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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

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Film Highlights Consequences of Unsafe Abortion

Today, April 7th, has been designated by the World Health Organization (WHO) as World Health Day. Each year, WHO uses this day as a worldwide opportunity to focus on key public health issues that affect the international community. So it’s very appropriate that independent filmmaker Lisa Russell chose today to premiere her film Not Yet Rain. Produced in association with Ipas, the film follows four Ethiopian women who illustrate the importance of ensuring that women have access to the abortion care they need to protect their health and well-being.



Unsafe abortion is a worldwide public health crisis. In countries where abortion is still provided under unsafe conditions, maternal death and complications rates are high. Each year, 68,000 women—almost entirely poor women from developing countries—die from unsafe abortions and millions more are injured, many permanently.

For more information on this issue, or to order the DVD, visit: www.NotYetRain.org.

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Monday, April 06, 2009

New York City Council Passes Clinic Protection Bill

Last week, the New York City Council passed a bill to address incidents of harassment and protect access to reproductive health clinics. The new legislation allows police to arrest anyone obstructing the entrance to a reproductive health clinic, and permits clinic workers as well as patients to file charges against protesters.

This bill was first proposed in September of last year by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn in response to incidents of harassment, which included doctors being forced to the ground and clinic entrances being blocked. This legislation has enjoyed widespread support from the public, as well as Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

>Learn more about state clinic protection bills.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Blog Examines Potential Rise in Clinic Violence under Pro-Choice Administration

Since the inauguration of President Obama, anti-choice extremists have become increasingly harassing and abusive towards clinics. Yesterday, RH Reality Check examined the potential of increased clinic violence in its blog. Included is commentary from many NAF members, including Claire Keyes, former Director of NAF member Allegheny Reproductive Health Center, Elizabeth Barnes, Executive Director of NAF member Philadelphia Women’s Center, and Tammi Kromenaker, Director of NAF member Red River Women’s Clinic.

We know that political losses often provoke anti-abortion extremists to retaliate, so clinics need to increase their security awareness. Law enforcement is key to keeping the peace. In places where police respond quickly, stopping infractions against patients and staff--whether through locally passed ordinances or by invoking the federal FACE Act--anti-abortion violence does not usually escalate. In contrast, in places where the police do not enforce the law, anti-abortion extremists often push the envelope and engage in criminal activity.

>Learn more about violence and disruption against abortion providers.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Report Confirms Abortion Does Not Cause Mental Illness

A report authored by the American Psychological Association has concluded that women who have abortions have no greater risk of mental-health problems than if they carry the pregnancy to term. While some women may experience feelings of grief and loss after choosing to have an abortion, there is no evidence that an abortion causes significant mental health problems. The task force drew its conclusions after spending two years reviewing more than 150 studies on the subject.

From the Supreme Court to states such as South Dakota, some politicians and government officials have been willing to mislead or manipulate women with inaccurate claims about the impact of abortion on a woman’s health. This report underscores the importance of providing nonjudgmental, medically accurate information, so that every woman can make the best decision for her particular circumstances.

>Read the full APA report here.

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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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Monday, October 15, 2007

Abortion Rate Declines Worldwide, But Illegal and Unsafe Abortions Remain a Problem

A new report shows the abortion rate declined more in developed countries, where abortion is generally safe and legal, than in developing countries, where the procedure is largely illegal and unsafe, according to “Induced Abortion: Rates and Trends Worldwide,” a new report released by the Guttmacher Institute and the World Health Organization (WHO) published in the October 13, 2007 issue of The Lancet.

The number of induced abortions worldwide has declined from nearly 46 million to under 42 million between 1995 and 2003. Abortion rates fell most significantly in Eastern Europe, a trend that corresponds with substantially increased contraceptive use in the region.

The study also found that an estimated 20 million unsafe abortions occurred in 2003, 97% of these in developing regions. The prevalence of unsafe abortion remains high, with up to 39 unsafe abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 in Eastern Africa and 33 per 1,000 in South America. By contrast, developed regions, where almost all countries allow abortions with few restrictions, had an average unsafe abortion rate of two per 1,000.

The report concluded that reducing the incidence of unsafe abortion would result in an immediate and substantial reduction of maternal mortality and improve maternal health.

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Friday, August 17, 2007

The Health Dangers and High Costs of Unsafe Abortion

This month’s issue of the UK publication id21 health focus addresses the health dangers and economic impact of unsafe abortion. The issue highlights the findings of a technical meeting held at the Institute of Development Studies (UK) in April.

Unsafe abortion is a major global public health problem particularly affecting low-income women. The World Health Organization estimates that 68,000 women worldwide die from unsafe abortions annually and millions more are injured, many permanently. Ensuring safe, legal, and accessible abortion care promotes health and justice for women.

The issue also features articles on ways to reduce abortion costs to health systems and necessary advances in international abortion policy.

>View a pdf of the issue.

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Friday, June 29, 2007

African Leaders Call for Legalized, Safe Abortion Care

This week leaders from ten African nations called for legislation to end unsafe abortion during a conference in Kenya, which addressed the application of international and regional human rights agreements to reduce the maternal mortality rate in Africa.

According to Kenyan Vice-President Moody Awori, 100 women die daily from unsafe abortion in Africa, and of the 19 million women who undergo unsafe abortion yearly, 4.2 million are in Africa. Awori said urgent solutions were needed to end unsafe abortion.

A protocol that authorizes legal abortions in cases of rape, incest, or to protect the life or health of the woman has been ratified by 21 African countries including Tanzania and Rwanda. Kenya and Uganda have signed, but not ratified the protocol on women’s rights in Africa, however Awori said in a speech that ratification was “high on Kenya’s agenda.”

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Monday, April 03, 2006

Pro-Choice News From Home and Abroad

NAF was mentioned in a story about the increasingly extreme tactics of anti-choice advocates in the United Kingdom. Read the London Daily Telegraph article.

The New York Times has a story about pro-choice members of the clergy.

The Inter Press Service has a story on how outdated abortion laws force African women to resort to unsafe, illegal abortions.

NPR has an in-depth look at how the South Dakota legislature is responding to the national attention they have received after passing the abortion ban.

Cecelia Fire Thunder, the president of the South Dakota Oglala Sioux Tribe, wishes to open a comprehensive reproductive health care clinic on her reservation. Read the Baltimore Sun story.

The Kenya Obstetrical and Gynecological Society is campaigning to make medical abortion available in Kenya. Read the South African Mail and Guardian story.

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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Idaho, Africa, and Mississippi

The Idaho legislature is considering a bill that would require teens to have parental consent before obtaining an abortion. Read the local story.

Today is day three of a four day conference in Ethiopia about unsafe abortion in Africa. Read the news on allafrica.com.

The Mississippi legislature is considering an abortion ban bill. Read about it.

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