Abortion Bans are an Attack on Democracy
The South has traditionally been a battleground for the some of the biggest conflicts that shape today’s democracy. Current abortion bans in states like Georgia and Alabama are no exception.
by Deborah Brown
These laws deny people basic freedom to make decisions over their own bodies, and they are part of a centuries-long assault on civil rights that began at our nation’s founding. Attacks on reproductive rights are deeply intertwined with years of attacks on voter rights, particularly for people of color. Restrictions on the fundamental right to decide if, when and how to have children are part of a larger effort to distort democracy, in the service of a small number of extremists, by suppressing freedom and rights for the majority.
It’s not an accident that recent attacks on abortion and voting rights coincide with a rising tide of corporate influence in politics and a wave of political extremism that have made racist tweets from lawmakers, shootings at elementary schools and images of immigrant children in cages common features of American life. These attacks are often even set into motion by the same people.
Inside the 'fake clinics' where women are persuaded to carry pregnancies to term
‘Crisis pregnancy centers’ give counseling, pregnancy tests – and outnumber abortion providers three to one in Georgia
by Khushbu Shah in Milledgeville, Georgia
Fri 16 Aug 2019
In her office at the Crossroads Pregnancy Center in Milledgeville, Georgia, Pam Alford hung a picture of a grave-filled cemetery in memory of the thousands of the abortions taking place every day in America. Or so says the caption.
Other indications of the center staff’s attitude to abortion fill public areas of the building. Someone has stenciled “life is beautiful” in a hallway. Figurines of Jesus and the cross line the lunch area walls.
Abortion restrictions hurt business, 180 CEOs say in open letter
States that limit reproductive rights undermine efforts to build a diverse workforce and attract talent, the leaders say.
By Rachel Siegel
June 10, 2019
More than 180 CEOs signed an open letter opposing state efforts to restrict reproductive rights, as business leaders weigh how to most effectively exert pressure against abortion bans.
Square chief executive and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey as well as fashion icon Diane von Furstenberg and others wrote that restrictions on abortion access threaten the economic stability of their employees and customers and make it harder to build a diverse workforce and recruit talent.
Alabama Senate passes nation’s most restrictive abortion ban, which makes no exceptions for victims of rape and incest
By Emily Wax-Thibodeaux and Chip Brownlee
May 14, 2019
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama lawmakers voted Tuesday to ban virtually all abortions in the state — including for victims of rape and incest — sending the strictest law in the nation to the state’s Republican governor, who is expected to sign it.
The measure permits abortion only when necessary to save a mother’s life, an unyielding standard that runs afoul of federal court rulings. Those who backed the new law said they don’t expect it to take effect, instead intending its passage to be part of a broader strategy by antiabortion activists to persuade the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, which legalized abortion nationwide.
How Gerrymandering Leads to Radical Abortion Laws
Georgia's "fetal heartbeat" bill never would have passed if the state legislature truly reflected the voters' political preferences.
By David Daley
May 14, 2019
Stacey Abrams still hasn’t conceded that she lost to Brian Kemp in last year’s gubernatorial race in Georgia, and perhaps justifiably so. Kemp, formerly the secretary of state there, administered his own election, shuttered precincts in black communities, and presided over a last-minute voting roll purge that targeted predominantly minority voters. Despite all that help, he eclipsed Abrams by fewer than 55,000 votes—another sign of how purple Georgia has become.
Last week, however, the state legislature enacted—and Kemp signed—one of the most extreme “fetal heartbeat” abortion prohibitions in the nation. HB 481, which declares that “unborn children are a class of living, distinct persons,” limits abortions to the first six weeks of pregnancy. If the law is allowed to take effect in January—rather than being held up in the courts—women who miscarry could be investigated by the state to determine whether their pregnancy ended unintentionally or with the help of a doctor or an abortion pill.
What Happens When an Activist Bullies Anti-abortion Protesters
Health clinics say that staging counterprotests isn’t just counterproductive—“it’s completely inadvisable.”
May 11, 2019
It’s been a rough week for Brian Sims.
The Pennsylvania Democrat has been pelted with criticism and demands for his resignation from his state House seat in the days since he posted a video of himself aggressively confronting an anti-abortion protester outside a Planned Parenthood clinic. “An old white lady telling people what to do with their bodies? Shame on you!” Sims shouts at the woman in a clip he live-streamed on Periscope. “Push back against Planned Parenthood protesters, PLEASE!” Sims wrote in a message accompanying the video.
As States Race to Limit Abortions, Alabama Goes Further, Seeking to Outlaw Most of Them
By Timothy Williams and Alan Blinder
May 8, 2019
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Amid a flurry of new limits on abortion being sought in states around the nation, Alabama is weighing a measure that would go further than all of them — outlawing most abortions almost entirely.
The effort in Alabama, where the State Senate could vote as soon as Thursday, is unfolding as Republicans, emboldened by President Trump and the shifting alignment of the Supreme Court, intensify a long-running campaign to curb abortion access.
The Abortion Divide Gets Deeper
With Roe threatened, red and blue states are pulling even further apart.
March 29, 2019
This week, a Georgia state representative, Ed Setzler, the sponsor of a bill that would ban most abortions as soon as a fetal heartbeat could be detected, spoke to a conservative group in the Atlanta suburbs about the legal fight he’d embarked on. “We need to maximize our influence over the next couple of weeks and then close this deal,” he said. Then, he continued, conservatives must mobilize behind Georgia’s Republican governor, Brian Kemp, as “he recruits the best legal team in the nation to take this to the highest court in the land.”
With the ascension of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, as well as a host of other judges appointed by Donald Trump to lower courts, anti-abortion forces are engaged in a game of legislative whack-a-mole. Sensing their chance to either eviscerate or overturn Roe v. Wade, Republicans are pushing a barrage of anti-abortion measures at the state level, seeing which one goes all the way to the top.
Dozens of Hollywood celebrities oppose 'heartbeat' abortion bill, vow to abandon Georgia if it becomes law
The Associated Press
March 28, 2019
ATLANTA — More than 40 Hollywood celebrities have signed a letter sent to Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and House Speaker David Ralston saying they will urge TV and film production companies to abandon the state if a "heartbeat" abortion bill becomes law.
The bill prohibits most abortions after six weeks from conception and could come to a House vote as early as Thursday. If approved, it will go to Kemp, who's expected to sign it.
A Wave Of New Bills In The U.S. Would Ban Abortion Before Most Women Even Know They're Pregnant
March 15, 2019
While U.S. President Donald Trump is banking on the power of inflammatory anti-abortion rhethoric to help him win the White House again, conservative lawmakers in state legislatures across the country are laser-focused on taking the fight to the courts. The road to making abortion illegal in the U.S. again is paved with extreme regulations like so-called “heartbeat bills.”
Since January, nearly a dozen states have introduced this type of legislation, which bans abortion as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detected. One of them is Georgia, where the measure could be approved by the state Senate as soon as Monday. The bill passed the House last week and Republican Gov. Brian Kemp has urged lawmakers to send it to his desk.