BREAKING: Georgia Governor Signs Dangerous Six-Week Abortion Ban
For Immediate Release: May 7, 2019
Gov. Kemp ignores outcry from the film industry, business community, and Georgians opposing the ban
Planned Parenthood vows to sue, as Georgia becomes fourth state to enact a six-week abortion ban into law this year — banning abortion before many even know they’re pregnant
WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Georgia became the fourth state this year, after Kentucky, Mississippi, and Ohio, to enact a ban on abortion before many people know they are pregnant. The bill, which passed by one vote and sparked widespread opposition from business leaders, the film and entertainment industry, and activists across all parts of Georgia, was signed into law by Governor Brian Kemp today. More than 300 Georgia business leaders spoke out publicly against the ban. The $9 billion Georgia film and entertainment industry published letters, threatening to boycott work in Atlanta if the ban was enacted, and more than 6,000 Georgians signed a petition opposing it.
This is part of an alarming national trend of abortion bans. Nearly half of the 294 bills restricting abortion filed this year in state legislatures are bans of one type or another. In fact, there’s been a 63% spike in early abortion bans, including six-week bans, compared to last year, as of March. Georgia is just one of 36 states to introduce abortion bans this year as part of a national strategy to outlaw safe, legal abortion. This is despite widespread support for abortion access and Roe v. Wade.
Statement by Dr. Leana Wen, President, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:
The bill signed by Governor Kemp bans abortions before many women even know that they are pregnant. It is so extreme that it criminalizes doctors who provide life-saving care, and it even allows the state to investigate women for having miscarriages. Doctors and public health leaders agree that it will harm women’s health and health of families across Georgia. Georgia already has one of the worst maternal mortality rates in the country, and this is a concerted effort to attack women’s health. Planned Parenthood will be suing the State of Georgia. We will fight this terrible bill because this is about our patients’ lives.
Statement by Staci Fox, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates
To the Georgia lawmakers who supported this legislation: you 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. We're putting lawmakers on notice: your votes are far outside the mainstream and we will now spend our time and energy launching a campaign to replace you. That work begins now. The people of this state stood up and spoke out against this draconian legislation and our lawmakers chose not to listen. Now we are mobilizing and we are coming for their seats. They will be held accountable for playing politics with women’s health.
Meanwhile, the sustained and coordinated effort to ban abortion in states has also triggered a counter-movement of reproductive health champions who are introducing bills that would protect and expand abortion access. Support for Roe v. Wade is at its highest level on record -- 73% of Americans say they do not want to see Roe overturned. In nearly half the states, champions are pushing for bills that codify abortion rights in to state law, repeal harmful policies that create barriers to care, and would treat abortion as health care, not a crime. New York was the first state this year to codify abortion rights into state law. Other states like Illinois, Vermont, Massachusetts, Maine, and Rhode Island are aggressively pursuing similar laws.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational, advocacy and electoral activity, including grassroots organizing, legislative advocacy, and voter education.
As the organizing, advocacy, and electoral arm of Planned Parenthood Southeast, Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates (PPSEA) engages in electoral activities including voter education and mobilization. We believe elected officials should support policies and programs that help women and their families make responsible choices about the prevention of unintended pregnancies and plan for healthy families. PPSEA works to educate and mobilize the public and elect lawmakers who support these policies.