ICYMI: As Georgia Republicans Eye Texas-Style Abortion Ban, Georgians Call Out Dangerous Attacks on Reproductive Freedom

September 17, 2021

Following the Supreme Court decision to uphold Texas’s dangerous six-week abortion ban, which makes no exceptions for cases of rape or incest and allows citizens to file lawsuits against anyone who “aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion,” Georgians are calling out Republicans — including every Georgia GOP Senate candidate — for supporting these dangerous efforts to strip away the right of individuals and families to make their own health care decisions. The pro-choice pushback gained new urgency yesterday when news broke that Georgia Republicans are “hoping to pass portions of Texas’ new restrictive abortion law in Georgia next legislative session.”

Elected leaders, reproductive freedom advocates, and everyday Georgians are making it clear that anyone who tries to take away reproductive rights will be held accountable:

Savannah’s WSAV Channel 3:

  • “Making headlines today, Georgia Democrats are commenting on the recently-passed abortion law in Texas — many saying it’s essentially a ban on abortions.”
  • The Democratic Party of Georgia is rallying supporters to help stop a similar law here in the Peach State. On a call this morning, Georgia Democratic politicians and abortion rights advocates said the Texas law turns citizens into bounty hunters.”
  • “Party Chair, Georgia Congresswoman Nikema Williams, says the Texas law could pave the way for more restrictive abortion laws across the country — including Georgia. She says the state’s battle over abortion will play out at the ballot box.”
  • Every single Republican US Senate candidate supports this law, which makes no exceptions for rape or incest, and puts bounties on the heads of doctors. And we already know that Brian Kemp supports the six-week abortion ban, because he signed it into law right here in Georgia.’”

Atlanta’s WSB TV:

  • “Georgia Democrats, led by Congresswoman Nikema Williams, talked virtually Wednesday about how they are anticipating another big fight over a Texas-style abortion bill in the Georgia legislature this January.”
  • “We can’t let Republicans pull this same stunt in Georgia, y’all — but they’re trying.”
  • “The Texas bill, just given the green light by the Supreme Court, allows private citizens — not the state — to enforce the six-week abortion ban by allowing them to sue anyone who assists in providing access to abortion. Representative Beth Moore believes the GOP will try to emulate that law and get it through the General Assembly.”

Augusta’s WRDW Channel 12:

  • “Sparring out against Texas’s abortion law are Georgia Democrats. Today, they held a press conference on how the Supreme Court’s ruling on the abortion law was dangerous for women.” 
  • “Concerns are this could happen in Georgia too, which already lags behind in health care.”
  • “Planned Parenthood Southeast CEO Staci Fox: In Georgia we have a governor who has continued to fail us at every turn — including failing to expand Medicaid to our state’s most vulnerable residents and refusing to listen to science amid rising COVID rates.”

Atlanta’s CBS 46:

  • “Georgia Democrats are speaking out about how the new Texas abortion law could impact women in our state. Georgia passed a similar law in 2019, but a federal judge ruled it unconstitutional. The fight isn’t over — there’s another hearing about House Bill 481 next Friday.”
  • “Democratic Party Chair and 5th District Congresswoman Nikema Williams and the head of Planned Parenthood in Georgia want folks to know while the law was temporarily blocked, their fight is not over.”
  • “Georgia Republican leaders will actually be in court this month to appeal that ruling and try to push their anti-choice agenda forward and ban abortion in Georgia.”

Ga. Dems Pledge to Fight for Abortion Access

Georgia Public Broadcasting: Political Rewind

  • Donna Lowry: “Georgia Democrats are pledging to fight any efforts to curtail reproductive rights in the state.”
  • Deana Holiday Ingraham, Mayor of East Point: “It’s unfortunate that this is a national political issue — a woman’s right to choose what she does with her body. It’s really an individual right to choose — we don’t have these same discussions about men. … We’ll continue to stand with those who are fighting for the protection of a woman’s right to choose.”

State Democrats fear Texas-style abortion bill in Georgia

Capitol Beat

  • Just over a week before a U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals hearing on Georgia’s controversial abortion law, state Democrats said Wednesday they will continue fighting any Republican efforts to curtail reproductive rights in the future.
  • “What happens in Texas won’t stay in Texas,” said state Rep. Beth Moore, D-Peachtree Corners. “Not every pregnancy is an immaculate conception or a Hollywood-produced drama. There is a limit to what government can impose, and the Republican Party wants to replace God with government.”
  • The Texas law prohibits abortions once medical professionals can detect cardiac activity, usually around six weeks. The Texas law leaves enforcement to private citizens through civil lawsuits instead of criminal prosecutors.

Georgia GOP Senate leader eyeing Texas’ restrictive abortion law

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

  • Senate President Pro Tempore Butch Miller is hoping to pass portions of Texas’ new restrictive abortion law in Georgia next legislative session.
  • Georgia Democratic lawmakers are bracing for potential Texas legislation to spread to other states, saying during a Wednesday press conference that they will fight any efforts in Georgia.
  • “Watching what happened in Texas was like reliving the trauma that Georgia Republicans inflicted on our state back in 2019,” said state Rep. Beth Moore, a Peachtree Corners Democrat. “But if you look at the vote tally, it passed (in Georgia) by two votes. Two votes. That is hardly a mandate in Georgia that the state wants this.”

Opinion: Strict new Texas anti-abortion law provides glimpse into Georgia’s future

Georgia Recorder

  • By allowing Texas’s S.B. 8 to take effect, the U.S. Supreme Court signaled that it intends to overturn Roe next summer, when it is set to consider Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Center, the case challenging a new 15-week abortion ban in Mississippi. If that happens, Georgia’s own six-week ban will almost certainly go into effect shortly after.
  • After the court temporarily blocked the law in 2019, many people lost sight of it, comforted by the knowledge that abortion is still legal in Georgia but not realizing that the fight wasn’t over. In fact, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals is set to hear that case later this month. What’s happening in Texas right now is heartbreaking, all the more so because it is a glimpse into Georgia’s future.
  • Abortion restrictions do not prevent abortions, they only make them more difficult to obtain. Some people will be forced to carry pregnancies they don’t want. Others will seek illegal abortions. Thankfully, the advent of abortion by pill means that illegal abortions are much safer medically than they were in the 20th century—but no one should have to break the law to control their own bodies and futures. As is often the case, the most marginalized groups will suffer the most harm, imposed by politicians who know almost nothing about their lives and struggles.
  • While states base their abortion bans on their supposed regard for human life, that often belies the reality. Georgia has the second highest maternal mortality rate in the country. Black women are at even higher risk and die at twice the rate of white women in the state. Our children aren’t doing much better: Georgia ranks 38th in the nation for family and child wellbeing. Looking at these numbers in combination with the state’s refusal to teach comprehensive sexual education in schools or to make contraception easier to access, one can’t help but question whether these abortion bans have more to do with control than with life.

OPINION: Texas decision puts abortion at center of Georgia 2022 races, too

Atlanta Journal-Constitution

  • Georgia lawmakers passed their own six-week abortion ban in 2019, with a personhood amendment added to it. The details of Georgia’s law differ from that of Texas’, but it, too, will ban most abortions in Georgia before women know they are pregnant.
  • Too often, a pregnancy is not only wanted, but desperately awaited, only for parents to learn of an unborn baby’s terminal illness. Or a mother’s cancer that must be treated quickly enough to save her life, but possibly at the cost of the life of her unborn child. Those complications aren’t reflected in the bumper-sticker politics surrounding the abortion debate, of course, mostly because abortion has been considered settled law for so long.
  • But with the Texas law going into effect, the issue is now very real. And it’s already presented a stark contrast between some of the candidates in Georgia’s most competitive races, because lawmakers now really are deciding for women what they can and cannot do in the future.
  • Democratic U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock condemned the Texas law, saying it, “effectively eliminates the protections of Roe v. Wade—putting millions at risk, particularly people of color and of low-income.” 
  • All four of the Republicans running against Warnock spoke out in favor of the decision.
  • Candidates’ positions on abortion are no longer risk-free. The positions they take now could not only affect the outcome of the 2022 elections, but, more importantly, the lives of millions of women and families in Georgia in the future.

Read more on Georgia Democrats’ fight for reproductive freedom here.

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