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Investigation Shows Threats, Restrictions Impose Severe Obstacles for Abortion Providers, Women Seeking Abortions
Date:7/22/2009

Center for Reproductive Rights Urges Governments, Public, Medical Community to Support Abortion Providers as Human Rights Defenders

NEW YORK, July 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Aggressive harassment, discriminatory legal restrictions and serious stigma are reducing the number of abortion providers and making abortions more difficult for women to obtain, according to a report released today by the Center for Reproductive Rights, a leading reproductive rights advocacy group.

The report, Defending Human Rights: Abortion Providers Facing Threats, Restrictions, and Harassment, documents a four-month investigation of challenges facing abortion doctors and clinics in six states: Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Texas. The research chronicles the death threats, break-ins at homes and offices and physical assaults providers face as they protect women's reproductive health.

"Dr. Tiller's murder focused attention on this problem for a moment, but people don't realize that abortion providers operate under siege, legal and physical, every single day," explained Nancy Northup, the Center's president.

In addition to harassment, abortion providers face a web of discriminatory legal restrictions that have no medical justification, but make abortions more costly and difficult to provide, the Center's research found. Among these are laws that require a mandatory "waiting period" before a woman can obtain an abortion, counseling requirements that force doctors to present a biased and sometimes inaccurate description of abortion and its consequences, and Ambulatory Surgical Center laws that serve no purpose other than to mandate costly and sometimes impossible facilities renovations.

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SOURCE Center for Reproductive Rights
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