Women Outraged, Say “Hell No” to Abortion Ban Adopted in Georgia


20190521_120417(APN) ATLANTA — Over ten thousand people marched on Saturday, May 25, 2019, from the State Capitol to CNN in the latest of marches in opposition to Georgia’s recently-adopted anti-choice law.  Each march is growing in size above the last.


The culture war is back as a wave of state-enacted abortion bans, including Georgia’s HB 481, are working their way through the federal courts with hopes among conservative, anti-choice forces that one of these cases reach their ultimate destination: the Supreme Court of the U.S.


Somehow we seem to have traveled backwards in time on a woman’s right to choose.  The time may be right to overturn the forty-six years old Roe v. Wade decision, now that President Donald Trump has packed the Court with anti-abortion extremists, Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch.   


As previously reported by Atlanta Progressive News, HB 481 passed by the Republican-controlled Georgia General Assembly on March 29, 2019.  




HB 481 criminalizes abortion after a fluttering of Purkinje tissues can be heard at six weeks on a transvaginal ultrasound device inserted into a woman’s vagina.   


State Rep. Ed Setzler (R-Acworth) sponsor of the bill believes, in error, that sound is a heartbeat.  However, doctors have said that it is not a heartbeat because there is not a formed heart to beat at six weeks.  


Women are mad as hell and will not go back to the days of illegal abortions that killed so many before the passage of Roe v. Wade in 1973.  


Their outrage has only grown louder and their numbers larger, since the passage of HB 481.


Each week, protests at the State Capitol get larger.   


On May 07, Gov. Brian Kemp signed the law banning abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.   The law will not take effect until January 2020.


“A death warrant has been signed by Kemp for all women in Georgia.  Make no mistake, in 2020 all Republicans in office will feel the voting power of women,” State Rep. Sandra Scott (D-Rex) promised at another rally held at the Capitol on May 16, 2019.    


Georgia became the fourth state to enact a so-called “fetal heartbeat bill” this year, following Kentucky, Mississippi, and Ohio.


Later on May 15, Alabama signed the most restrictive bill, which bans all abortions even in cases of rape and incest.  Even fundamentalist televangelist Pat Robertson said that it went too far.


Presidential candidate, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) came to the Georgia Capitol on May 16 and vowed to lead the fight for women’s reproductive and civil rights.  She reported that five U.S. states have passed abortion bills and this is part of over 250 bills across the country to restrict abortion access.


“This is a nationwide assault on women’s constitutional rights from ideological extremists who have no right to be making these intimate decisions that a woman or family can make,” Gillibrand said.  


This is a dangerous time for women because their “lives are in danger, especially low-income women and women of color,” Gillibrand said.


State Sen. Jen Jordan (D-Atlanta) explained that the anti-choice movement in Georgia killed another legislative effort, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), in its tracks.


Only one more U.S. State needs to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) for it to this Constitutional Amendment to become law.   This past Session, Georgia legislators filed a bill for Georgia to ratify the ERA, and several Republicans had originally signed on to the bill.


“We had the anti-abortion radical forces to come out and tell Republican legislators that you cannot support the ERA that recognized women as equal to men because that would mean they have access to basic reproductive healthcare and we can’t allow that,” Sen. Jordan said.  This explains why Republicans withdrew their names from the bill.


“After that, we saw Republican after Republican take their names off the ERA bill.  This is not about abortion; this is about making sure women are never seen as equals in this country,” Sen. Jordan said.  


The American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood, and other organizations are busy filing lawsuits to stop these unconstitutional laws.   


On May 21, women and men marched in over four hundred nationwide protests in every state against these abortion bans.  


In Atlanta, this march had about five hundred people.


“Kemp, Trump, and their allies are trying to dismantle our reproductive rights to score political points with a fringe base,” Laura Simmons, State Director of National Association for Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL) Georgia, said at the May 21 rally.  


“We have partnered with Reclaim Georgia, a campaign to make sure that those who voted for this awful bill will be held accountable.  If we band together, we can reclaim their seats and reclaim our rights.  We will meet them in the courts and make them pay at the polls,” Simmons promised.  


“Let’s be clear what these abortion bills are: they are all-out political warfare to overturn Roe v. Wade – this is class warfare,” Staci Fox, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Southeast, said.


“We must talk about the central role that White supremacy and capitalism play into the legislation which would disproportionately impact low-income and communities of color,” Jalessah Jackson, Coordinator, Sister Song, said.   


“The function of this legislation is to criminalize these communities.  The people who write these bills know that people will continue to seek abortions and they are banking on criminalizing and filling prisons with the folks that are criminalized,” Jackson said.


Kwajelyn Jackson, with the Feminist Women’s Health Center, promised: “This clinic stays open.”


“This is not the last attack against our humanity but every time they push us, we will grow,” Jackson said and added that our opponents are shaken by women’s response to the abortion bans.  


Judy Conder, Grassroots Video, shares this video of Stop the Bans rally at the Capitol: 




(END / Copyright Atlanta Progressive News / 2019)

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