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August 21, 2008

Bush Administration's Proposed Regulation Raises New Questions About Effect on Birth Control

Washington, DC - Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said today's publication of a draft regulation about reproductive-health care does not include the provisions found in an earlier leaked version that confused the definitions of abortion and contraception, and directly threatened good state laws that protect women's access to birth control.

"It is clear that, in the face of growing public outrage, the Bush administration reconfigured its attack on women's reproductive freedom. This new version drops a provision from the earlier draft, but fails to give assurances that current laws about abortion will not be stretched to cover birth control," Keenan said. "We will continue to mobilize our members to call on the Bush administration to include in the final regulation explicit language clarifying that birth control is not at risk."

NARAL Pro-Choice America, which was cited in the original July 15 article in The New York Times about the proposed regulation, channeled more than 29,000 messages to Congress urging lawmakers to take action against the proposed regulation.

Leading members of the U.S. Senate and House from both sides of the debate over reproductive rights sent letters calling on Secretary of Health and Human Services Mike Leavitt to abandon the provisions in the draft version. In addition, medical organizations, faith-based groups, governors, state attorneys general, and state legislators all sent letters that called for the Bush administration to abandon the proposed regulation.

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