|By Admin1 (admin) on Thursday, October 25, 2001 - 5:35 pm: Edit Post|
Afghanistan RPCV Lois V. Backus Addresses Anthrax Threats Against Abortion Providers
Medical Students for Choice Addresses Anthrax Threats Against Abortion Providers
Oct 18, 2001 - PR Newswire
Statement From Lois V. Backus, Executive Director
BERKELEY, Calif., Oct. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- This press release is being issued on behalf of Medical Students for Choice:
Threatening letters and unidentified powdery substances were received by abortion clinics in more than 13 states on Monday. This is the third wave of such threats since 1998. Lois V. Backus, MPH, executive director of Medical Students for Choice said today, "As we watch some of our most trusted public figures face the fear that such threats cause, all of us at Medical Students for Choice wish to express our concern and sympathy for the many victims of this terror."
"These letters are a reminder that over the past decade, reproductive health care providers have suffered repeated threats," said Ms. Backus, who joined Medical Students for Choice this week. "In our efforts to seek justice against terrorists overseas, we cannot forget that we face continued threats from terrorists within our borders as well."
Medical Students for Choice represents thousands of medical students and residents who are aware that they may become targets of domestic terrorism as supporters of a woman's right to choose. The organization serves as a support network for students and residents and is dedicated to ensuring their safety.
"Vigilance against terrorism has been a way of life for health workers who provide women with a full-range of services," added Backus. "As a nation, we cannot allow fear to become a way of life for all of us. Whether overseas or within U.S. borders, we must do all that we can to fight these threats."
Ms. Backus comes to Medical Students for Choice from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America where she served as the executive director of Planned Parenthood of Central Pennsylvania, 1989-1996, and Planned Parenthood of the Columbia/Willamette (Portland, OR), 1996-2000. During her time in Portland, she dealt directly with acts of domestic terrorism, including anthrax threats, and served as the lead plaintiff in Planned Parenthood Columbia/Willamette (PPCW) v. American Coalition of Life Activists (ACLA).
Ms. Backus obtained her Masters in Public Health (MPH) from the Yale School of Medicine in 1986 and has worked in the field of public health with a focus on women's health care throughout her career. From 1978-79, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Afghanistan.
Ms. Backus is available for interviews.
Medical Students for Choice (MSFC) is a student-led not-for- profit organization. MSFC was founded in 1993 by medical students concerned about the abortion provider shortage, the lack of abortion education, and the escalating violence against abortion providers. Representing over 7,000 students and residents who are demanding a comprehensive medical education, the organization works on a grassroots basis at medical schools and residency programs throughout North America. For more information, visit http://www.ms4c.org .
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