Statement of Senator Feinstein on the Need to Protect Reproductive Rights
U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) participated today in a telephonic news conference organized by the Center for Reproductive Rights. The purpose of the conference call, which was moderated by the Center's President Nancy Northrup, was to discuss the state of reproductive rights in the United States.
Following is the text of her remarks for the conference call:
"Thank you, Nancy [Northrup]. Thank you for what the Center for Reproductive Rights is doing.
I think it's really very important, because I think the issue of a woman's ability to control her own reproductive system has really slipped off the radar of American women.
I think my advantage here is that I'm old enough to know what it was like when abortion was illegal. And there are at least 30 states that are in a position to outlaw abortion within a year should Roe fall - some even faster.
I went to Stanford from 1951 to 1955. I knew someone who went to Tijuana for an abortion. We passed the plate so that she could go. I also knew somebody that committed suicide because she was pregnant. This is a real problem.
Then later, in the 1960s, I served as a member of California Women's Board of Terms and Parole. Abortion was illegal. I sentenced abortionists to state prison in California. These were illegal abortions. They were not medical people - these were truly the coat-hanger type of abortions. I listened to the stories. And I saw the morbidity and even the mortality that they caused.
We should not go back to those days. I'm very much worried that that's where a Supreme Court decision today would take us back to.
So, my hope is that organizations like the Center for Reproductive Rights can once again mobilize young women, who have really never known the other side of the coin.
And that is when - regardless of circumstance, regardless of incest, regardless of rape, regardless of any circumstance - abortion becomes illegal.
Now, none of us are talking about late-term abortion. People would like us to believe that that's the case. But it isn't.
I think that the time has come, really, to mobilize these young women. To give them the history of where America has been. And give them the future as the Center for Reproductive Rights will lay out to you today.
So, I just want everybody to know that I will be aboard, not in the caboose, but I hope in the engine of this train. It is really important. It will save lives, literally, and it will save lives socially.
So, thank you very much."