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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

Thursday, July 09, 2009

New York Times Examines Medical Abortion Study

Today’s New York Times examines a recent study concerning medical abortion.

Abortion providers and other experts had different reactions to the study, which suggests that infection rates can be reduced if the medication is taken by mouth instead of vaginally, and with antibiotics. Most providers agreed that it was reasonable to change to the oral route, but some hesitated at routinely prescribing antibiotics, which can have side effects, for a procedure with a very low infection rate.

NAF was included in the article:

Vicki Saporta, president of the National Abortion Federation, a professional group whose members provide more than half the abortions performed in the United States and Canada, said the group’s medical experts would evaluate the findings. The current guidelines allow oral, buccal and vaginal administration, but do not include routine antibiotics.

>Learn more about medical abortion.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Report Documents 30-Year Abortion Trends

A new report released today documents 30-year abortion trends and provides in-depth analysis of the demographics of women who obtained abortion care between 1974 and 2004. The findings were gathered from data collected by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and by periodic surveys of abortion providers conducted by the Guttmacher Institute.

According to the report, the rate of abortion in the U.S. is at its lowest level since 1974 and the proportion of abortions at seven weeks or earlier has increased substantially from 16% in 1994 to 28% in 2004. This shift is most likely due to greater availability of early surgical procedures and increased use of medical abortion, which is not usually an option after nine weeks. These findings demonstrate that with greater availability of medical abortion more women can obtain abortion care earlier in pregnancy. The FDA approved the mifepristone and misoprostol combination for medical abortion in September 2000.

>Read the full report.

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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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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Celebrating 35 Years of Safe, Legal Abortion Care

Today marks the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion care in the United States. On this historic anniversary, it is important that we celebrate what we have achieved under the legacy of Roe while also assessing the challenges that lie ahead.

Roe has undoubtedly saved the lives and protected the health of countless women. As we mark this milestone of 35 years of safe, legal abortion care, we must remain vigilant in preserving this freedom so that we never have to return to the days of back-alley abortions when women had to sacrifice their lives and health to end an unwanted pregnancy.

In the 35 years since Roe, many new reproductive health care options have become available to women. These include a variety of safe and effective contraceptive methods, emergency contraception, early medical abortion using mifepristone (RU-486), and safe surgical abortion. Despite these advances in reproductive health care, a woman's fundamental right to make her own reproductive health care decisions continues to be eroded by politicians and the courts.

Women deserve to have access to safe abortion care, free from the interference of politicians. Legislative attacks on Roe and a woman's right to choose are all too common in state legislatures. In 2007 alone, more than 450 anti-choice bills were filed in states across the country. Although the vast majority of these bills were not enacted, several states passed extreme legislation that would ban all safe abortion procedures at all stages of pregnancy if Roe were overturned.

It is critical to the lives and health of millions of women that the protections of Roe not be further weakened. NAF will continue to work to ensure that abortion remains safe, legal, and accessible to promote health and justice for women.

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Britain’s Department of Health May Allow Private Doctors to Provide Medical Abortion Care

Britain’s Department of Health confirmed this week that they are conducting trials to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of providing early medical abortion care in private doctors’ offices.

Under current regulations, abortions can only be provided at National Health Service hospitals and specialist clinics and require the approval of two doctors. Earlier this year, a House of Commons committee found women were experiencing unnecessary delays in obtaining abortion care and called for easier access. The committee also recommended the current law be liberalized to do away with the two doctors' signatures rule. The committee evaluation is expected to be completed in early 2008.

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

New Report on Medical Abortion

Today, the New England Journal of Medicine published research on the safety of medical abortion in terms of future pregnancies. The research concluded that there is no evidence that a previous medical abortion increases the risk of miscarriage, tubal pregnancy, preterm birth, or low birth weight.

>View NAF’s fact sheet on medical abortion

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Researchers Search for Alternate Uses for Mifepristone

Researchers continue to look for other uses for mifepristone, such as treating breast cancer and reproductive system disorders. So far, the research has been promising. A study released in November reported that mifepristone had been successfully used to treat breast cancer in mice. Finding additional uses for mifepristone will increase its availability and benefit the lives and health of women.

>Learn more about mifepristone and Medical Abortion.

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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Lousiana Legislature Sends Abortion Ban to Governor

The Louisiana legislature has sent a sweeping abortion ban to the governor for approval. Governor Katherine Blanco is expected to sign the ban into law.

Mifepristone is expected to be available in Australia next month.

The New York Times has an article analyzing the role of abortion in state elections.

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Monday, April 17, 2006

Must-Read Pro-Choice News

The New York Times reports on how South Dakotans are responding to the national attention they have received after banning almost all abortions in the state.

Felicia H. Stewart, a former NAF board member who was influential in the fight to make emergency contraception available in the U.S., died last Thursday of cancer. Read about her contributions to women’s health in the Washington Post.

USA Today looks at how laws restricting abortion vary from state to state.

An Australian doctor in Queensland has been approved to import and prescribe mifepristone, making her one of the first doctors in the country able to provide medical abortions.

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Tuesday, April 11, 2006

La Times Profiles Pro-Choice Activists in South Dakota

The LA Times has an inspiring story about the success of activists who are gathering signatures to place South Dakota’s abortion ban on the ballot.

Yesterday the FDA declared a death previously reported after the use of mifepristone/misoprostol unrelated to abortion. Read the update.

Anti-choice advocates in South Dakota have set up a legal fund to defend the ban if it is taken to court. But there has been a local controversy over whether donors to the fund can remain anonymous. Read the story in the Aberdeen American News>.

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Monday, March 20, 2006

Anti-Choice Search Engine?

The FDA has issued a public health advisory about mifepristone. Read the advisory here.

Is amazon.com’s search engine anti-choice? Pro-choice activists complained after readers who searched the word abortion were asked, “Did you mean adoption?” Read the New York Times story.

Salon.com has an in-depth story about how anti-choice advocates want to ban contraception.

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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Mifepristone in Australia and TRAP in Indiana

Australia moved one step closer to approving mifepristone today, as the Australian parliament, after a long and emotional debate, voted to remove the Australian Health Minister's power to veto the drug. Mifepristone may be available for use in Australia in the coming months.


The Indiana based Lafayette Journal and Courier denounced the state's proposed TRAP legislation, which they call a "back-door ban on abortions." Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) bills are one of the most common ways that states try to decrease access to abortion. These bills single out clinics and force them to submit to politically motivated, unnecessary regulations that sometimes can force a clinic to close.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Battle Over Mifepristone in Australia

Australia is engaged in a heated debate over mifepristone. The Australian House of Representatives is looking at a bill approving mifepristone, although according to this article it looks like the debate has already gotten out of control.

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