Pennsylvania Abolitionists United Against the Death Penalty issued a demand to Abbott Laboratories that they immediately stop selling Sodium Thiopental for use in lethal injection -- one of three chemicals utilized to kill human beings. As a pharmaceutical company, part of the health care industry and committed to preserving life, it is hypocritical and unethical for Abbott Laboratories to continue to sell Sodium Thiopental to those who they know are using it in a procedure that results in death; such usage, in fact, violates the purpose for which Sodium Thiopental was granted U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval. In a certified letter to Abbott’s CEO, Miles D. Whie, dated August 2nd, Pa. Abolitionists stated that there would be serious consequences for failure to comply with this reasonable demand:

”If you have not agreed to end the sale of Sodium Thiopental by August 10, 2001, we intend to take nonviolent direct action to expose the unethical business activities of Abbott Laboratories. We are firm in our demand that you must stop aiding the murder of human beings.”

Based on Abbott’s consistent participation in ACA trade shows, Pa. Abolitionists decided that the American Correctional Association’s conference in Philadelphia this summer provided a prime opportunity to utilize nonviolent direct action tactics to stop Abbott from profiting from death and to publicize their unacceptable business practices. As we planned our action, Pa. Abolitionists remained in contact with ACA trade show representatives to confirm Abbott’s anticipated presence at this summer’s conference. When the ACA convened in Philadelphia on Saturday, August 11th, we learned that Abbott had opted to stay out of this year’s trade show. As a result, our action scheduled for Wednesday, August 15th, will not take place; the demand, however, remains firmly in place.

It is our hope that those who are united with us in stopping the death penalty and defending life will join us in mobilizing public pressure until Abbott ends its complicity with state-sponsored killing. Information, updates, and sample letters on this ongoing campaign can be obtained from the website

Abbott Laboratories, Ross Labs and other central Ohio institutions are involved in the manufacture of drugs used for lethal injection executions. To get involved in Anti-Death Penalty activities, contact the Free Press at 253-2571,

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