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.
Is It Time to Take the Abortion Battle Hyperlocal?
By Robin Marty
Published April 27, 2019
Whether or not the Supreme Court decides to uphold Roe v. Wade and keep abortion legal in every state, it’s an undeniable fact that abortion access has been decimated across the country. For more than half of U.S. states, the clinics that do remain are located in just a handful of cities, leaving most of the state without any provider at all.
Prior to 2016 and the resurgence of a national anti-abortion push, the right was heavily invested in this city-by-city targeting. A few of the more extreme groups even tested out city-based resolutions or bans to see if it was possible to wage hyperlocal attacks on abortion rights, even while the state itself kept the procedure legal.
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.
Heartbeat Abortion Bills Were Once a Fringe Idea. Could They Overturn Roe v. Wade?
Three states have enacted heartbeat bills. Ten more are considering them.
When anti-abortion activist Janet Porter first introduced the idea of a “heartbeat” bill in 2011, she was almost laughed out of the room. The proposal—to ban abortion after a fetal heartbeat could be detected, or at about six weeks gestation—was so extreme that many of her fellow Republicans thought it was impossible.
A decade later, GOP lawmakers around the country are rushing to adopt Porter’s signature legislation, in hope of forcing the conservative-majority U.S. Supreme Court to re-examine Roe v. Wade. Georgia is poised to become the third state to enact such a ban in the first three months of 2019 alone. Ten other states are currently considering the legislation, which experts say would ban abortions before most women know they are pregnant.
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.
GOP state lawmakers approve 'heartbeat' abortion bans
Sanya Mansoor and Ben Nadler, The Associated Press
Published Thursday, March 7, 2019
ATLANTA -- Georgia and Tennessee joined a string of states moving to enact tough abortion restrictions when Republican House lawmakers passed bans on most abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected.
During a tense debate in Atlanta on Thursday, several Democratic lawmakers opposed to the bill turned their backs to its author, Republican Rep. Ed Setzler. Earlier in the day, some Democratic lawmakers brought in wire coat hangers in reference to unsafe home abortions.
Six Facts About Abortion to Counter March for Life’s Junk Science
Jan 16, 2019
This year's March for Life claims that “being pro-life is not in opposition to science," though many of its positions fly in the face of evidence.
The 46th annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., has adopted “Unique from Day One” as its theme, an apparent declaration of the extreme anti-choice position that life begins at conception. The event not only asserts this view as a moral position but also claims that “being pro-life is not in opposition to science.”
This co-opting of science is in line with a strategy and infrastructure that the anti-choice movement has been building for some time.