Trial of Confessed Murderer, Anti-Choice Extremist
James Kopp to Begin Today;
National Abortion Federation Releases Statement
- March 17 - The following statement by Vicki Saporta, president
and CEO of the National Abortion Federation, was released today:
last week waived his right to a jury trial for the murder of Dr.
Barnett Slepian and will be appearing in court today for a bench
trial. Regardless of the trial process, Kopp must be held accountable
for his actions and must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of
In Nov. 2002,
Kopp confessed to the murder of Dr. Slepian. Unfortunately, there
are many anti-choice extremists who believe that it is justifiable
to kill 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. Let me be clear, violence against
abortion providers is never acceptable or justified.
For over 25
years, the National Abortion Federation (NAF) has been compiling
statistics on anti-choice violence and disruption. Our database
is the most comprehensive of its kind and often allows us to predict
trends in violence aimed at abortion providers. One trend we have
documented is that when one murderer is brought to justice another
one is quickly recruited to become the next assassin.
must not lead to another series of assassination attempts directed
at physicians who perform abortions. We, therefore, continue to
urge law enforcement to remain especially vigilant in enforcing
the law and prosecuting those who would use violence to advance
their own personal, political agendas.
We hope that
justice will be served today. We know that the trial cannot bring
back Dr. Slepian, but we do hope that it will send a clear message
to extremists that violence against abortion providers is not
justifiable and will not be tolerated.
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