FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: MELINDA SHELTON, 767; DIANE MINOR, 773
WHO: National NOW Secretary Karen Johnson will join with Capital City NOW and other pro-choice activists.
WHAT: Candlelight vigil.
WHEN: Monday, Jan. 22, at 6:30 p.m.
WHERE: Outside the U.S. Supreme Court, 1st and Maryland Sts., N.E.
WHY: To mark the 23rd anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision,
Roe v. Wade, and to protest attempts by the anti-abortion right-wing to abolish legalized abortion.
"Women gained access to legal abortion 23 years ago, but our reproductive rights are in dire jeopardy today," said NOW National Secretary Karen Johnson, a registered nurse. "Abortion foes preach hatred and incite violence at clinics. Right-wing extremists have infiltrated Congress and legislatures across the country. Congress already has voted to ban late-term abortions, and some states passed laws limiting women's access to services. Many more elected officials are easy prey of these political blackmailers.
"We realize that safe, medically-supervised procedures could again be replaced with life-threatening, back-alley butchering. Government restrictions already interfere with many women's reproductive rights. Further mandates could virtually eliminate family planning programs that teach personal responsibility for women and men.
"Pro-choice advocates across the country stand in unity as we mark the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision. We remember those who died and those injured in clinic attacks, the women who died at the hands of butchers and the women adversely affected by government intrusion into their personal lives."
Protecting reproductive rights is a key component of NOW's 1996 Fight the Right March set for April 14 in San Francisco. The march is part of NOW's 1996 Equality Countdown Campaign, which aims to put feminist issues on the front burner, elect feminist candidates and defeat ballot measures hostile to women's rights.