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July 22, 2005

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Publication Date: Friday, July 22, 2005

Planned Parenthood worried by O'Connor resignation Planned Parenthood worried by O'Connor resignation (July 22, 2005)

By Jenny Baer

Leaders of Mountain View's Planned Parenthood Mar Monte Clinic expressed surprise and disappointment in Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's resignation, as well as concerns over the balance of a reconfigured court.

"We're trying to focus on who's going to replace her, and hope that whoever does will keep in mind the importance of safety and access to women's health," said Rene Galvan MacLeod, assistant center manager of the Mountain View clinic.

Katie Desmond, a Planned Parenthood spokesperson, said there is a general feeling of alarm around the clinic about the loss of O'Connor -- a moderate-conservative and a swing voter who upheld America's pro-choice legislation, particularly in the highly controversial decision of Roe v. Wade.

"We weren't expecting her retirement so soon. She was the first woman ever appointed to the Supreme Court, and she served as a voice of moderation and a swing vote for many decisions that ensured the safety of women and families," Desmond said.

That tone of regret was not heard at Mountain View's Community Pregnancy Center, an anti-abortion organization whose director, Lois Lindquist, was confident that President Bush would appoint an anti-abortion justice in her place.

Lindquist said that although "we liked [O'Connor's] moderate stance on many issues, we hoped she would be more on the pro-life side." She added that she expects the Roe v. Wade decision "won't be overturned in the [federal level], it will go back to the states, and we think it should be handled at the state level."

The day that O'Connor's resignation was announced, Planned Parenthood Mar Monte employees joined other women's groups around the South Bay for a community rally. Desmond said the rally's message was that "we will not accept a Supreme Court nomination that's not committed to the health and safety of women and families."

"I think that we're all been concerned," Desmond added, "that an important decision called Roe v. Wade, which guarantees a woman's right to privacy and was the framework for granting safety to women, children and families, hangs in the balance."

E-mail Jenny Baer at [email protected]


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