Today, Georgia Democrats and reproductive rights advocates held a virtual press conference marking one year since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, paving the way for Georgia Republicans to enact one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the country.
Speakers discussed how Georgia Republicans’ extreme six-week ban, which outlaws abortion before most patients even know they are pregnant, has created fear and confusion and put Georgians’ health and lives at risk over the past year. Speakers also laid out the stakes for reproductive rights in next year’s elections, both in Georgia and nationally, as extreme abortion bans become a centerpiece of the GOP agenda.
“Georgians have been feeling the devastating impacts of Republicans’ abortion ban for almost a full year now. But the stakes are about to get even higher for reproductive rights – because 2024 is right around the corner, and GOP candidates for president have promised to sign a national abortion ban if elected,” said Congresswoman Nikema Williams, Chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia. “Banning abortion nationwide with no exceptions has become the definitive litmus test for Republicans running for President in 2024. Never mind the fact that poll after poll shows that a majority of Georgians – and Americans – support protecting abortion access. The GOP is doubling down on their extreme anti-choice agenda anyway.”
“The Dobbs decision has unequivocally made women less safe. They are less safe because of treatments being delayed or denied, and this results in worse outcomes. They are less safe because when we cannot provide them the medications and treatments experts consider to be best practices or meeting medical standards, we are forced to offer our patients substandard care,” said State Representative Dr. Michele Au, representative for HD 50 and practicing physician in Metro Atlanta. “But the solution at this point is no longer simply clinical. It is political. And particularly in battleground states like Georgia, it’s critical. So, what to do next? Win more elections. Support candidates with a commitment to women’s healthcare in all its forms, and get or keep them in office. Take back more seats so bad bills like Georgia’s abortion ban can be repealed, and gain a Democratic majority so that we can write protections for abortion care into the law.”
“In just one year, the harm and danger this ban has caused has been on full display. Women and girls in states like Georgia and across the south have been forced to choose between fleeing their home state for medical care and carrying out pregnancies that are medically risky, or that they are not emotionally or financially prepared for, or that they simply do not want,” said Vivienne Kerley-de la Cruz, State & Georgia Campaigns Director of Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates. “Our state’s extreme six week abortion ban was passed even though a vast majority of Georgians oppose it and support access to abortion care. But unfortunately, as we’ve seen, it doesn’t appear to matter what Georgians want. It doesn’t seem to matter what doctors say. These lawmakers are intent on stripping away our rights, and the only thing that will stop them is us.”