged in such activities will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," said Saporta.

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The National Abortion Federation (NAF) is the professional association of abortion providers in the United States and Canada. Our mission is to ensure safe, legal, and accessible abortion care to promote health and justice for women. Our members include health care professionals at clinics, doctors' offices, and hospitals, who together care for more than half the women in both countries who choose abortion each year. NAF has been compiling statistics on violence and disruption against abortion providers since 1977 and is the preeminent source of information on this subject. For more information, visit our website at www.prochoice.org

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