Friday, January 21, 2011

Speaking Out, Speaking Up for Abortion Rights in a Safe, Legal Environment

Bellefonte, PA, January 21, 2011, 6:30 p.m.: On Saturday, Jan. 22, the Pennsylvania NOW (National Organization for Women) Education Fund will show a movie of women speaking out for abortion rights. The program will also feature National NOW Foundation Vice President Erin Matson and Pennsylvania NOW Education Fund President Joanne Tosti-Vasey speaking on the status of reproductive rights to commemorate and celebrate the 38th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision affirming women's constitutional right to abortion.

“We are celebrating 38 years of Supreme Court recognition that the Constitution protects women's right to legal abortion. But not a day goes by without threats to our reproductive freedom," said NOW Foundation Vice President Erin Matson.

This anniversary comes at the same time as the indictment of Dr. Gosnell and several of his staff members for the alleged brutal, unsafe and illegal abortion practice he conducted in West Philadelphia. “Pennsylvania NOW applauds the work of the grand jury convened by Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams in this case, and if true, we believe that women, predominately low-income women of color, have been the victims of some serious, horrible crimes," said Pennsylvania NOW Education Fund President Joanne Tosti-Vasey.

The grand jury’s report placed partial blame on the Pennsylvania Department of Health for the “failure to ensure the health and safety of patients in abortion clinics” as they do for “patients receiving medical care from other providers.”

This failure to follow regulations, the stigmatization that surrounds abortion and the lack of funding of abortions for low-income women can lead to the lack of access to safe, legal abortion services for women. Without access to insurance funding for reproductive services, women may end up in the back alleys or with unsafe abortions as allegedly occurred here. This will be part of the discussion on Saturday night.

WHAT: Airing of documentary “I Had an Abortion” and speeches commemorating the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade .

WHO: Erin Matson, National NOW Foundation Vice President Action and Joanne Tosti-Vasey, Pennsylvania NOW Education Fund President

WHEN: 7:00 p.m., Saturday, January 22, 2011

WHERE: 160 Willard Building, the Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

SPONSORED BY: Pennsylvania NOW Education Fund, Ni-Ta-Nee NOW, PSU Department of Women’s Studies, PSU Center for Women Students, and the PSU Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance

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