For Immediate Release
October 4, 2006

Erin Carmany
(east coast)
Susie Gilligan
(west coast)

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"We Had Abortions"
Ms. Magazine Expands Campaign for Honesty and Freedom

Los Angeles, CA - At a time when as many as 30 states might outlaw abortion if Roe v. Wade were overturned, Ms. magazine has launched a campaign to put real woman's faces on the abortion issue.

The Fall issue of Ms. features the first group of women who have publicly declared that they have had abortions by signing the Ms. Petition for Safe, Legal and Accessible Abortion and Birth Control.

"Women who have had abortions are standing up and taking the debate out of the hands of the politicians. The time for slogans and rhetoric is over." said Eleanor Smeal, publisher of Ms. magazine, who spearheaded the petition drive. "We need to turn the focus to real women's lives."

The petition comes at a time when South Dakota has an outright ban on abortion on the November ballot, with no exceptions for rape, incest, or to protect the health of the woman. "If Roe v. Wade were to be overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, an estimated 30 states may outlaw abortion, and women would be returned to the dangerous back-alley days once again," said Smeal. "Politicians need to know that their decisions affect their neighbors, their colleagues and even their own daughters."

The current Ms. petition carries on a tradition from the 1972 debut issues of Ms. , in which 53 prominent American women-including Ms. cofounder Gloria Steinem-publicly declared that they had undergone illegal abortions, and called for the repeal of anti-abortion laws in the United States.

"I've never stopped being grateful that I was able to have an abortion in my early twenties," said Steinem. "It was the first time I took responsibility for my own life."

Ms. will continue to add signatories to its website,, and the petition will be sent to Congress, the White House and state legislatures.

Interviews are available with Eleanor Smeal, Gloria Steinem and other petition signers. The Fall issue of Ms. is available on newsstands October 10. Advance PDFs of the "We Had Abortions" article available upon request: .





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