Updated: May 16, 2019
Leaders and members of reproductive health, rights, and justice organizations and community-based initiatives and projects based in Georgia Vow to Continue Working to Advance Reproductive Justice for All Georgians.
We are appalled by the actions of the Georgia legislators who voted to advance one of the nation’s most restrictive abortion laws, effectively banning all abortion procedures after 6 weeks — before most people even know they are pregnant. These legislators have spent the last three weeks ignoring testimony from doctors, lawyers, nurses, social workers, and midwives; queer, trans, and non-binary folks; parents, women, and young people; and countless others who have spoken out against this bill. They have ignored our voices, dodged us at the ropes and in the hallways of the Capitol, and failed to show up and be accountable to their constituents.
This bill is not only unconstitutional, but it is fiscally irresponsible and flies in the face of best medical practices. By passing this bill our legislators not only risk losing millions of dollars in revenue but have also committed our state to wasting millions of taxpayers’ dollars — money that would be better spent decreasing our abysmal maternal and infant mortality rates, expanding access to healthcare, addressing food insecurity, and fostering wider educational opportunities — in pointless litigation that has been defeated time and time and time and time and time and time and time again.
Throughout our work at the Capitol we’ve been met with increased capitol police presence, last-minute changes to hearing times and room assignments, threats of arrest, and — on the day of the Senate floor vote — the largest police presence we have ever seen. If our legislators are so scared of facing their constituents, they should not have pushed through this bill.
We are saddened but resolved. All Georgians deserve access to quality health care, including access to abortion and other reproductive health services. We stand together working in coalition; with the legislators who worked with us against this bill; with the medical professionals, lawyers, and clergy who provided expert and compelling testimony; and with the brave Georgians who shared their own stories.
To our members, volunteers, and supporters —Thank you for your work. We see you and stand with you.
The fight is not over. Let’s take some time to center ourselves, organize, and resume our important work. HB 481 may have passed, but our partners are already moving forward with legal action against it. We look forward to advancing reproductive justice for all Georgians in the rest of this year, in 2020, and beyond.
Access Reproductive Care (ARC)-Southeast
American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia
Feminist Women’s Health Center
National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum (NAPAWF) Georgia Chapter
Planned Parenthood Southeast
SPARK Reproductive Justice Now!, Inc.
URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity