A Georgia bill that seeks to criminalize abortions on the basis of race was voted out of the state House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee yesterday on a 7 to 6 vote. According to the Macon.com, the bill now moves to the House Rules Committee, which will determine whether or not the bill will be sent to the House floor for debate.
The bill states that "A person commits the offense of criminal solicitation of abortion when that person solicits or coerces another person with the intent that an abortion be performed based in any way on account of the race, color, or sex of the unborn child or the race or color of either parent of that child." The bill does not hold pregnant women who are the "targets" of said criminal solicitation liable.
According to a SisterSong press release (see PDF), "If implemented, this bill will adversely impact abortion providers by requiring them to prove that they are not targeting women of a certain race or ethnicity. This burden could result in delayed medical services, particularly for women of color. Additionally, this legislation would alter the racketeering laws of the Georgia Code to include abortion providers. This is unacceptable as abortion is legal in the State of Georgia, and the alleged abuses of this medical procedure are unfounded."
According to Macon.com, the bill is being pushed by Georgia Right to Life, which has taken statistics on race and abortion rates and correlated them with the location of clinics in and near minority neighborhoods to accuse pro-choice advocates of "outright eugenics." This group has also sponsored hundreds of billboards in Atlanta and throughout Georgia that state "Black children are an endangered species" in an effort to push the current legislation. After the billboards appeared in February, Professor Beverly Guy-Sheftall of Spelman College told the New York Daily News that "To use racist arguments to try to bait black people to get them to be anti-abortion is just disgusting...These one-issue approaches that are not about saving the black family or black children, it's just a big distraction."
Media Resources: Macon.com 3/10/10; SisterSong Press Release 2/12/10; Georgia HB 1155; New York Daily News 2/15/10
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .