April 19, 2007

CONTACT: media@dcaclu.org

WASHINGTON - The American Civil Liberties Union today expressed its strong support for the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) introduced by Senator Barbara Boxer (D - CA) and Representative Jerrold Nadler (D - NY). This legislation would preserve women’s health and reproductive rights by protecting their right to privacy and ability to make their own reproductive choices.

This new legislation is especially important in light of yesterday’s Supreme Court decision upholding a federal ban on certain abortion procedures over the strong objections of the medical community, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, an organization representing 90 percent of the country’s OB-GYNs.

"This latest attack on women’s reproductive health shows once again the pressing need for legislation keeping personal medical decisions in the hands of doctors and their patients," said Caroline Fredrickson, director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. "Despite the Supreme Court’s ruling, we still believe that doctors, not politicians, are most qualified to determine the safest course of treatment for their patients. The Freedom of Choice Act will protect women’s relationships with their doctors from political intrusion."

The Freedom of Choice Act would restore critical protections for women’s health, a core principle of Roe v. Wade that was undercut by yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling. It would protect the right of women, in conjunction with their doctors, to make personal medical decisions and prohibit the government interfering in those decisions.

Said Fredrickson, "At a time when the core protections of Roe v. Wade are under attack, FOCA is essential to guarantee reproductive freedom in federal law for future generations of American women. The ACLU strongly supports this important legislation and urges Congress to lend the bill its support."

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