The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Ted Miller, 202.973.3032

NARAL Pro-Choice America Statement on Report Regarding Abortion Access in the U.S.


Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, called a
Guttmacher Institute report regarding the state of abortion-care access
in this country a mixed picture for American women.

The report shows that the incidence of women choosing abortion was
virtually unchanged between 2005 and 2008. In that time period, more
women were able to access medical abortion (RU 486), a non-surgical
abortion option that terminates a pregnancy within the first nine
weeks. Unfortunately, the study also reports that 87 percent of U.S.
counties do not have an abortion provider. In the few counties where a
health center that provides abortion exists, these providers are
experiencing even more harassment.

"The fact that nearly 90 percent of counties in this country do not
have an abortion provider is a striking illustration of the challenges
many women face in accessing abortion care, particularly women in rural
or under-served areas," Keenan said. "It is equally discouraging that
the very providers who are helping to close this access gap are
reporting more harassment than they were three years ago. "

Keenan, whose organization will release its annual report analyzing
the legislative landscape for reproductive rights in Congress and state
governments later this week, said that the current political environment
is not encouraging for efforts to help prevent unintended pregnancy.

"Americans agree that the best way to help prevent unintended
pregnancy is to improve women's access to birth control," Keenan said.
"Our data will show that politicians are out of step with the public. In
2010, the number of laws enacted restricting women's access to abortion
outnumbered laws improving women's access to reproductive-health
services, including contraception, by a nearly 4-to-1 margin. This
amounts to hypocrisy, as the very same lawmakers who are attacking legal
abortion refuse to support measures that help reduce the need for
abortion in the first place."

For over 50 years, Reproductive Freedom for All (formerly NARAL Pro-Choice America) has fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom at the federal and state levels—including access to abortion care, birth control, pregnancy and post-partum care, and paid family leave—for everybody. Reproductive Freedom for All is powered by its more than 4 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 8 in 10 Americans who support legal abortion.