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Nadler Statement Commemorating the Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

Washington, DC, January 20, 2004
Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), a member of the House Pro-Choice Caucus, made the following statement commemorating the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision:

"Thirty-one years following Roe v. Wade, we are faced with the very real danger of losing a woman's fundamental right to choose. This Administration has proved it is dead serious in turning back the clock for women and is determined to pack our courts with anti-choice justices. We must redouble our efforts to oppose all attempts at criminalizing abortion and ensure that women's reproductive rights are defended and upheld.

"Last year, the President signed the 'Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act,' legislation criminalizing abortion for the first time in 31 years, and the House approved the 'Unborn Victims of Violence Act,' which is scheduled to be marked-up today in the Judiciary Committee. Never mind that a so-called 'partial birth' abortion is a procedure you won't find in any medical textbook, and that the Unborn Victims of Violence Act doesn't provide one penny to prevent violence against pregnant women, doesn't even mention pregnant women, and declares the fetus to be a person and a separate crime victim from the moment of conception. The fact is that right-wing extremists want to criminalize a woman's constitutional right to choose.

"The proponents of these bills are not just hostile to a woman's right to choose, they are hostile to women's lives and health, their families and their futures. Just recently, during the House-Senate conference on the 'Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act,' I proposed an amendment that would have included -- word for word -- the life and health exception to the ban that the Supreme Court has said the Constitution requires. Every Republican member of the Conferences joined in voting it down. Concern for the life of a woman, for her ability to have children, for her health, were dismissed as cynical ploys to gut the legislation. Their argument? Women lie, their doctors lie, and the courts don't care.

"On this anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, we are perilously close to losing all that women have gained over more than three decades. We have been warning people that their rights are in peril and for years they said we were crying wolf. Well, today, the wolf is at the door.

"We will not allow women's rights to fall victim to this Administration. We must do all we can to ensure that the rights women secured over thirty years ago are upheld."

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