ACLU Marches for Women's Lives, Saying Reproductive Freedom Is a Core Civil Liberty

April 21, 2004 12:00 am

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NEW YORK — In keeping with its long-standing commitment to protecting reproductive freedom, the American Civil Liberties Union will be a leading voice in the March for Women’s Lives on April 25th to demand an end to government attacks on women’s health and lives. ACLU affiliates from as far away as Idaho, California, Washington, and Nebraska are sending diverse delegations to the nation’s capital on Sunday to participate in the largest march for reproductive freedom in history.

“In recent years, we have witnessed an unprecedented attack on our civil liberties, and the right to reproductive freedom has been a prime target,” said Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU, which is a principal sponsor of the March. “We are marching to demand an end to the government’s incursion into our personal lives.”

Romero will lead the ACLU March delegation and will speak about the link between the attack on reproductive freedom and the broader erosion of civil liberties. “The government does not belong in our bedrooms,” Romero said. “It does not belong in our doctors’ offices any more than it belongs snooping in our bank accounts, monitoring our private computers, or tracking our bookstore purchases.”

The March for Women’s Lives is about ensuring that all women – regardless of race, age, ethnicity, or income – have access to the full range of reproductive health services, including contraception, prenatal care, abortions, treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, sexuality education, and other essential reproductive health services, the ACLU said.

Since 1995, states have passed nearly 400 measures blocking access to essential reproductive health services. As a result, reproductive health care has become increasingly out of reach for many women, particularly poor women, women of color, young women, and women living in rural areas.

Last year, the government enacted the first-ever federal ban on abortion aimed at severely curtailing women’s ability to obtain abortions as early as 13 weeks in pregnancy. Because of legal challenges brought by the ACLU and others, this dangerous and extreme measure has been blocked while the cases proceed.

“Unless we take immediate action, lawmakers across the country and in Washington are poised to pass a slew of new measures that will further undermine our right to make critical decisions about our own reproductive health,” said Louise Melling, Director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. “The March for Women’s Lives is a wake-up call to lawmakers: enough is enough.”

To learn more about ACLU affiliate delegations go to /marchforwomen

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