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Reform Jewish Movement Responds to Threats Against Planned Parenthood Clinics

Saperstein: "We call upon all citizens of this country to condemn these abhorrent acts and to say, together, that violence will not lead to victory."

Contact: Jeff Mandell, (202) 387-2800

WASHINGTON, January 5, 2000 — Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement today in response to the threats made against several Planned Parenthood Health Centers:

While the world came together to celebrate the beginning of the millennium, family planning clinics across the nation received an ugly reminder that terrorism and lawlessness will, sadly, be a part of this new era. On January 3, 2000, threats of violence including letters possibly laced with anthrax (a potentially deadly bacterium) were received by several Planned Parenthood Health Centers.

Making such a threat is a federal felony and we commend the Federal Bureau of Investigation for promptly responding. Thankfully, at this time, there is no report of causalities.

Acts of terrorism such as these, of course, are not new; for several years a militant few have undermined the law and taken matters into their own hands. But the fact that they are not novel does not justify complacency. We call upon all citizens of this country — regardless of their beliefs on abortion — to condemn these abhorrent acts and to say, together, that violence will not lead to victory. We will look, especially, to those who would seek to limit a women's right to choose to affirm that violence has no place in our public debate.

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The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, representing its 895 congregations across North America, whose membership includes 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the 1700 rabbis of the Central Conference of American Rabbis.



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