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June 18, 2009

Senators Block Resolution Condemning Violence Against Women's Health-Care Providers

Washington, D. C. – Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, called the refusal of senators to support a resolution condemning violence against women's health-care providers outrageous.

Sens. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Barbara Boxer of California, and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota introduced a resolution cosponsored by a total of 43 senators that, in the wake of Dr. George Tiller's murder in Kansas, condemned violence against women's health-care providers.

The resolution faced objection by some members of the Republican caucus, and the resolution's chief sponsors said they were urged to eliminate references to women's reproductive health care in order to unanimously pass the resolution.

"I am at a loss as to how any member of the Senate could oppose an anti-violence resolution," Keenan said. "It doesn't ask any member of the Senate to change his or her position on abortion. It just reiterates a core American value that, even on issues where there is intense debate, violence is never an option. I commend Sens. Shaheen, Boxer, and Klobuchar, as well as the other 40 senators who cosponsored this resolution, for their leadership, and urge the senators who refused to support it to come out of the shadows and explain why."

The full text of the resolution follows:


Condemning the use of violence against providers of health care services to women.

Whereas Dr. George Tiller of Wichita, Kansas was shot to death at church on Sunday, May 31;

Whereas there is a history of violence against providers of reproductive health care, as health care employees have suffered threats and hostility in order to provide crucial services to patients;

Whereas the threat or use of force or physical obstruction has been used to injure, intimidate, or interfere with individuals seeking to obtain or provide health care services; and

Whereas acts of violence are never an acceptable means of expression and always shall be condemned: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the Senate---

(1) Expresses great sympathy for the family, friends and patients of Dr. George Tiller;

(2) Recognizes that acts of violence should never be used to prevent women from receiving reproductive health care; and

(3) Condemns the use of violence as a means of resolving differences of opinion.

For more information, read the press release from Sen. Shaheen.

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