New six-figure #ReclaimGeorgia campaign marks first step by NARAL Pro-Choice Georgia, Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates towards unseating anti-choice politicians following passage of extreme abortion ban
For Immediate Release: May 7, 2019
(ATLANTA) — NARAL Pro-Choice Georgia and Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates (PPSE) are launching a new campaign, #ReclaimGeorgia, to lay the groundwork for unseating out-of-touch, anti-choice state legislators who voted for a bill that banned abortion before many women even know they’re pregnant. NARAL and PPSE plan to spend six figures on the campaign in the coming months.
Governor Kemp and anti-choice lawmakers knowingly and intentionally used Georgia women and families as a bargaining chip, turning a blind eye to the Georgians dying each day due to growing healthcare crises, including the worst maternal mortality epidemic of any state in the country.
By forcing this abortion ban, HB 481, into law and spending the entire legislative session attacking reproductive rights, Kemp and his extreme allies demonstrated that they will stop at nothing to criminalize abortion and punish women. NARAL’s more than 33,000 members across the state won’t let them get away with it.
The #ReclaimGeorgia campaign will educate voters about the actions and votes of anti-choice legislators this past session and put unprecedented pressure on anti-choice politicians going into the 2020 elections. NARAL will deploy direct mail and digital ads, grassroots organizing in key districts, door-to-door canvassing, and calls across the state to educate voters about their legislators’ actions at the Capitol and what’s at stake.
“Governor Kemp and his extreme cronies spent this legislative session ignoring the values of Georgians, 7 in 10 of whom want abortion to remain safe, legal, accessible and free from government interference. But we won’t let him get away with it,” said NARAL Pro-Choice Georgia State Director, Laura Simmons. “We are launching this accountability campaign to educate Georgia voters and put lawmakers on notice. Advocates for reproductive freedom will not let legislators off the hook for turning their backs on women and families by voting to criminalize abortion and punish women.”
“Governor Kemp may have signed this dangerous and devastating bill into law today, but what happened in and around Georgia signifies a new day in the fight for reproductive freedom and justice,” said NARAL Pro-Choice America President, Ilyse Hogue. “Voices of people from across Georgia rang out across the nation and the nation responded. Brian Kemp and every single person who voted for this bill is on the wrong side of history, the wrong side of human rights and will be held accountable in their next election. We will band together and fight everywhere to reclaim our safety and our rights. Let this be a signal to Kemp and anti-choice legislators all across the country: we are here, we are not going away, and our rights are not up for debate.”
“Georgia lawmakers were right to be nervous about voting for House Bill 481. We warned you: if you choose to vote against women’s rights, we’ll be voting against you in the next election,” said Staci Fox, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates. “That begins now. The people of this state stood up and spoke out against this draconian legislation and our lawmakers chose not to listen. So now we are mobilizing and we are coming for their seats. They will be held accountable for playing politics with women’s health.”
As admitted by the bill’s lead sponsor Representative Ed Setzler, the six-week abortion ban in Georgia is just one part of the anti-choice movement’s larger national strategy to directly attack Roe v. Wade and criminalize abortion. These threats aren’t limited to Georgia. Bills that would effectively outlaw abortion have been in introduced or passed in more than 15 other statehouses across the country, including in Alabama, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, North Dakota, Arkansas, Utah, West Virginia, and Louisiana.
Legislation in Georgia that bans abortion before many women even know they’re pregnant generated major backlash from business—including the film industry, which is huge in Georgia—and executives from major companies such as Amazon and Coca-Cola. The Writers Guild of America, over 100 Hollywood celebrities, local business leaders, and major progressive figures like Stacey Abrams all condemned this bill and noted that it threatens Georgia’s economic opportunity going forward.
NARAL has a powerful presence on the ground and is growing in influence with this groundbreaking six-figure campaign. NARAL members were on the front lines fighting against anti-choice bills introduced by extreme legislators in Georgia working to gut or overturn Roe v. Wade and its guarantee that abortion should be safe and legal. After Kemp and anti-choice lawmakers announced their slew of anti-choice bills, a record-breaking 200+ pro-choice activists from across the state flooded the halls of the Capitol in Atlanta to oppose the cruel and unecessary bill. During the legislative session, NARAL Georgia members made over 6,000 calls and wrote hundreds of heartfelt letters to lawmakers asking them to stand up for reproductive freedom and oppose criminalizing abortion.