Alabama and Georgia Pass Restrictive Abortion Laws

Protestors gather in Chippewa Square after march from Johnson Square.
Protestors gather in Chippewa Square after march from Johnson Square.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on last Tuesday signed a bill that would ban abortions if a fetal heartbeat can be detected. A heartbeat can be detected as early as 6 weeks, when most women don’t even know they are pregnant.

This legislation is set to go into effect January 1, 2020. According to Planned Parenthood’s Southeast call center, “the full ramifications of the bill are not yet known.”

“This is a direct, targeted attack on the most marginalized among us” spokesperson for Planned Parenthood Southeast Barbara Ann Luttrell said.

She also said that Georgia leads the nation in maternal mortality rates and that these rates disproportionately affect poor women and women of color.

“What’s important is that abortion is still safe and legal in Georgia,” Luttrell said.

There are some exceptions to the bill including if the pregnancy risks the life or poses substantial and irreversible physical harm to the pregnant woman.

Several women dressed in cloaks similar to those on Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” stood in silent protest outside the Capitol last Tuesday.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Planned Parenthood have announced several plans to take the state government to court over the bill stating that it violates the Supreme Court 1973 Ruling Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion nationwide.

Alabama is the latest state to pass the most restrictive abortion bill, with a near total ban.

Supporters said the bill is intentionally designed to conflict with Roe v. Wade hoping to spark court cases that might prompt the justices to revisit Roe.

Other states such as Iowa, Mississippi, Kentucky, Ohio, and Missouri have similar bills to Georgia and Alabama.

Georgia’s bill could affect the economy if the Hollywood film industry chooses to leave the state.

Some actors and actresses, like Alyssa Milano, Mark Hamill and Mandy Moore, have suggested they will boycott filming in the state.

Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams are proceeding with plans to shoot their HBO show “Lovecraft County” in Georgia in the next few weeks, but have said that they will donate 100% of their “episodic fees” to organizations fighting the law including the ACLU of Georgia and Fair Fight Georgia.

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