Statement of The Very Reverend Katherine H. Ragsdale, Interim President & CEO of the National Abortion Federation (NAF) on Jeff Sessions resigning:
We are not sad to see Jeff Sessions go. We opposed Jeff Sessions’ nomination and confirmation as Attorney General from the very beginning due to our serious concerns that Sessions would never adequately enforce the laws that protect abortion providers and their patients from violence.
In addition to enforcing the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE), the Attorney General oversees the work of the critical National Task Force on Violence Against Health Care Providers, a unique collaboration among federal agencies that, when supported, has resulted in a documented decrease in violent crimes against abortion providers.
On the other hand, from 2016 to 2017, trespassing more than tripled, threats of harm nearly doubled, and incidents of obstruction rose from 580 to more than 1,700. Anti-abortion extremists are testing the waters, checking to see what they can get away with.
With the extremely violent anti-abortion extremist, Shelley Shannon, being released from federal custody today, it is more important than ever that President Trump nominates an Attorney General who will lead with impartiality and hold anti-abortion extremists accountable for their actions.
The National Abortion Federation (NAF) is the professional association of abortion providers. Our members include individuals, private and non-profit clinics, Planned Parenthood affiliates, women’s health centers, physicians’ offices, and hospitals who together care for approximately half the women who choose abortion in the U.S. and Canada each year. Our members also include public hospitals and both public and private clinics in Mexico City and private clinics in Colombia. Our mission is to ensure safe, legal, and accessible abortion care, which promotes health and justice for women.