Statement of Vicki Saporta, President and CEO of the National Abortion Federation (NAF), on the confirmation hearing of Jeff Sessions for U.S. Attorney General:
NAF strongly opposes the confirmation of Jeff Sessions as Attorney General of the United States. Sessions has a long record of opposing protections for abortion providers and we have serious concerns that he will not adequately enforce the laws that protect abortion providers and their patients from threats and violence.
The Attorney General must lead with impartiality. 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.
NAF has been compiling statistics on incidents of violence and disruption against abortion providers since 1977. In the past 38 years, there have been 11 murders, 26 attempted murders, 42 bombings, 185 arsons, and thousands of incidents of criminal activities directed at abortion providers. Our 2015 statistics reflect a dramatic increase in hate speech and internet harassment, death threats, attempted murder, and murder. We cannot tolerate a further increase in violence and criminal activity.
The dedicated individuals who risk their lives every day to provide safe abortion care deserve nothing less than an Attorney General who will vigorously enforce the law. NAF’s examination of Jeff Sessions’ record leads us to conclude that he is unable and unwilling to fulfill that mission.
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Read written and submitted testimony by Julie Burkhart, Founder and CEO of the Trust Women Foundation, a NAF member providing abortion care in Kansas and Oklahoma with experience being targeted by anti-abortion crime.
Alissa Manzoeillo, National Abortion Federation
202.667.5881, ext 219; 202.595.4395 (after hours/cell)
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.