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MARCH 13, 2003
3:23 PM
CONTACT:  National Organization for Women
Rebecca Farmer 202-628-8669 x116
NOW Blasts Passage of Abortion Procedures Ban
WASHINGTON - March 13 -"The Senate's passage today of the deceptively named 'partial birth abortion ban' should be a call to action for women's rights supporters everywhere," said National Organization for Women (NOW)President Kim Gandy. "Proponents of this legislation know that the bill's provisions are unconstitutional, based on the Supreme Court's decision in Stenberg v. Carhart. Behind the rhetoric, this bill is really an abortion procedures ban. It's a political game and an attempt to send us back to pre-Roe days when countless women died from illegal abortions."

"You won't find the term 'partial birth abortion' in any medical dictionary -- instead try looking for it in the ultraconservative rhetoric manual," Gandy said. "Contrary to what opponents of abortion rights would have you believe, this bill is not about a specific late-term procedure. This bill, like each of its predecessors, is purposely worded so vaguely that it could criminalize even some of the safest and most common abortion procedures after twelve weeks and well before fetal viability."

The abortion procedures ban passed by the Senate, which will soon be taken up in the House of Representatives, is not supported by the American Medical Association, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists or the American Medical Women's Association. "This legislation has nothing to do with the best interests of medicine or women's health. In fact, this ban does not even include a constitutionally required exception to preserve the health of the woman," Gandy said.

"Senators who otherwise support reproductive rights allowed themselves to be caught up in the political rhetoric instead of standing firm in their commitment to women's rights," Gandy said. "Senators who voted for the abortion procedures ban disappointed voters in their own states and across the country."


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