Ga. Abortion advocates, lawmakers, healthcare providers call for a Reproductive Freedom Act
Abortion advocates, lawmakers and healthcare providers in Georgia held a news conference Tuesday calling for legislation that would repeal HB 481, the Georgia law that led to a near-total ban on abortion, and other abortion restrictions enacted since 2005.
ATLANTA – A coalition of Democratic Georgia lawmakers, reproductive health care providers and abortion rights advocates held two days after what marked a significant milestone for Roe v. Wade would have called a press conference to call for the passage of the Reproductive Freedom Act.
“Sunday would have marked the 50th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade should celebrate,” said Senator Nabilah Islam from the democratic state. “Instead, out here we must fight the same battles that our mothers and grandmothers fought to control the rights to their own bodies.”
In the case of Roe v. As early as 1973, the US Supreme Court granted Wade the right of individuals, not the government, to decide whether to terminate or continue a pregnancy. In June 2022, the decision was overturned with the court ruling of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Abortion was not intended as an extension of privacy, hence not a constitutional right. State officials could then turn to their US appeals courts to introduce bills like Georgia’s so-called “Heartbeat Bill” for their own constituents.
STATE BY STATE: ABORTION LAWS ABOUT US
Democratic State Senator Nabilah Islam (FOX 5 Atlanta)
Since then, reproductive rights activists have been demonstrating and gathering across the country.
Georgia House and Senate Democrats jointly sponsored legislation to repeal Georgia’s anti-abortion law, which became law in the summer and has led to a near-total ban on abortion and other abortion restrictions enacted since 2005. On Tuesday, they met to discuss what it means to them.
Democratic MP Kim Schofield. (FOX 5 Atlanta)
Democratic MP Kim Schofield revealed she had an abortion years ago and said women, not the government, should have the right to choose what happens to their bodies.
“As we move forward, I want all women to have a safe, effective and dignified abortion,” Rep. Schofield said.
Proponents of the bill say Georgians are now even more likely to face heightened health risks and economic difficulties due to delayed supplies and lack of access to reproductive health care.
“It is time,” said Rep. Shea Roberts, “that we look beyond Roe and work toward a future where all Georgians can live in freedom.”
Photo shows a sonogram. (FOX 5 Atlanta)
What is HB481?
Commonly referred to as Georgia’s Heartbeat Law, but formally referred to as the Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act, Gov. Brian Kemp signed HB 481 in June 2019 to ban most abortions up to the sixth week of pregnancy, if they exist “detectable human heartbeat.”
The law banned most abortions once a “detectable human heartbeat” was present. However, because medical professionals say that heart activity can be detected by ultrasound in cells within an embryo that eventually becomes the heart as early as the sixth week of pregnancy, it meant most abortions in Georgia would be illegal before many women knew they were pregnant were.
The law made an exception for cases of rape and incest when a police report was first made and when the mother’s life is in danger or a serious medical condition renders a fetus unviable.
HB 481 also addressed alimony, child support and even fetal income tax deductions, stating that “the full value of a child begins at the point there is a demonstrable human heartbeat”.
In November 2022, a Fulton County judge overturned the ban.
Fulton County judge lifts Georgia’s six-week abortion ban
A Fulton County judge has overturned Georgia’s so-called Heartbeat law, which bans abortions before most women know they’re pregnant. Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney called the law “unconstitutional”.
What is the Reproductive Freedom Act?
The Reproductive Freedom Act, RFA, aims to eliminate Roe v. Taking Wade a step further and not only giving American women the right to make their own decisions about pregnancy, but also making abortion easier for everyone, regardless of gender identity or immigration status.
The law has three tiers and focuses on protecting rights, lifting restrictions and expanding access. Activists say RFA would ensure abortion coverage in Medicaid and Obamacare insurance, eliminate waiting times in Georgia, and allow nurses and physician assistants to perform abortions.
Pro-life critics of the law maintain that abortion is not an inalienable constitutional right.
“Our state values life from conception to natural death,” Governor Kemp said as House Chairmen Jodi Lott, R-Evans, and Dominic LaRiccia, R-Douglas, pro-lifed to the Georgia General Assembly on Feb. 28, 2019 -Presented legislation.
“We do everything we can because life matters and we love every single person because they matter to God, that’s why they matter to us,” former state assemblywoman Sheri Gilligan, R-Cumming, said during a Rally at the state Capitol as a draft Supreme Court decision against Roe v. Wade was leaked.