WASHINGTON, DC - “James Kopp’s confession to the assassination of Dr. Barnett Slepian is an enormous relief to the pro-choice community but it is only a first step,” stated Feminist Majority Foundation President Eleanor Smeal. “The evidence against him was overwhelming, and law enforcement, both local and federal, as well as the Buffalo News, have performed admirably in this case. The confession is especially gratifying because it belies the claims of several anti-abortion organizations and extremists that Kopp was framed for the murder.”
“The Buffalo News exclusive makes it clear that Kopp had assistance during his reign of terror and that he has chosen not to reveal the names of those who aided him and abetted him. Without disclosure of the identities of the participants in his terrorist network, including those that provided safe harbor homes, assisted in the planning of the attacks, funded him, aided in his escape from Dr. Slepian’s home, and assisted him in the 2 ˝ years he spent as a fugitive from justice, no one should believe his claims of remorse,” Smeal stated.
Two of those who allegedly assisted Kopp, Loretta Marra and Dennis Malvasi, were arrested by federal authorities shortly after Kopp’s capture. Federal prosecutors, however, have reduced the charges against Marra and Malvasi in an effort to avoid trying the pair prior to Kopp’s trial. According to the prosecutors, trying Marra and Malvasi could imperil the Kopp prosecution. “With Kopp’s confession,” Smeal stated, “Marra and Malvasi certainly should not now receive a plea deal from the federal authorities and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law to help shut down this terrorist network.”
The Buffalo News article states that Kopp claims he intended only to wound Dr. Slepian, and the article suggests that he will seek a lesser punishment. However, when Kopp was given the opportunity by the Buffalo News reporters to say that he would never shoot another doctor—he refused to say that he would not shoot again. “He should be sentenced to the longest term possible,” Smeal stated.
The Feminist Majority Foundation runs the nation’s oldest and largest clinic defense program. Founded in 1987, the FMF is dedicated to women’s equality and to ensuring the protection of women’s reproductive rights. For further information about the Feminist Majority Foundation, visit www.feminist.org.
To schedule interviews with Eleanor Smeal, contact Emile Karrick at 703.522.2214 or firstname.lastname@example.org
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .