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Washington, D.C. — Today, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) introduced the federal Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), a landmark piece of legislation designed to protect women's civil liberties and prohibit the government from interfering in the exercise of reproductive rights.

The unveiling of FOCA comes as the nation marks the 31st anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's monumental 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade.

"I applaud these lawmakers for introducing federal legislation that would guarantee and protect a woman's basic human right to make her own childbearing decisions," said Gloria Feldt, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). "A woman's right to make her own child bearing and reproductive health choices has been systematically eroded by anti-choice hardliners and this bill is designed to restore and protect this fundamental human right."

The bill would prevent the government from discriminating against a woman on the basis of her reproductive decisions, about using birth control, having a child, or terminating a pregnancy. FOCA would also forbid government interference in a woman's right to make her own family planning and reproductive health decisions. The legislation would invalidate current restrictions on access to abortion and family planning health care services such as mandated delays and targeted and medically unnecessary regulations.

FOCA is being introduced on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, coinciding with a full schedule of activities commemorating the event. PPFA expects to see grassroots activists show their support for FOCA and memorialize the landmark Supreme Court decision during this morning's and this evening's rush hours by holding signs on roadsides and at traffic intersections. The actions surrounding this anniversary are only some of the many events building up to the March for Women's Lives in Washington, DC, on April 25, 2004, when women from all over the country and the world will raise their voices in support of reproductive rights for women everywhere.

Further information on the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) is available here. For more information about the March for Women's Lives, go to www.saveROE.com.


Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 700 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.


Planned Parenthood Federation of America


Erin Libit (202) 973-4883
Hayley Rumback (202) 973-4975 


January 22, 2004