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Release: Immediate

Satellite teleconference to note 25th anniversary of Roe v. Wade

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The 25th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision will be celebrated during a national satellite teleconference Wednesday, Jan. 21. The symposium" Roe Turns 25: The Second Annual Blackmun Lecture on Privacy," will air locally from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Minnesota Room of the Iowa Memorial Union at the University of Iowa.

The symposium will feature Roe's author, retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun, and a panel discussion on the core moral and constitutional values embodied by Roe. Panelists will include professor David Garrow of Emory University School of Law; Janet Benshoof, president and founder of the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy; and Dr. Helen Rodriguez-Trias, past president of the American Public Health Association. Writer Anna Quindlen will be the panel's moderator.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade that a constitutionally protected right to privacy includes a woman's right to choose an abortion. This right has been challenged on numerous occasions since 1973, and challenges continue today, across the nation and in Iowa.

"This event will provide us with a unique opportunity to examine the meaning of Roe and its impact on women's lives during the past 25 years," said Emma Goldman Clinic director Marilyn Cohen.

"Bringing together area abortion provider agencies for this event is exciting and unprecedented," said Monique DiCarlo, director of the UI Women's Resource and Action Center. "I'm looking forward to the symposium and to the discussion and continued social action that are certain to follow."

"Pro-choice advocates are prepared to continue addressing and overcoming challenges to a woman's right to choose," said Roxie Tullis, regional educator for Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa.

"Roe Turns 25" is being hosted by the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy. Local sponsors include the UI Women's Resource and Action Center (WRAC), Emma Goldman Clinic, Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa, UI department of obstetrics and gynecology, and the National Organization for Women.

The symposium is free and open to the public. Anyone needing an accommodation in order to attend this event should call (319) 335-1486. A video of the teleconference will be available for viewing after Jan. 21 from Planned Parenthood, Iowa City Center. Call (319) 354-2044 for information about the video.