Georgia GOP moves to ban abortion before most women even know they are pregnant, devastating law heads to Kemp’s desk for signing
For Immediate Release: March 12, 2019
Today the Georgia House passed HB 481, a dangerous law that would ban abortion before most women even know they’re pregnant, target doctors, and punish women. The law is wildly out-of-step with the nearly 7 in 10 Georgians who believe abortion should be legal and ignores a growing wave of outrage from business leaders at companies like Amazon and Coca-Cola and the film industry, including the Writers Guild of America and many Hollywood actors that film in Georgia. This pushback caused momentum to slow during passage, with support wavering within the GOP’s own party, yet anti-choice Republicans pushed forward in their efforts to criminalize abortion, harm women and families across Georgia, and gut the protections promised to women in Roe v. Wade.
Now, the bill will go to Republican Governor Brian Kemp, who promised to outlaw abortion on the campaign trail and also promised to sign HB 481.
“We have a message to Brian Kemp and the anti-choice GOP elected officials who proceed despite a growing wave of outrage: all eyes are watching and we will not forget. A chorus of voices led by women in Georgia—from advocates to business leaders to film stars—rallied to send a clear message that reproductive freedom is not up for negotiation” said NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue. “Let Georgia serve as an example for any other state working to restrict women’s fundamental rights: the dam is breaking, and women will not forget that our freedom was stripped in service of their brutal agenda. A majority of Americans support legal access to abortion, Roe v. Wade is more popular than ever, and politicians who are willing to bargain away the freedom and wellbeing of women must be ready to own the consequences in their states. In the meantime, we will not stop fighting these unconstitutional attacks in Georgia and across the country.”
“This is an all-out assault on the reproductive health and safety of Georgia women,” said NARAL Pro-Choice Georgia State Director Laura Simmons. “This cruel, unconstitutional bill is part of an extreme GOP agenda to strip freedoms from women and could not be further from the values that most Georgians hold. Nearly 7 in 10 Georgians support safe, legal access to abortion and reject government intrusion into private medical decisions. HB 481 will now head to the desk of Governor Kemp—who has used his position as governor to move this insidious bill, and other pieces of legislation aimed at decimating our rights, forward—but NARAL and our members will not stop fighting to protect abortion access and ensure that Georgia women have the right to determine our own destinies.”
As admitted by Representative Ed Setzler, the lead sponsor of HB 481, this extreme bill is just one part of the anti-choice movement’s larger national strategy to directly attack Roe and criminalize abortion. In more than a dozen statehouses across the country, anti-choice legislators have introduced bills that would gut Roe’s protections and effectively outlaw abortion in the state. Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant and Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin both recently signed extreme bills that would ban abortion before many women know they are pregnant. Aimed at gutting Roe and chipping away at a woman’s right to abortion, these bills are blatantly unconstitutional, evidenced by the federal judge who temporarily blocked Kentucky’s dangerous law.
The anti-choice movement’s ultimate goal is clear: overturn and gut Roe, criminalize abortion, and punish women—regardless of the harm to women, families, and communities across the country. NARAL and our 2 million members across the country will continue to fight back against these unconstitutional attacks.
NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all. For more than 50 years, NARAL has worked to guarantee that every woman has the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. Since 1969, NARAL has made history, grown to over 2 million members, and met the moments that have defined this fight with action, power and freedom. In recognition of its work defending our constitutional right to choose, Fortune Magazine described NARAL as “one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America.”