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MARCH 16, 2001
6:50 PM
CONTACT:  National Organization for Women
Rebecca Farmer 202-628-8669 x116
NOW Denounces Latest Congressional Attacks on Abortion Rights
Statement of NOW President Patricia Ireland
WASHINGTON - March 16 - The newest attacks on abortion rights in the U.S. House of Representatives only reaffirm the need for NOW's Emergency Action for Women's Live on April 22 in Washington,D.C. The Unborn Victims of Violence Act, a bill that seeks to give the fetus a separate legal status, is clearly part of a stealth strategy to erode our constitutional right to abortion while avoiding a full-frontal attack.

House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) admitted as much to the WashingtonPost by saying that although it opposes abortion rights, he has doubts thatthis Congress would overturn Roe v. Wade. Instead, the Congress intends to launch restriction after restriction on access to abortion and birth control until Roe is nothing more than a shadow of women's rights past.

Right-wing members of Congress have made no secret that they intend to pass a number of anti-abortion rights bills, including an abortion procedures ban, limitations on who can prescribe mifepristone (RU-486) and criminal sanctions against anyone who helps a minor cross state lines to avoid her home state's limits on abortion.

Today's feminists refuse to be the generations that both win and lose the rights to birth control and abortion. We refuse to go back to the days when illegal abortion was the leading cause of maternal death.

Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal has identified this as our Vietnam -- where the future of young women is being decided by old men in Washington who will never confront the danger themselves. Just like any army training to go into battle, we are gearing up for a strong defense in this war on our rights.

The more that attacks on reproductive rights continue, the more people will come in droves to rally in Washington, DC on April 22 in support of women's bodily integrity and rights to self-determination and privacy.


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