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Hyde Park HeraldLetter from the Abortion Defense Fund
(Editors note: Seven Jane members had been arrested for performing illegal abortions. Then on January 22, 1973, the Roe V. Wade decision effectively legalized abortion. This letter was from the Abortion Defense Fund which had been supporting the Abortion 7)

Attorneys at Law

February 8, 1973

The United States Supreme Court ruling of January 22 striking down the abortion laws of Texas and Georgia is a victory for all women. It means that in the near future abortions will be available to women everywhere in the United States, and hopefully that their widespread availability will insure that they will be inexpensive and safe.

Although it is yet to be officially determined that the ruling affects Illinois law, we are optimistic. In September identical indictments of 1 count of abortion and 5 counts of conspiracy to commit abortion were handed down against each of the seven women arrested on May 3. The last several court appearances have been presentations of motions for dismissal, to which title state has not responded. Now we must wait until the status of Illinois' abortion law is determined and see how it bears on the case.

Illinois and other states with restrictive abortion laws will be writing new legislation on the subject in the next few weeks. It is not a matter to be put back into the criminal code and the sense of the Supreme Court ruling supports this view. In the first ter the states cannot regulate the procedure at all; in the second, the states can regulate but not prohibit it; in the third, the states may, but do not have to, prohibit abortions and only if the health of the mother is not endangered. There do not have to be abortion laws. As with other medical procedures, abortion should be an individual decision governed by good medical practice. This is a time to write to your state legislators and governor expressing agreement with the recent Supreme Court decision and urging that there be no abortion laws. We can prevent bad laws from replacing the bad laws which have been struck down.

There is still much work to be done to guarantee women decent health care. An effort is yet to be made against those who would obstruct the implementation of the Supreme Court ruling. If you are interested in directly affecting the abortion situation during this unique time of change, contact the National Organization for Women or the Chicago Women's Liberation Union .

We hope you share our elation and sense of victory about the decision of January 22. We have gratefully enjoyed your support these last months.

Yours in Sisterhood
Abortion Defense Fund


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