Georgia Third State This Year to Pass Six-Week Abortion Ban, Headed to Gov. Kemp
For Immediate Release: March 29, 2019
One vote shy of defeating the ban, despite outcry from business community and Georgians
A 63% increase in introduced six-week bans
Data shows the majority of states are trying to ban abortion
WASHINGTON, DC - Today, Georgia became the third state this year, after Kentucky and Mississippi, to pass a ban on abortion before many people know they are pregnant. The bill passed by one vote. This is part of an alarming national trend of abortion bans. Just this week, Planned Parenthood and Guttmacher Institute released a 2019 State Abortion Restriction Snapshot that shows nearly half of all abortion restrictions introduced in state legislatures are bans of one type or another -- and in fact, there has been a 63% spike in six-week abortion bans, like the one in Georgia, compared to this time last year. Georgia is just one of 32 states to introduce abortion bans this year as part of a national strategy to outlaw safe, legal abortion.
Politicians in Georgia passed this bill despite mass opposition to the ban. Support for Roe v. Wade is at its highest level on record -- 73% of Americans say they do not want to see Roe overturned. More than 300 Georgia business leaders spoke out publicly against the ban. The Georgia film and entertainment industry published letters, threatening to boycott work in Atlanta if the ban passes. Yet, the bill passed with little regard for the constituents these legislators claim to represent.
Statement by Dr. Leana Wen, President, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:
Georgia’s six-week ban is a dangerous policy designed to block abortion access before many women even know they’re pregnant. Almost weekly now, we are seeing bans on abortion care like this one. These restrictions go beyond rhetoric, they will only roll back gains to public health and harm women’s health and the health of families across Georgia. Planned Parenthood will not back down from this fight. Planned Parenthood’s patients in Georgia and across the country deserve the right to control their own body, life, and future, no matter where they live or how much money they make. As health care providers and advocates, everyone must work together with our elected champions to pass policies that will protect the right to safe, legal abortion. There are few options left and time is running out for women everywhere. With Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court and Trump in the White House, abortion access is on the line.
Statement by Staci Fox, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates
Our elected officials heard from their constituents - they just didn’t listen. And we will not forget it. Lawmakers will be held accountable for playing politics with women’s health and this fight is not over. I have one message for lawmakers who voted for this draconian legislation: you were right to be nervous about this vote. The people of this state warned you. If you chose to vote against women’s rights, we’ll be voting against you in the next election.
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. In more than 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 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.