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National Abortion Federation Blog: Saporta Reporter

News about reproductive choice from the President and CEO of the National Abortion Federation, Vicki Saporta. photo of Vicki Saporta
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  Remembering an American hero: George Tiller

We continue to mourn the loss of our friend and colleague, Dr. George Tiller. Dr. Tiller was a dedicated physician who provided quality abortion care to women, at great personal sacrifice and risk. He is truly a hero to his fellow abortion providers and his patients. Dr. Tiller’s office is filled with letters from women, thanking him for the excellent, compassionate care he provided. Many of these women say Dr. Tiller saved their lives.

Since his tragic death, we have received messages from some of his patients and from people around the world who are saddened and outraged. We feel it is important to share these words and tributes to our beloved colleague and friend. For the first time, we will enable comments on our blog so that all of you can share your condolences or offer memories of Dr. Tiller. We invite you to join us in honoring a true American hero, Dr. George Tiller.

Post your comments, condolences, and personal memories of Dr. Tiller

Monday, July 28, 2008

Gov. Schwarzenegger Signs Legislation Protecting Providers and Patients from Violence

This past Friday, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed SB 1770 to extend the state’s Reproductive Rights Law Enforcement Act by five years. Originally passed in 2006, the Reproductive Rights Law Enforcement Act requires the state to collect and analyze information on anti-reproductive rights crimes.

There have been several cited cases of violence against clinicians and patients in California, including this year’s attempted arson of an abortion clinic in Northern California. SB 1770 provides law enforcement with essential tools in the fight to keep California providers and patients safe from anti-abortion violence and harassment.

Learn more about state clinic protection bills.

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Abortion Hotline Launched to Serve Women in Anti-Choice Ecuador

Recently, a safe abortion hotline was launched to offer help to women living in Ecuador, a staunchly anti-choice country. Begun by the Dutch organization WOW (Women on Waves), the new hotline serves women by providing reproductive health information, including options for safe, at-home medical abortions. The hotline had a grand launch with activists hanging a banner advertising the service on a religious statue overlooking the capital city of Quito.

Due to a high degree of violence against women, along with poor health care and educational opportunities, thousands of dangerous and illegal abortions are performed in Ecuador every year, leading to 20,000 to 30,000 hospitalizations annually. Currently in Ecuador, abortion is a crime in all situations except for when the woman’s life is in danger and she consents to the procedure, or if the pregnancy is the result of the rape of an insane or mentally retarded woman.

Learn more about the NAF Hotline.
Read more from NAF member Marcy Bloom.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Majority of Canadians Support Dr. Morgentaler’s Award

Two out of three Canadians either support or somewhat support NAF member Dr. Henry Morgentaler’s appointment to the Order of Canada, according to an opinion poll released this week. The poll, conducted for Canwest News Services and Global National, showed 65% of Canadians supported the decision, with women, Quebecers, and people under age 35 as being most likely to favor Morgentaler’s award.

"Two-thirds support is very solid," said John Wright, senior vice president of Ipsos Reid, the polling firm that conducted the survey.

According to the Governor General's website, Morgentaler was made a member of the Order of Canada for "his commitment to increased health care options for women, his determined efforts to influence Canadian public policy and his leadership in humanist and civil liberties organizations."

Following the announcement last week, abortion opponents have asked the Governor General to revoke this award. Today, Action Canada for Population and Development (ACPD) has launched a petition to urge the Governor General to stand firm by her decision to award Morgentaler with this honor.

>Learn more about Dr. Morgentaler’s appointment to the Order of Canada.
>Sign ACPD’s petition.

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Monday, July 07, 2008

Kansas Grand Jury Declines to Indict Tiller

After a six-month investigation, a Kansas Grand Jury adjourned on Wednesday without issuing a criminal indictment against NAF member Dr. George Tiller.

In a statement released by the Sedgwick County district attorney’s office, the grand jury said: “After six months of conducting an investigation that included hearing extensive witness testimony, reviewing volumes of documents and medical records of patients of Women’s Health Care Services (Tiller’s Wichita clinic), this grand jury has not found sufficient evidence to bring an indictment on any crime related to the abortion laws.”

Kansas is one of six states that permit citizen-petitioned grand juries. Throughout his career, Tiller has consistently been targeted by anti-abortion extremists. His clinic has been vandalized, his staff and patients have been repeatedly harassed, and in 1993 Tiller was shot and injured by an anti-abortion extremist.

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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

NAF Member Dr. Henry Morgentaler Awarded Order of Canada

We are extremely pleased that Dr. Henry Morgentaler has been awarded the Order of Canada. Dr. Morgentaler exemplifies the ideals and principles of the Order of Canada with his lifetime commitment to women’s reproductive freedom. Canadians owe him a tremendous debt of gratitude for standing up for women’s lives and health at great personal sacrifice and risk.

Dr. Morgentaler, a survivor of the Holocaust, has made a positive lasting impact on the lives and health of Canadian women for more than 40 years as a physician and advocate. He came forward publicly in 1967 and testified that women should have access to safe and legal abortion care at a time when abortion was illegal and countless women were sacrificing their lives and health to end an unplanned pregnancy. In 1988, Dr. Morgentaler won a significant victory for Canadian women in the Supreme Court of Canada in R v. Morgentaler, the ruling that decriminalized abortion in Canada. This landmark decision changed the legal landscape in Canada, and was named one of the most important and influential Charter cases of the last 25 years.

Dr. Morgentaler’s determination and tireless efforts on behalf of women have never ceased. He has survived numerous threats on his life, a clinic bombing, prison, and constant harassment by protesters. Despite challenges and obstacles, Dr. Morgentaler has persevered, and he continues to provide leadership in the current struggle to ensure that women have access to funded abortion care.

Throughout his career, Dr. Morgentaler has received numerous awards, including an honourary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Western Ontario and a scholarship named in his honour by the Canadian Federation of Sexual Health. The National Abortion Federation (NAF), the professional association of abortion providers in Canada and United States, has awarded Dr. Morgentaler its highest honour, the Christopher Tietze Humanitarian Award, as well as a special award designating him a National Treasure.

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