Statement from Richard F. Daines, M.D., State Health Commissioner, Regarding the Sentencing in the Murder of Dr. Barnett Slepian

Albany, NY, June 21, 2007 - The sentence of life without parole handed down yesterday in Buffalo in the murder of Dr. Barnett Slepian sends a strong message that violence against doctors who provide essential reproductive health services will not be tolerated. The dedicated doctors who provide these services deserve to practice medicine freely without fear of violence.

New York State has a long, proud tradition of leading the nation in protecting a woman's right to control her own reproductive health. As Commissioner, I will continue to protect women's reproductive rights and ensure that women can safely access abortion and reproductive health services in New York.