FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEW YORK -- The American Civil Liberties Union and Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr today each received the 2005 Christopher Tietze Humanitarian Award at the annual meeting of the National Abortion Federation (NAF). NAF awarded the ACLU with this distinction for its representation of NAF and its members in its challenge to the Federal Abortion Ban (National Abortion Federation v. Gonzales).
"It is impossible to sufficiently acknowledge the remarkable passion and commitment that each and every member of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project brought to this case," said Vicki Saporta, President of NAF. "We are confident and grateful that their efforts on behalf of our members will continue to protect the health and lives of women."
Signed by President Bush in November of 2003, the federal abortion ban was immediately challenged in federal courts in New York, Nebraska, and San Francisco. All three courts permanently blocked enforcement of the ban. The cases are all currently on appeal.
"We are honored to receive this award and we are honored to represent the National Abortion Federation," said Louise Melling, Director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. "NAF members protect our access to abortion. They work to keep abortion safe and legal. We are committed to protecting them and to preserving every woman's right to this vital service."
The Christopher Tietze Humanitarian Award, NAF's highest distinction, honors significant, lifetime contributions in the field of abortion service delivery or policy.
The ACLU, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP, the New York Civil Liberties Union, and the ACLU of Illinois represented NAF and seven individual physicians in their challenge to the federal ban.
The National Abortion Federation is the professional association of abortion providers in the United States and Canada. NAF members care for more than half of the women who choose abortion each year in the U.S. and work at clinics, doctor's offices, and hospitals throughout the country, including premier teaching hospitals.