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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

Friday, February 26, 2010

NAF Board Member Profiled in The Washington Post

Today, The Washington Post profiled abortion provider and NAF Board Member Dr. Carol Ball. Dr. Ball is one of four physicians who travel from out of state to provide abortions in South Dakota, which has not had an in-state provider of elective abortions since 1994.

South Dakota has seen some of the fiercest challenges to Roe v. Wade, including a 2006 bill that would have banned all abortions except when a woman’s life was in danger. Voters in the state rejected this ban in 2006, and a similar measure in 2008.

Dr. Ball has cared for women for nearly 30 years. She currently serves as the medical director for Planned Parenthood’s regional office in the Twin Cities. The clinic she works at in South Dakota is the only clinic in the entire state.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wednesday's Words from Women

Over one-third of women of reproductive age have an abortion by the age of 45. However, women who have chosen abortion are often absent from the public debate. In order to break the silence surrounding abortion, we will be featuring real stories from real women each Wednesday on our blog. If you would like to share your story with us or have it published on our blog, go to http://www.prochoice.org/pregnant/hotline/share.html.

I chose this decision because I always wanted to bring kids into a better world, one where I would be married to the man I was having kids with, not separated. I wanted to be caught up on my bills and prepared for having kids. It was a hard decision to make, but in my life right now it is the best decision for me.

--Submitted by Avery* through a member clinic


Growing up I went to a private Presbyterian high school with devotions and Bible class every day along with chapel every Sunday. One of the most exciting events for the school was when we all caravanned to the capitol to march in a pro-life parade once a year. I always did it, but deep down I knew I felt differently.

I was about to graduate college when I became pregnant. I saw a little plus sign on the stick, picked up my phone, and made an appointment. When the day came I was nervous but ready. In the waiting room I met a mother of two. She didn’t have access to care where she lived in Nashville and had to drive a long way to obtain an abortion. Another girl chimed in that she was from Macon, Georgia. Their stories came as a shock to me because these women had to travel so far and pay so much to get care that I was able to access so easily due to my insurance and location.

The clinic was extraordinary, they offered counseling and the entire office was comfortable. I felt a light bulb go off waiting for the doctor. Two years previously I had gone through a rape trial that had dragged out for years, and my rapist was only sentenced to one year. There my rights were almost nothing, whereas here at the clinic, I felt empowered—everything mattered and my choice was supported.

I was put under anesthesia for 30 minutes and then it was over. The only discomfort I felt was minor cramping, and the relief was extraordinary. I left feeling happier than I had felt in years for many reasons. The biggest reason was that this was the first major decision I had made myself. I now knew that I was in control of my life and decisions.

--Submitted by Mariah* through a member clinic


Names have been changed to protect patient privacy

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wednesday's Words from Women

Over one-third of women of reproductive age have an abortion by the age of 45. However, women who have chosen abortion are often absent from the public debate. In order to break the silence surrounding abortion, we will be featuring real stories from real women each Wednesday on our blog. If you would like to share your story with us or have it published on our blog, go to http://www.prochoice.org/pregnant/hotline/share.html.

My boyfriend and I are both college students in the Cleveland area, and I just finished my freshman year as an English major. Starting a career after graduation is very important to me. Though children are precious and my boyfriend and I would love to have them one day, now is not the time. It would be senseless for me to parent a child before I am financially or emotionally grounded. I greatly appreciate the Hotline’s help, because this procedure is essential to my future success.

--Submitted by Grace* through a member clinic


I am a single mother of two beautiful children, a girl and a boy, ages seven and nine. I recently returned to college to complete my bachelor’s of nursing. Though my boyfriend and I love each other very much, this is not the right time for a child. I have put my life on hold to ensure I can be around for my children. Now that they are older it’s time for me to finish what I started (college) so many years ago, so I may ensure a better future for myself and my children. I appreciate the help from the clinic and the Hotline. Thank you!

--Submitted by Angela* through a member clinic


*Names have been changed to protect patient privacy

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Maternal Health Pledge Must Include Access to Safe Abortion Care

Today, I issued the following statement:

Last week, Prime Minister Harper announced that he plans to make maternal health in the developing world a priority when he hosts the G8 summit in June. If the Prime Minister is truly serious about improving women’s health internationally, his initiatives must address the comprehensive maternal and reproductive health care needs of women, including access to safe abortion care.

As we have seen in Canada and other countries throughout the world, access to safe, legal abortion care preserves women’s health and saves women’s lives. Unsafe abortion remains one of the leading causes of maternal mortality in developing nations. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 70,000 women worldwide die from unsafe abortions annually and millions more are injured, many permanently.

The WHO also estimates that up to 40 percent of maternal deaths could be prevented with access to family planning and contraception services. International health and development agencies, including Amnesty International and the United Nations, consistently link contraception to maternal health in the developing world.

However, last week Canadian International Development Agency Minister Bev Oda said the government’s child and maternal health strategy will not address unsafe abortions in developing countries or support access to family planning and contraception. Canada must not follow in the footsteps of the United States, which during the Bush Administration restricted funding for foreign organizations providing abortion counseling, referrals, or care, and those who worked to challenge abortion restrictions. This policy had devastating consequences for the millions of women in developing nations who rely upon such organizations for essential health care services.

This is a critical opportunity for Prime Minister Harper to champion the health of some of the world’s poorest women. We join Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff and others in the Liberal Party in urging the Prime Minister to keep ideology out of the maternal health initiative and include access to contraception and abortion care in his efforts to improve maternal health care.

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Friday, February 05, 2010

Letter to the Editor: Abortion and the Health Pledge

Today, my letter to the editor was published in The Globe and Mail:

If the Prime Minister is serious about improving women’s health internationally, his initiatives must address the comprehensive maternal and reproductive health care needs of women, including access to safe abortion care. As we’ve seen here and in other countries around the world, access to safe, legal abortion care preserves women’s health and saves women’s lives. Unsafe abortion remains one of the leading causes of maternal mortality in developing nations. According to the World Health Organization, nearly 70,000 women worldwide die from unsafe abortions annually and millions more are injured, many permanently.

This is a critical opportunity for Mr. Harper to champion the health of some of the world’s poorest women. We join Mr. Ignatieff in urging the Prime Minister to include access to contraception and abortion care in his efforts to improve maternal health care.


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Thursday, February 04, 2010

Montgomery County (MD) Regulates Crisis Pregnancy Centers

This week, the Montgomery County Council in Maryland passed a bill that requires pregnancy centers without licensed medical professionals to post signs telling women that they are not receiving information from medical professionals.

This bill is expected to affect the operations of crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), the majority of which do not have medical professionals on staff, and often use deceptive advertising practices to give the appearance that they are legitimate medical clinics that provide a variety of reproductive health care services, including family planning and abortion care.

In reality, most CPCs do not provide full options counseling and generally will not refer for abortion care or birth control. Women who mistakenly visit CPCs describe being harassed, intimidated, and given blatantly false information at their appointments.

The bill passed on a vote of 7-2.

If you have experience with a deceptive CPC, we would be interested in hearing your story.

>Learn more about CPCs.

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“The Abortion Monologues” Opens in Calgary

Following its 2009 premiere at NAF’s Annual Meeting, The Abortion Monologues is set to open today at Mount Royal University in Calgary. In a profile in this week’s Maclean’s, playwright Jane Cawthorne, a former women’s studies teacher who now writes full-time, discusses the show, which presents more than 20 fictional female characters’ experiences with abortion. “I felt that the public discussion on abortion was polarized, and didn’t reflect what goes on in the real lives of women,” says Cawthorne, who has volunteered with non-profit women’s health and reproductive rights groups for two decades. “Whatever you believe about abortion, at some point in the play, you will be forced to think again.”

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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Wednesday's Words from Women

Over one-third of women of reproductive age have an abortion by the age of 45. However, women who have chosen abortion are often absent from the public debate. In order to break the silence surrounding abortion, we will be featuring real stories from real women each Wednesday on our blog. If you would like to share your story with us or have it published on our blog, go to http://www.prochoice.org/pregnant/hotline/share.html.

I found out I was pregnant when I was reaching the end of an abusive relationship that was getting worse by the day. I went into the clinic one hundred percent sure of my decision. Had I not gone through with the abortion, I would have a person in my life who, to this day, would find any way he could to abuse me or destroy any relationship I was in. I would not be in school, and I would not be happy. Having the abortion was the fairest thing I could have done for myself. It's my body, my life, and my choice.

--submitted by Allison* through our website



I was notified that the genetic test results showed some problems. After further testing (CVS), it was determined there were genetic abnormalities with the pregnancy. It was an agonizing decision to terminate my pregnancy but I believe it was the right decision to make. The heartache my fiancé and I feel over this whole situation has been lessened because the Hotline supported our right to self-determination emotionally. Thank you!

--submitted by Mackenzie* through a member clinic

*Names have been changed to protect patient privacy

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