For Immediate Release

January 22, 2002

Women's Rights Leader Eleanor Smeal Expresses Concern Over Fate of Roe v. Wade

Calls for Filibuster Strategy to Protect Legal Abortion

WASHINGTON, DCÑ Reflecting on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade today, women’s rights leader Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority said, “Roe is more endangered today than it ever has been in its 29-year history. The fate of abortion rights for the next 25 years hinges not only on the next U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominated by President Bush, but also on his appointees to the federal Courts of Appeals. With Justices expected to step down in the near future, we insist that the U.S. Senate filibuster any federal judicial nominations that stand opposed to abortion rights.”

Smeal called for close examination of Bush nominees to the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals, which hears cases on appeal before proceeding to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Even more important to the threat to women’s rights is the federal Courts of Appeals nominations. Many of the Bush nominees are hostile to not only abortion rights, but also civil rights, disability rights, and other rights that empower women. What’s more, eight of the twelve Circuit Courts are already comprised of anti-choice majorities. If we should lose the majority on all of the federal Circuit Courts of Appeals, the composition of the U.S. Supreme Court is almost a moot point.”

As part of its campaign to save Roe v Wade, Feminist Majority has launched a nationwide campaign to mobilize grassroots support to save Roe. As part of this campaign, dozens of college and community groups nationwide will hold public education events and rallies during the week of January 22-27 to raise awareness of the threat to legalized abortion and to mobilize support for the fight to save Roe. For more information, or to obtain a copy of the campaign video, Never Go Back, or other campaign materials, visit or


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