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Post date: November 16 2001

Statement By Attorney General Eliot Spitzer Regarding Anthrax Threats Received At Planned Parenthood Offices In New York State

Planned Parenthood offices in New York State and around the country today received overnight mail packages that contained a suspicious powder that authorities are testing for anthrax. While threats to providers of reproductive health services are not new, this action comes in the middle of a national crisis and is obviously designed to capitalize on fears about anthrax contamination.

This is a despicable act that should concern everyone. The individuals who sent the packages may claim a moral or religious basis for their actions, but they are nothing more than terrorists. These individuals must be brought to justice, and my office will do everything possible to aid in this process.

While there are existing laws to prosecute these individuals, this particular threat underscores the need for additional anti-terrorism legislation that the Governor and I jointly proposed on November 1. This new legislation would provide additional penalties for those who use chemical or biological weapons, or those who use substances that appear to be biological or chemical weapons. I am urging the State Legislature to act on this bill as soon as possible.

I will continue to work closely with leaders of the reproductive rights community to protect health centers, health personnel and patients.